Two unfunded road projects to improve access to Aberdeen Proving Ground now eligible for Department of Defense dollars
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (May 20, 2009) – Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown today applauded action announced yesterday by the United States Army that clears the way for the State to seek additional federal dollars for Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC)-related improvement projects near Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) in Harford County. The Army has certified the upgrade of two intersections as “important to national defense,” making the projects eligible to receive Defense Access Road (DAR) funding from the Department of Defense.
“This designation by the Army is an important milestone in Maryland’s effort to make the necessary road improvements around Aberdeen Proving Ground,” said Lt. Governor Brown, chair of the Governor’s Subcabinet on BRAC. “With construction funding already in place for the MD 714/US 40 intersection project, we now have the ability to work with our Congressional delegation and other stakeholders to seek federal dollars from a new funding source for two more BRAC road projects that have yet to be funded.”
“I fought in the Senate to BRAC-proof Maryland’s bases, now I am working to BRAC-ready our transportation systems,” U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski said. “A stronger America begins at home and the Army’s decision to upgrade these intersections means a better and stronger Aberdeen Proving Ground. I will keep fighting to make sure Maryland has the funding it needs in the federal checkbook to support these improvements.”
The two intersection projects now certified by the Army as important to national defense include Maryland Route 22 at Old Post Road and Maryland Route 22 at Paradise Road.
“The Department of Defense has now officially agreed with the united position of the O’Malley-Brown Administration, the Congressional delegation and local officials on the importance of these roads to the safe, efficient and effective operations at APG,” said U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin. “I will continue to work with my congressional colleagues in seeking the necessary federal funding for transportation needs related to BRAC.”
Both projects are in development but still require construction funding. The projected cost of the MD 22/Old Post Road intersection is $11.4 million and the projected cost of the MD 22/Paradise Road intersection is $19.8 million.
“As a Member of the Appropriations Committee, I am committed to securing as much federal money as possible to prepare our state’s infrastructure for the influx of BRAC jobs. This move is great news and paves the way for additional federal dollars for Maryland. I am committed to preserving the excellent quality of life we enjoy here in Maryland and ensuring we have the resources we need to serve existing residents while preparing for new ones,” said Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger.
“BRAC provides an incredible economic opportunity for our region, but our existing infrastructure must be updated to accommodate the additional strain,” said Congressman Frank Kratovil. “Today’s decision by the Army reflects the importance of these projects to our nation’s national defense. I will continue working with my colleagues in the Maryland delegation, officials at APG, and elected leaders at the State and local levels to ensure that the tools and resources are in place to ensure the success of BRAC in Maryland.”
Since taking office, the O’Malley-Brown Administration has strengthened partnerships with Harford County, the City of Aberdeen and military officials to identify key transportation priorities as the region prepares for the influx of BRAC-related jobs. BRAC will create 60,000 direct, indirect and induced jobs in regions across the state. Lt. Governor Brown praised the Department of Defense and the Army, specifically officials at APG, for working with Maryland to demonstrate that these two intersection improvements are critical to the mission of Aberdeen Proving Ground.
Governor Martin O’Malley announced construction funding for the MD 715/US 40 interchange improvement project in December 2009. It is the first BRAC-related project to move to construction in Harford County. The interchange is the primary access point to the Aberdeen Proving Ground.