TRIP: 44 percent of Md.’s major roads need repair
Increased investment in Maryland’s transportation infrastructure could improve road and bridge conditions, ease congestion, enhance safety and support long-term economic growth. Numerous projects throughout the state are needed, but can not move forward under current funding conditions.
These projects include, but are not limited to, the following: improvements to the I-95/I-495 Interchange; widening portions of I-70 and I-695; constructing a new bridge over I-270 in Gaithersburg; widening the American Legion Bridge; implementing new transit lines (rail or bus rapid transit); and installing various pedestrian and bike trails throughout the state.
“Congestion costs Marylanders thousands of dollars and thousands of hours in time lost each year,” said Kathleen T. Snyder, CCE, president and CEO of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, in a press statement. “Commuters, businesses and families are joining together to support a constitutional amendment to restore trust in our Transportation Trust Fund so that we can adequately fund the road, highway, bridge, and transit projects we need to move safely and efficiently through our State.”
The federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), more commonly called “the stimulus,” provided about $431 million in stimulus funding for highway and bridge improvements and $179 million for public transit improvements in Maryland.
This funding has served as an important down payment on needed road, highway, bridge, and transit improvements but is not sufficient to allow the state to proceed with numerous projects needed to modernize its surface transportation system. The federal surface transportation program, which expires on March 4, 2011, remains a critical source of funding for road and bridge repairs and transit improvements in Maryland.
“Maryland’s deficient transportation system is hitting the state’s drivers in the wallet at a time when many can ill afford it. It is much more cost effective to invest in building a sound transportation system than to pass along the cost of a deteriorated system to the state’s motorists,” said Will Wilkins, executive director of TRIP, in a written statement. “It is critical that Maryland adequately fund its transportation system and that Congress produces a timely and adequately funded federal surface transportation program. Thousands of jobs and the state’s economy are riding on it.”
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