Maryland, Utah move ahead on transportation projects


Maryland and Utah are both moving forward on sizeable transportation projects backed by federal funding. The Maryland projects amount to some $160 million dollars for improvements along the Eastern Shore. The work is expected to create 1,900 jobs in the state. In Utah, the TRAX Light Rail project, which has been a seven-year, 70-mile effort will now connect Salt Lake City with the suburb of Draper, Utah.

Maryland is undertaking five projects, made possible by the Transportation Act of 2013, that include investing $50 million to begin construction next year on a new high-level, fixed-span bridge to replace the Dover Bridge. In all the state will be making $4.4 billion in new investments in the next six years.

The five projects will expand and create new interchanges along Maryland’s roadways in addition to the work on the Dover Bridge. Over the summer months, the State has continued 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.

Maryland Govenor Martin O’Malley was joined by Senator Barbara Mikulski and a number of local officials in making the announcement which placed the focus firmly on the need for greater, and continued infrastructure spending across the US not just in Maryland.

“A reliable and well maintained infrastructure is vital to creating jobs today in construction and jobs tomorrow through economic growth,” Senator Mikulski said.

In Utah, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) committed $116 million for the Draper extension through its New Starts Capital Investment Grant Program. The project included three new stations with park-and-ride-facilities. The TRAX extension to Draper is the final project in UTA’s Frontlines 2015 Program, a $2.9 billion program to build 70 miles of rail in seven years. Four new light rail lines and one new commuter rail line have more than doubled UTA’s rail system. FTA committed approximately $545 million in total to the Frontlines 2015 Program, which includes $90 million through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The Draper Light Rail Project, a 3.8-mile extension of Utah Transit Authority (UTA) TRAX service, created approximately 2,000 jobs during construction, according to UTA.