MTBMA Executive Director Michael Sakata addresses Maryland’s road funding issue with (L-R) Maryland Secretary of Transportation Pete Rahn, TRIP Director of Policy and Research Rocky Moretti, and MDOT State Highway Administration Administrator Greg Slater.
Maryland’s urban roads and highways are overloaded with some of the worst traffic in the country, a new report from national transportation group TRIP shows. A growing population and economy have contributed to severe traffic congestion and restricted accessibility, trends projected to continue. Maryland’s population is expected to grow by nearly 1 million people by 2045 and the value of freight shipped to and from the state will double.
In response, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) has proposed a $17.8 billion multimodal congestion relief program designed to accommodate growth and improve economic development. If accepted by the legislature, the program would widen 70 miles of critical highways, expand express tolls, complete the Purple Line metro rail from Bethesda to New Carrollton, add other improvements to the transit/metro system, and expand the smart traffic signal program. With the same goal, Hogan also issued a letter to the Maryland Congressional Delegation urging them to transfer the BW Parkway to the state due to decades long safety concerns.
Hogan’s proposal follows efforts from the Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration, which, since 2016, has implemented a combination of programs aimed at improving the reliability and efficiency of Maryland roads.
Michael Sakata, executive director of the Maryland Transportation Builders and Materials Association, ARTBA’s Maryland chapter, took part in a press conference announcing the report’s release. Sakata said he was “confident that the state’s transportation construction industry has the ability and resources to complete the projects that are needed to allow Maryland to have a well-maintained, reliable and safe transportation system.” He and others taking part in the event, including TRIP Executive Director, Will Wilkins, said that despite the state’s efforts, more work is necessary. “Congress can help by fixing the federal Highway Trust Fund and passing major infrastructure legislation,” Wilkins said.
See more on the TRIP report, “Keeping Maryland Mobile”
See the details on Gov. Hogan’s proposal