Hogan Administration announces $12 million in highway safety grants

I-95As part of ongoing efforts to prevent traffic crashes and save lives on Maryland roads, Governor Larry Hogan on Tuesday announced that $12 million in federal highway safety funds will be granted to approximately 90 agencies and organizations across the state with the goal of reducing crashes and related injuries and deaths.

“The safety of our citizens and visitors is a responsibility we take extremely seriously, and our administration will continue to make investments to make our roadways safer,” said Governor Hogan. “This funding continues our commitment to address traffic safety challenges and get unsafe, impaired, and distracted drivers off the road.”

In 2017, there were 557 deaths as a result of traffic crashes in Maryland. The funds distributed through the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration’s Highway Safety Office will help fund the following traffic-safety efforts:

  • Increasing the use of seat belts in all seating positions;
  • Preventing impaired, aggressive, and distracted driving;
  • Increasing the safety of pedestrians, motorcyclists, and bicyclists;
  • Promoting the correct use of child passenger safety seats;
  • Funding overtime enforcement of Maryland’s traffic laws;
  • Supporting police training for highway safety and traffic enforcement; and
  • Increasing capability and efficiency of Maryland’s traffic data systems.

Maryland’s five-year Strategic Highway Safety Plan (SHSP) guides the funding of traffic safety-related projects and will be used by state and local agencies and non-profit groups to address the strategies set forth in the plan for meeting the Toward Zero Deaths goal of cutting the number of deaths on Maryland roads in half by 2030.

The state is also working with various Maryland jurisdictions to develop local SHSPs that address community-specific traffic issues and complement the broader plan.

“The only acceptable goal is to reduce the number of traffic crashes, injuries, and fatalities to zero,” said Maryland Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn.

Secretary Rahn also recently announced MDOT’s Traffic Safety Pledge which encourages Maryland drivers to pledge to: always wear their seatbelt; have a safe and sober ride; park the phone before driving; use crosswalks and be seen while walking or biking; look for pedestrians and motorcyclists and give bicyclists three feet of clearance; wear proper protective gear while riding a motorcycle; and give themselves time. Speed is a factor in many crashes and greatly increases the severity.

The federal grant awards can only be used for traffic safety activities and are allocated based on crash data for each county and/or organization that applied for funding. Funds can only be spent during Federal Fiscal Year 2019 (October 1, 2018 – September 30, 2019). A breakdown of the amounts granted across the state:

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AgencyTotal Grant Amount
Aberdeen Police Department$11,000.00
Allegany County Sheriff’s Office$8,000.00
Americans for Older Driver Safety$6,220.00
Annapolis Police Department$25,000.00
Anne Arundel County Police Department$105,000.00
Baltimore City Police Department$94,000.00
Baltimore County Health Department$6,750.00
Baltimore County Police Department$334,431.00
Baltimore Metropolitan Council$471,500.00
Bel Air Police Department$11,000.00
Berlin Police Department$4,500.00
Calvert Alliance Against Substance Abuse$5,100.00
Calvert County Sheriff’s Office$25,000.00
Cambridge Police Department$6,978.00
Caroline County Sheriff’s Office$12,000.00
Carroll County Sheriff’s Office$25,000.00
Cecil County Sheriff’s Office$23,000.00
Charles County Sheriff’s Office$92,000.00
Chesapeake Regional Safety Council$300,839.00
Cheverly Police Department$6,000.00
City of Bowie Police Department$4,000.00
City of Hyattsville Police Department$6,000.00
Cumberland Police Department$3,000.00
Denton Police Department$3,960.00
Easton Police Department$18,000.00
Elkton Police Department$8,000.00
Frederick Bicycle Coalition$3,700.00
Frederick County Sheriff’s Office$2,000.00
Frederick Police Department$40,000.00
Frostburg State University Police Department$2,000.00
Fruitland Police Department$4,000.00
Gaithersburg Police Department$25,000.00
Garrett County Commissioners Office$6,000.00
Governor’s Highway Safety Association$98,773.30
Greenbelt Police Department$31,000.00
Hagerstown Police Department$14,000.00
Hampstead Police Department$4,000.00
Hancock Police Department$1,000.00
Harford County Sheriff’s Office$73,000.00
Havre de Grace Police Department$4,000.00
Howard Co Police Department$76,000.00
Kent County Sheriff’s Office$9,945.00
La Plata Police Department$10,000.00
Laurel Police Department$27,000.00
Maryland Chiefs of Police Association$132,710.00
Maryland Department of Health$258,255.39
Maryland Institute College of Art$43,512.00
Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems$99,938.85
Maryland Judiciary – DUI Courts$66,399
Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration$16,952.70
Maryland Municipal League$4,500.00
Maryland Sheriff’s Association$17,710.00
Maryland State Police – Drug Recognition Expert Program$129,150.80
Maryland State Police – mobile Breath Testing Vehicle$36,600.00
Maryland State Police – SPIDRE DUI Team$782,450.28
Maryland State Police – Statewide Enforcement$796,110.52
Maryland State’s Attorneys Association$192,315.20
Maryland Transportation Authority Police$151,000.00
Montgomery County Police Department$228,500.00
Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office$7,500.00
Morgan State University$54,360.00
Mt. Airy Police Department$2,000.00
Ocean City Police Department$30,019.00
Ocean Pines Police Department$2,000.00
Partners In Care$26,019.93
Pocomoke City Police Department$4,499.75
Prince George’s Co Police Department$252,400.00
Prince George’s County Police Department$32,000.00
Princess Anne Police Department$7,494.85
Queen Anne’s County Sheriff’s Office$9,000.00
Riverdale Park Police Department$9,000.00
Rockville Police Department$25,000.00
Salisbury Police Department$18,500.00
Somerset County Sheriff’s Office$3,000.00
St. Mary’s County DUI Court$21,194.80
St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office$42,500.00
Statewide Traffic Safety Initiatives$4,681,660.78
Sykesville Freedom Police Department$6,860.00
Sykesville Police Department$4,000.00
Talbot County Sheriff’s Office$4,000.00
Taneytown Police Department$4,000.00
University of Baltimore Police Department$6,000.00
University of Maryland College Park Police Department$14,000.00
University of Maryland National Studies Center$523,805.78
Washington College$503,321.49
Washington Council of Governments$250,000.00
Washington County Sheriff’s Office$39,000.00
Washington Regional Alcohol Program$382,918.40
Westminster Police Department$6,000.00
Wicomico County Sheriff’s Office$8,000.00
Worcester County Health Department$3,589.30
Worcester County Sheriff’s Office$1,999.50
Wor-Wic Community College$9,612.00
Total$11,999,056.62

Emergency Management, MDOT prepare for Hurricane Florence

Hurricane FlorenceBaltimore County Emergency Management officials are preparing for Hurricane Florence to bring heavy rains and serious inland and/or coastal flooding to the Baltimore area.

The potential for flooding and for trees to topple and bring down power lines is greater because the ground is already saturated from months of above-average rainfall. Residents should prepare now to get along for seven days without power, said Baltimore County Fire Department Division Chief Jay Ringgold, who oversees the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

“This is a serious, potentially catastrophic storm,” Ringgold said. “Don’t wait until the last minute to buy supplies and think about how you will get along if the worst happens and power goes out for an extended period. Take steps today to prepare.”

Latest from NWS

Local emergency management officials participated Tuesday morning in the National Weather Service’s telephone update on the Florence forecast.

Here is the latest from the NWS:

  • Forecasters are increasingly confident that Florence – now a Category 4 storm – will make landfall in the Carolinas, probably late Thursday. The storm is expected to be at least a Category 3 at landfall, with significant storm surge.
  • Forecasters are less certain where the storm will track and how fast it will move once it moves inland. As of Tuesday morning, forecasters expect the Baltimore area to feel the first effects from the storm late on Thursday. The NWS believes the storm will stall, dumping heavy rains. The storm’s wind speeds, once it moves inland, are difficult to predict.  The amount of wind depends on where and how quickly (or slowly) it moves.
  • Because the storm is expected to stall and produce heavy rains, inland and coastal flooding are major threats throughout the south and the Mid-Atlantic. In some areas, flooding could be historic and catastrophic.
  • The emergency situation from Hurricane Florence is exacerbated because the ground is already saturated. Trees are expected to fall, especially in areas that experience heavy wind, causing power outages and posing at threat to life and property.

Baltimore County emergency managers will continue to receive regular updates throughout this weather event.

How to Prepare

Officials say every household should prepare for this weather emergency as soon as possible.

“The exact track of a hurricane is difficult to predict the exact track of a hurricane, and we could very well find ourselves affected by dangerous flooding and strong winds later this week,” said County Executive Don Mohler. “It is imperative for each of us to think ahead and prepare to provide for the needs of our loved ones, especially the elderly, children and pets.”

Residents should consider how they will manage if the power goes out for an extended period.

Steps to take now:

  • Locate and purchase supplies. Residents need non-perishable food, a manual can opener, medications, supplies for infants and vulnerable adults, pet supplies, flashlights/batteries and a battery-powered radio.
  • Buy or store extra water – at least a gallon per person, per day, plus extra for pets.
  • Fully charge all of your electronic devices. If power goes out, use them sparingly to make them last as long as possible.
  • Get cash. ATMs will not work during a power outage, so visit one now.
  • Secure boats and outdoor furniture.
  • Plan where you will evacuate if you live in a flood-prone area and need to move to higher ground.
  • Assist vulnerable family, neighbors with storm preparations. This is critical; many vulnerable people, including older people cannot prepare by themselves.

The Baltimore County Fire Department and the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management have been monitoring this storm for days and preparing for a “worst-case scenario” response. These preparations include:

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  • Inspecting swift-water and high-water rescue equipment; pumps and other apparatus.
  • Reviewing staffing and operational plans.
  • Preparing  to open and staff the Emergency Operations Center, in case this becomes an emergency requiring a coordinated, multi-agency response.
  • Contacting our mutual aid partners in case we need additional resources.
  • Regular updates with National Weather Service regarding the forecast.

Maryland Department of Transportation

As Hurricane Florence moves closer to the east coast, the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) is deploying maintenance forces throughout the state to begin preparations for the storm and its impacts. MDOT SHA crews will inspect, clean and clear storm water ditches, drains and inlets to ensure adequate drainage.

Crews from MDOT SHA maintenance facilities are also evaluating all emergency response equipment such as high water signs, chain saws, chippers, loaders and grading trucks. Additionally, crews are ensuring that all generators are fully topped off and functional in case of power outages. Generators will keep maintenance shop operational, especially the fuel pumps, to keep crews in continual response mode.

Motorists are encouraged to monitor the weather conditions, and if possible, avoid driving in any hazardous conditions.

“This is a major storm system, and it will likely cause significant damage and disruption to the state highway system,” said MDOT SHA Administrator Gregory Slater. “Maryland has received above-normal rainfall throughout summer and the ground is saturated so additional rain is likely to run-off rapidly.”

Motorists are reminded to “Turn Around, Don’t Drown.” A majority of flood-related deaths occur in vehicles. Two feet of rapidly moving water can float a bus and six inches is capable of knocking a person off their feet. Other advice includes:

• Avoid downed or damaged power and transmission lines as these could still be live;
• Be cognizant of fallen trees or tree limbs; and
• Remain alert for wild animals, such as deer, that may flee dangerous areas and cross roadways.

In additional to high-water, the approaching storm could result in scattered power outages. MDOT SHA reminds motorists that if you encounter an intersection where traffic signals are without power, treat all directions of the intersection as a four-way stop.

SHA also advises motorists to stay aware of the forecast and, should heavy rain and high wind begin to affect the area, curtail travel as much as possible.


MDOT SHA to improve roads in Rosedale, Essex

Road Work 1Next week, the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) will begin two highway maintenance projects in eastern Baltimore County that they say will improve ride quality for many motorists.

Both projects, together costing approximately $1 million, will be complete mid-fall.

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In Rosedale, MDOT SHA will patch nearly one-mile of MD 7 (Philadelphia Road) between Hospital Drive and King Avenue. Crews will also patch the pavement on one-mile of MD 702 (Southeast Boulevard) between Old Eastern Avenue and the Hyde Park Road roundabout in Essex. Approximately 21,200 vehicles use this section of MD 7 each day and 10,800 use MD 702 in those project limits.

MDOT SHA’s contractor for both projects, Gray and Son Inc., of Timonium, will use cones and barrels to guide motorists through the work zone.

There will be a flagging operation for the MD 7 project as this is a two-lane highway and single lane closures on MD 702.

Crews are permitted to work Mondays through Fridays between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. and Saturdays between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m.


Hogan Administration announces start of a major bridge rehabilitation project along Route 40

road-constructionThe Hogan Administration announced on Wednesday the start of a major rehabilitation project on the four bridges carrying eastbound and westbound US 40 (Pulaski Highway) over the Big Gunpowder Falls and Little Gunpowder Falls in eastern Baltimore County.

The $26.4 million project is part of the Governor Larry Hogan’s pledge to address the 69 structurally deficient bridges on the state’s highway system and is part of the $2 billion investment in highway and bridge improvements across the state that the governor announced in June 2015.

“Since taking office, our administration has been committed to delivering transformative transportation solutions to Marylanders all across the state,” said Governor Hogan. “This rehabilitation project will have a critical impact on our state’s economy and provide a more efficient commute for the citizens of Baltimore County.”

The four bridges, all built in 1934, are safe for travel now; however, the bridges require rehabilitation work to ensure long-term reliability. The two US 40 Bridges over the Little Gunpowder Falls at the Baltimore/Harford County line are on the Governor’s list of the 69 bridges that were identified as in need replacement or rehabilitation. The two US 40 Bridges over the Big Gunpowder Falls in White Marsh will be rehabilitated proactively since they were constructed at the same time as the previous two bridges.

The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) will replace and widen the concrete bridge decks (driving surfaces) and replace the concrete support beams. The new driving surface will provide 10-foot outside shoulders on the bridges to match the width of the existing pavement on Pulaski Highway, vastly improving the safety for the more than 26,000 vehicles per day traveling this segment of US 40. The wide shoulders will also improve safety and access for bicyclists.

MDOT SHA’s contractor, Allan Myers of MD, Inc. of Fallston, will install erosion and sediment control measures to protect the Gunpowder Falls and Little Gunpowder Falls and relocate the utility lines.

Bridge construction work will begin mid-August and be complete summer 2021.

Through early 2020, all four lanes of US 40 will be open to traffic during peak travel hours with temporary lane shifts and temporary lane closures during off-peak daytime hours and at night. There may be occasional weekend work with lane closures on US 40 while concrete work is occurring.

I-695 inner loop to be shut down near Carney overnight

Road ClosedMaryland State Police are working with Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) officials to inform motorists of a significant road closure on I-695 that will begin on Saturday night.

Beginning at 10:00 p.m., the recovery efforts of a disabled tractor trailer carrying large equipment will close a portion of I-695 until 5:00 a.m. on Sunday, August 5, 2018.

Motorists are reminded that all lanes on the inner loop of I-695 at MD 542 (Loch Raven Boulevard) will be shut down.

Currently, the right transition lane from northbound Loch Raven Boulevard to the inner loop of I-695 is currently closed. There are stop signs visible at the top of the ramp, but public safety officials recommend that motorists continue to Cromwell Bridge Road and use that interchange to access the inner loop of I-695.

Pending the weather, all lanes of the inner loop of I-695 between Loch Raven Boulevard and Perring Parkway are scheduled to close while cranes are utilized to lift and remove equipment from the right shoulder. Detour routes will be set up for the extended period of time.

Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) officials have message boards in place advising motorists of the pending closures. They are working closely with allied law enforcement to coordinate contingency planning for traffic during the procedure.

Extra law enforcement and MDOT SHA personnel will be on patrol to address traffic issues and ensure traffic continues to move assmoothly as possible through the area. Police remind all motorists traveling through the area to be extra cautious.