State’s Transportation Press Conference (Photos & Video)
State and county officials gathered at the Bethesda Metro on Aug. 5 for a major transportation announcement. Watch it here:
More photos from the event:
The Governor’s press office issued this press release (below):
Governor Martin O’Malley today (Aug. 5), joined by Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III and other key officials, announced nearly $650 million in transportation investments for Montgomery County that will create jobs, reduce traffic congestion and revitalize communities. Standing near the entrance to the Bethesda Metro Station, the Administration also announced the State will deliver the Purple Line through a public-private partnership (P3) – the State’s first transit P3 project. The Governor also announced an additional $400 million investment for construction of the $2.2 billion Purple Line project with the remainder to be paid for with a combination of federal grants, state and local financial contributions, and private investment.
“Together, with the support of our local partners like County Executives Ike Leggett and Rushern Baker, we made the better choices to invest in the future of Maryland’s transportation network, allowing us to create more than 57,200 jobs for our hardworking families and rebuild our State’s infrastructure,” said Governor O’Malley. “Today’s announcement creates more than 9,700 jobs for Montgomery County, reduces traffic congestion and revitalizes communities. Thanks to Lt. Governor Brown’s leadership, we can move ahead with the Purple Line and bring the best private sector practices and innovation needed to create the 21st century transportation network that a modern economy requires.”
“I fought hard to pass Maryland’s Public-Private Partnership law so that we could create jobs by moving ahead with important projects like the Purple Line,” said Lt. Governor Anthony Brown. “By working with the private sector to deliver the Purple Line, we’re making an investment to support our growing economy, create thousands of jobs and expand opportunities in our communities. Today’s Purple Line announcement marks the launch of the first P3 project under our new law, however I look forward to exploring the possibility of more public-private partnerships in the future. I want to thank Governor O’Malley for continuing his important work to grow our economy by making these job-creating investments here in Montgomery County.”
With the Transportation Infrastructure Investment Act of 2013, which allows Maryland to activate long-term strategies to invest in Maryland’s transportation systems, the State is putting people back to work in the transportation industry with $4.4 billion in new investments in the next six years. Maryland will create hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity and provide Marylanders with the transportation infrastructure necessary to grow and prosper for decades to come.
Today’s announcement provides nearly $650 million in key projects for Montgomery County, including:
- $125 million to construct a new interchange along I-270 at Watkins Mill Road;
- $25 million to build a relocated MD 97 around the historic Town of Brookeville;
- $280 million to complete right-of-way acquisition and final design for the Maryland National Capital Purple Line (when combined with the new $400 million investment for Purple Line construction – a total of $680 million will be invested in the Purple Line);
- $100 million to complete right-of-way acquisition and final design for the Corridor Cities Transitway;
- $7 million in design funds to build two interchanges along U.S. 29, at Musgrove Road and Fairland Road, to replace existing intersections;
- $3 million in design funds to widen MD 124 from Midcounty Highway to south of Airpark Road;
- $3 million in planning funds for the MD 28 / MD 198 Corridor Transportation Improvement Study; and
- $85 million in operating assistance for the County’s Ride On Bus (FY 2014-2019).
“I want to thank Governor O’Malley for making a major investment in our transportation system that will ensure the economic vitality of the entire Washington region through new job creation and greater support for our business community,” said Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett. “For many years, I have vigorously advocated for a meaningful way to increase funding for transportation, and now for the first time in a generation, we are seeing the results with significant and long overdue transportation infrastructure investments for our priority projects.”
“Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties need this type of investment in order to reduce congestion, improve road conditions, expand our transportation options and create job opportunities,” said Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker. “On any given day, the people from Prince George’s County, and the Metropolitan Washington region, travel through two or more counties, cities or towns. The announcement of increased spending on roads and transportation, specifically, the public-private partnership announcement and investment in the Purple Line, will help connect communities and make our region more transit-oriented and sustainable. These are the elements that help improve the quality of life for our citizens and makes the State of Maryland more attractive to new residents and businesses.”
“The expansion of public private partnerships is another tool in our toolbox to leverage private investment in the State’s economy,” said Speaker Michael E. Busch. “Using innovative financing for large scale projects like the Purple Line will allow us to jumpstart these important transportation projects more quickly and more economically.”
Lt. Governor Brown led the Administration’s efforts to successfully pass P3 legislation this past session. The announcement to pursue a P3 for the Purple Line means that the State will seek a private partner to complete design, construct, operate, maintain and provide a portion of the financing for the planned east-west light rail line. This innovative project delivery method differs from a typical project in which the State separately bids for the design and construction of the transit line, and then operates the system, such as the Central Light Rail Line in Baltimore. This P3 approach is known as a Design-Build-Finance-Operate-Maintain (DBFOM). DBFOM is used extensively in Canada for rail projects and also for a rail transit project in Denver.
The Purple Line is a 16-mile light rail link between Bethesda in Montgomery County and New Carrollton in Prince George’s County. It will provide connections to Metrorail, MARC Train, Amtrak and local bus routes. As part of the regular planning process, in 2011, MTA began a preliminary investigation of potential delivery options available for the project and recently held a forum to seek ideas from potential private investors and industry experts. Responses from a heavily attended Purple Line Industry Forum held this past May indicated strong marketplace interest in a Purple Line P3.
“These public investments create private sector jobs in construction today and prepare Maryland’s infrastructure for the jobs of tomorrow,” said U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski. “These projects are among the most pressing in the region. Maryland can count on me to keep fighting for our state’s fair share of federal formula funding to help pay for improvements to our highways, byways and transit systems.”
“Robust investments in critical infrastructure, including Maryland roads and rails, are investments in job creation and economic development across the region,” said U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Transportation Infrastructure Subcommittee. “Marylanders, particularly federal employees, currently waste too much time, money and gas in gridlock. I’m proud that the federal government has been a partner with Maryland, Montgomery County and others throughout the state to modernize and add affordable, convenient transportation choices connecting Maryland communities to and from the National Capital Region. Each of these projects, especially the Purple Line, will improve the safety and efficiency of our region’s transportation options which is great news for individuals and businesses, our economy and our environment.”
U.S. Congressman John Delany added: “Today’s announcement is good news for the growing communities that I represent in Congress. I thank Governor O’Malley and Lt. Governor Brown for their commitment to investing in the infrastructure we need for the next century. Smart investments in infrastructure create jobs, improve our quality of life, and help businesses compete. In Maryland we have wonderful places to live, fantastic schools, and great employers; but these assets need to be better connected, so our residents can thrive. Maryland is making a commitment to infrastructure and I’m focused on making sure that Washington does the same.”
Over the summer months, the State will continue to review statewide transportation project needs and make investment decisions. The Maryland Department of Transportation’s draft six-year transportation budget will be published on September 3rd. This budget, known as the Consolidated Transportation Program, will provide a full list of the new projects funded by the Transportation Act. This budget will be posted on MDOT’s website at www.mdot.maryland.gov.
Montgomery County officials issued this press release (below):
Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett joined Governor Martin O’Malley and Lt. Governor Anthony Brown during their announcement that Montgomery County will be receiving $628 million in transportation investments and an additional $400 million for construction of the Purple Line that will benefit both Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. Brown also announced that the Purple Line will be built as a public-private partnership under HB 560, the law he championed to attract private investment for new infrastructure in Maryland.
“I want to thank the O’Malley/Brown administration for making a major investment in our transportation system that will boost the economic vitality of the entire Washington region through new job creation and greater support for our business community,” said Leggett. “For many years, I have vigorously advocated for a meaningful increase in funding for transportation, and now, for the first time in a generation, we are seeing the results with significant and long overdue transportation infrastructure investments for our priority projects. This announcement moves forward the Purple Line, the Corridor Cities Transitway, the Watkins Mill interchange on I-270, supports Ride On and provides funding for many other projects that are essential to modernizing our transportation infrastructure and realizing our County’s plans for the future.”
O’Malley recognized the critical role Leggett played in advocating for the passage of the Transportation Act.
“Together, with the support of our local partners like County Executives Leggett and Rushern Baker, we made the better choices to invest in the future of Maryland’s transportation network, allowing us to create more than 57,200 jobs for our hardworking families and rebuild our State’s infrastructure,” said Governor O’Malley. “Today’s announcement creates more than 9,700 jobs for Montgomery County, reduces traffic congestion and revitalizes communities. Thanks to Lt. Governor Brown’s leadership, we can move ahead with the Purple Line and bring the best private sector practices and innovation needed to create the 21st century transportation network that a modern economy requires.”
Joining Leggett were County Council President Nancy Navarro, Council Vice President Craig Rice, and Councilmembers Marc Elrich, Valerie Ervin, George Leventhal and Hans Riemer.
“Thanks to Governor O’Malley’s leadership and the courageous action of the General Assembly, some of Montgomery County’s most urgently needed transportation projects can now move forward,” said Navarro. “I was glad to join with the County Executive and my colleagues on the Council to make the case that transportation funding is critical to maintaining economic growth and quality of life for Montgomery County and all of Maryland.”
Leggett recognized and thanked the County’s State delegation, which was instrumental in the passage of the Transportation Act. At the event were Senator Karen Montgomery and Delegates Sam Arora, Charles Barkley, Brian Feldman, Ana Sol Gutierrez, Sheila Hixson, Tom Hucker, Anne Kaiser, Ariana Kelly, Susan Lee, Aruna Miller and Kirill Reznik.
“Montgomery County has great places to live, to work, to play, and to explore, but we need a great transportation infrastructure to connect them all,” said Senator Jamie Raskin, chair, Montgomery County Senate Delegation. “I am thrilled that the Governor and our delegation in the General Assembly got together in 2013 to promote the big investments we need to get Montgomery County and the rest of Maryland moving. There was a lot of courage in the Governor’s leadership on this and I also want to thank Senate President Mike Miller for getting behind it in a big way. The teamwork we saw amongst County Executive Ike Leggett, the County Council, and the Montgomery delegations in Annapolis was inspiring and visionary.”
“The Montgomery County delegation’s top priorities going into the 2013 session were transportation, transportation and transportation,” said Delegate Anne Kaiser, chair, Montgomery County House Delegation. “The investments we made in roads and transit will support our business community and enhance everyone’s quality of life with shorter commute times, enhanced public safety and environmentally friendly transit options.”
Today’s announcement provides funding for the following key projects:
- Purple Line, a 16-mile light rail line that runs east-west inside the Capital Beltway between Bethesda and New Carrollton, will receive $280 million in new funding for right-of-way acquisition and final design and an additional $400 million in new construction funding.
- Corridor Cities Transitway, a 15-mile bus rapid transit system extending from the Shady Grove Metro Station to the COMSAT facility just south of Clarksburg, will receive $100 million in new funding for right-of-way acquisition and final design for the Phase I portion extending to the Metropolitan Grove MARC Station in Gaithersburg.
- I-270/Watkins Mill Road Interchange will include improvements to I-270 from north of MD 124 to south of Middlebrook Road and bicycle and pedestrian improvements along Watkins Mill Road. The project will receive $125 million in new funding for construction.
- Ride On Bus will receive $85 million in new funding, increasing the State’s subsidy by 50 percent to fully fund the State’s fair share of the bus service.
- MD 97 Relocation Near Brookeville will receive $25 million in new construction funding to build a two-lane MD 97 highway from south of Brookeville to north of Brookeville, relieving traffic congestion and improving safety in the historic town center.
- US 29 Interchanges Design at Musgrove Road and Fairland Road will receive $7 million in new funding for design of two interchanges that will accommodate projected traffic growth along this key north-south route, reduce congestion and improve highway safety.
- MD 124 Widening (Phase 2) will receive $3 million in new funding for design to widen this route to a six-lane divided highway from Midcounty Highway to south of Airpark Road. The third phase, widening MD 124 to Warfield Road, is not funded.
- MD 28/MD 198 Corridor Transportation Improvement Study will receive $3 million in new planning funds to evaluate possible roadway improvements in the corridor from MD 97 to I-95.
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