Grants include millions for improved bus operations in Montgomery, Prince George’s Counties and funding to improve CSX freight corridor in Maryland
WASHINGTON – On the first anniversary of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA), U.S. Senators Benjamin L. Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-MD) today praised the award of $14.8 million in Recovery Act funds by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DoT) to alleviate congestion and improve safety in one of suburban Maryland’s busiest intersections located near the border of Prince George’s and Montgomery counties. The Senators also praised the DoT announcement of $98 million in Recovery Act funds to improve rail corridors owned and operated by CSX in Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
The $14.8 million award includes funding for 13 transit corridors in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. For Maryland, it will mean a new transit center in Langley Park at the intersection of University Boulevard and New Hampshire Avenue, a bus transitway, bus-only lanes, transit signal priority, traffic signal management and other technological enhancements. Construction of the new transit center is expected to begin in May 2010, with completion expected by February 2012. Construction of the new transit center is projected to result in approximately 134 jobs.
The $98 million award to improve CSX corridors is part of the National Gateway Project and will expand the Port of Baltimore’s intermodal terminal capacity, allowing for better service and an improved flow of freight both into and out of the Port. It also will allow trains to carry double-stacked containers, increase freight capacity and make the corridor more marketable to major East Coast ports and shippers.
“Vehicle traffic at the intersection of University Blvd. and New Hampshire Ave., is one of the busiest and most dangerous in the metropolitan region. These funds will reduce commute times and greatly improve the efficiency, reliability and safety of the area’s transportation system. In addition to enhancing our transportation infrastructure, these grants will translate into well-paying jobs for Marylanders,” said Senator Cardin, a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee.
Senator Cardin added: “The grant to improve the CSX rail corridor will make it possible to move more freight by rail, which will help reduce congestion on our region’s roads and highways, save energy and reduce air pollution including greenhouse gas emissions in Maryland.”
“As more people choose to make their homes in suburban Maryland communities, people are finding it harder and harder to get around,” said Senator Mikulski, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development. “These Recovery Act funds will streamline public transportation so that people can commute easily to their jobs and to run their errands as well as relieve stress on their families and their wallets.”
Both awards are part of the TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Grant program, which was included in ARRA and is designed to spur innovative, multi-modal and multi-jurisdictional transportation projects that would provide significant economic and environmental benefits to an entire region. The Department of Transportation today announced a total of $1.5 billion TIGER awards to 51 innovative transportation projects in the nation.