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.”

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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.


Governor Larry Hogan announces statewide response efforts for snowstorm

Snow on VehicleWith winter weather affecting many areas of Maryland, Governor Larry Hogan on Wednesday directed state agencies to coordinate and work together to keep Marylanders informed.

Governor Hogan is urging Marylanders to avoid unnecessary travel while crews work to clear roads as snow intensifies throughout the afternoon and early evening statewide.

“I continue to urge all Marylanders to use common sense and stay off the roads if possible during this storm,” said Governor Hogan. “State agencies have been working around the clock to coordinate resources and clear roads, but heavy snowfall will occur throughout much of the state this afternoon into the evening. Put your safety first, follow local weather forecasts, and be sure to heed all warnings as we continue to experience dangerous conditions.”

The following is a list of statewide actions and information for the public:

Maryland Emergency Management Agency

  • MEMA has increased the State Response Activation Level and opened the State Emergency Operations Center in order to coordinate state agencies and support resource requests.
  • MEMA continues to monitor weather forecasts in anticipation of increased snowfall and winds.

State Highway Administration

  • MDOT SHA has deployed 1004 personnel and 2318 pieces of equipment (plows, salt trucks, etc).
  • There have been incidents in counties across the state. To check current road conditions, go to roads.maryland.gov.
  • Major incidents have included jackknifed tractor-trailers closed I-95 at MD 32 and I-70 at I-81 temporarily this morning.  I-295 at I-195 was closed southbound earlier this morning, as well.

Maryland Transportation Authority

  • Bridges have been placed on wind restrictions periodically.  To view the wind policy, go to /go.usa.gov/xQcEX .
  • Toll facility roads remain wet and crews continue treating roadways.

Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport

  • The BWI winter weather team has been in place since Tuesday night. Personnel pre-treated runways and taxiways overnight, and the airport’s winter weather employees are plowing the airfield for airline operations. Parking lots and public roadways will be treated as needed.
  • Airline flights are operating.  However, widespread airline flight cancellations are expected throughout the afternoon and evening.
  • Those passengers with travel plans today should contact their airlines for updated flight status information.  The BWI website (www.BWIairport.com) also provides airline flight information.

Maryland Transit Administration

  • For a full list of service status, go to mta.maryland.gov.
  • Commuter Bus: Service is suspended.
  • MARC: Service is suspended.
  • Mobility: Service is suspended. Call Center is open.
  • Bus: Phase 1 Service Reduction is now activated.  A full list of bus diversions will be posted on the website, mta.maryland.gov. Articulated coaches were not used for the Wednesday morning peak service.
  • Light RailLink: Minor delays in north and southbound service. Trains are operating at reduced speeds to maintain safety. Customers are reminded to use extra caution in and around stations and platforms.
  • Metro SubwayLink: No impact to service at this time. Customers reminded to use extra caution in and around stations and platforms.

Motor Vehicle Administration

  • All MDOT MVA offices and VEIP stations, with the exception of the Salisbury Branch, will be closed today.
  • MDOT MVA encourages customers to complete transactions online at mva.maryland.gov and/or reschedule appointments.

Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore

  • Salting and plowing will occur throughout the day as conditions dictate.
  • Ships are being worked at the marine terminals. Trucks are being processed.
  • There is no cruise ship scheduled until Saturday.

Maryland State Police

  • Maryland state troopers have responded to 572 vehicle crashes, 301 disabled vehicles, and 1,766 overall calls for service during the storm.
  • Additional troopers remain on patrol. Troopers from the Aviation Command, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division, and Automotive Safety Enforcement Division have been reassigned to patrol duties as needed in affected areas.
  • The Maryland State Police, in conjunction with local agencies and the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration, has implemented the snow emergency plan in the following counties: Allegany, Garrett, Baltimore, Charles, Washington, Carroll, Calvert, Cecil, Frederick, Howard, Anne Arundel, and Prince George’s Counties.
  • Under a snow emergency plan, a person may not drive or attempt to drive a motor vehicle, on any highway that is designated and appropriately signposted as a snow emergency route and for which a snow emergency has been declared and is in effect, unless the vehicle is equipped with chains or snow tires on at least one wheel at each end of a driving axle.
  • A person may not park a vehicle on any highway that is designated and appropriately signposted as a snow emergency route and for which a snow emergency has been declared and is in effect. Any person who parks on effect snow emergency routes may have their vehicle towed.
  • Road conditions will be closely monitored and the snow emergency plan will be lifted when the roads are determined to be safe for normal travel.

Maryland Energy Administration

  • Maryland Energy Administration and the Maryland Public Service Commission continue to monitor, support, and coordinate with the Maryland electric utilities on their storm preparedness, mobilization, and restoration efforts.

Maryland Department of Human Services

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  • Human Services and local mass care partners were contacted and provided situational awareness.
  • All state disaster shelter facilities were contacted and provided situational awareness of weather conditions.
  • The Department of Human Services reviewed and prepared sheltering equipment and secured additional fleet for emergency essential staff.

Maryland Department of the Environment

  • Emergency Response Division remains staffed and available for hazardous materials incidents, oil spills, and other environmental emergencies.
  • Land and Materials Administration is prepared to approve alternative operating schedules for counties’ refuse landfills to receive any debris from cleanups.

Maryland Department of Agriculture

  • Animal Health staff are on call to respond to any animal-related emergency.

Maryland Department of Natural Resources

  • Several state parks (Cunningham Falls, Fort Frederick, Gambrill, Gathland, Greenbrier, Harriet Tubman, Patapsco Valley, Soldiers Delight and Washington Monument) are closed and others are partially operational (Deep Creek, Elk Neck, Gunpowder Falls, Rocks and Seneca Creek). Notifications are being made via appropriate social media channels. (We expect other closures throughout the day).
  • Natural Resources Police are on the road assisting when and where needed. In western Maryland, officers will be assisting the Maryland State Police and other first responders get into areas they cannot access. The force is equipped and prepared to deal with this situation and remains mobile.
  • Engineering and construction crews are standing by to deal with any potential emergency issues at our state buildings and facilities.
  • The wildlife response teams remain available for emergency wildlife issues.
  • Land management team is on call to handle any significant impacts on the state’s network of wildlife management areas.
  • The Maryland Forest Service is available to help clear fallen trees and other debris as it becomes necessary.

Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation

  • If property is damaged by the storm, residents may qualify to have their property assessments reduced. Once it is safe to do so, SDAT assessors will identify affected areas and notify residents to apply for the reduction.
  • If a storm occurs and residents qualify to have their property assessments reduced, SDAT will coordinate with local governments to ensure any corrected tax bills or refunds are issued in a timely manner.

Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation

  • The Division of Unemployment Insurance claims center is open for calls from 8:00 AM. to 2:00 PM. UI claimants may continue filing their weekly certifications online at www.mdunemployment.com or call (877) 293-4125.
  • Maryland Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH) offices are closed in all regions, but staff are on call to respond to emergencies. Contact MEMA at (888) 257-6674 to reach regional MOSH staff.
  • The American Job Center in Salisbury is open. (All other American Job Centers are closed throughout the state.) To reach the Lower Shore American Job Center, call (410) 341-8533. Job seekers and businesses can continue accessing job search and self-service options via the online Maryland Workforce Exchange at https://mwejobs.maryland.gov.
  • The Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing will waive any late fees customers may incur if they are unable to renew their license due to the state closure.
  • After the storm, if the winter weather has caused damage to your home, visit www.dllr.maryland.gov/license/mhic/ for information on choosing home improvement contractors and the Guaranty Fund Claim.
  • Impacted residents with questions regarding the licensing and regulation of home improvement contractors – including whether a person is currently licensed with the Maryland Home Improvement Commission (MHIC) – should contact the MHIC at (410) 230-6309 or http://www.dllr.maryland.gov/license.

Maryland Department of Disabilities

  • Disabilities’ dedicated Constituent Outreach Department has increased monitoring of requests via phone, online and social media. Staff are available to provide referrals, references, and coordination for cases involving families and individuals with disabilities.
  • Continuing to provide remediation of complex documents, website testing, and rendering social media messages for universal access.
  • The Maryland Technology Assistance Program, a program within the Maryland Department of Disabilities, houses a large inventory of assistive technology available for temporary loan.
  • Needed equipment is available for loan through our partners. Access to DME not immediately available can be requested through the Lion’s Club.
  • Disabilities is providing subject matter expertise and information accessibility support to local jurisdictions and state agencies.
  • Working with accessibility counterparts in the region to obtain timely field information regarding the status of affected individuals with disabilities and others with access and functional needs and measures being taken to address their unmet accessibility requirements.

Maryland Department of Health

  • Conducted active syndromic and disease surveillance, specifically monitoring for weather-related injuries.
  • Provided situational awareness to MDH Administrators and local public health and healthcare partners (almost 100 partner organizations via the Health Alert Network).

Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems

  • Monitoring the status of hospitals and jurisdictional EMS needs.

Maryland Department of General Services

  • All 54 state office buildings, sidewalks and parking areas are being treated and cleared of snow in preparation for offices being reopened for business.

Maryland Department of Aging

  • Working with local Area Agencies on Aging to ensure vulnerable older adults who receive services are safe. Shelf-stable meals were provided yesterday to older adults who may need nutritional assistance.
  • Assisted living and skilled nursing facilities are being monitored in partnership with the Department of Health to ensure a timely response to any issues.

Maryland State Police to increase patrols, checkpoints for St. Patrick’s Day weekend

DUI Driving Checkpoint PoliceAs St. Patrick’s Day approaches on March 17, Maryland State Police are urging those who plan to celebrate with alcohol to be safe and smart and avoid impaired and distracted driving.

With an increase in impaired drivers expected throughout the state this weekend, state police will be conducting saturation patrols at each of the 23 barracks focusing on impaired, aggressive, and distracted driving. Enforcement this weekend will be bolstered by impaired driving saturation patrol funds from the Maryland Department of Transportation’s Highway Safety Office.

Initiatives will include saturation patrols in areas known to have a higher number of DUI crashes or arrests and sobriety checkpoints, which are also conducted in locations where experience indicates they are most appropriate. Additional troopers will be assigned as needed. Last St. Patrick’s Day weekend, state police made 88 DUI arrests, 37 criminal arrests, and 12 CDS arrests. Troopers also issued 888 speeding citations, 100 seat belt citations and 2,365 other citations.

The State Police Impaired Driving Reduction Effort Team, otherwise known as the SPIDRE team, will also be out in full force this weekend. From March 8 to 11 alone, the SPIDRE team made 17 DUI arrests. Since its inception in May 2013, the SPIDRE team has made 2,604 DUI arrests, 123 criminal arrests and 7,988 traffic stops while also issuing 17,709 citations and 3,852 warnings. The goal of the SPIDRE team is to focus on reducing alcohol related crashes in Maryland by targeting areas across the state with high crash rates involving impaired drivers.

Every year more than 160 lives are lost in Maryland in crashes involving impaired drivers and thousands more are injured according to the Maryland Department of Transportation. Make sure that if you drink, you don’t drive and if you drive, don’t drink this weekend.

  • Designate your sober driver in advance and give that person your car keys.
  • If you’re planning on driving, avoid drinking.
  • Consider using public transportation, call a taxi or use a ride-share service if you don’t have a sober driver.
  • Don’t let a friend drive if you think they are impaired.
  • If you see someone who you believe is driving impaired, call police.
  • Always buckle up.
  • Don’t text, use a cellphone that is not hands-free or drive distracted.

If you are hosting a St. Patrick’s Day gathering:

  • Remember, you can be held liable if someone you served alcohol to ends up in an impaired-driving crash.
  • Serve plenty of food an non-alcoholic beverages
  • Ensure sober drivers or alternative modes of transportation are set up in advance for guest who are planning to drink alcoholic beverages.
  • Have contact information for local taxi companies readily available.
  • Take away the keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving impaired.

On Friday, March 16, 2018, the Maryland State Police will begin their St. Patrick’s Day DUI enforcement by directing a sobriety checkpoint in Harford County. The JFK Highway Barrack, Harford County Sheriff’s Office, Aberdeen Police Department, Havre De Grace Police Department, and the Maryland Transportation Authority will also be participating in the checkpoint. The goal will be to locate impaired drivers and to promote public awareness of the dangers of driving impaired .

The cost of a safe ride home is cheap. Download NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app available for Android and Apple devices. Drivers caught driving impaired can expect the impact of a DUI arrest to include jail time, fines, fees, DUI classes, license suspensions, and other expenses that can exceed $10,000.

Dangerous winds to impact Maryland on Friday

Weather AlertA storm packing dangerous winds is set to bear down on Nottingham and the surrounding areas on Friday.

The National Weather Service says that High Wind Warnings are in effect from the Potomac Highlands to the Chesapeake Bay from Thursday night through Friday night.

High Wind Watches are in effect for northeastern Maryland for the same time period.

Many can expect winds of 25 to 35 mph with gusts over 60 mph causing power outages.

“This storm has the potential to knock down trees, cause extended power outages, and cause dangerous debris,” said MEMA Executive Director Russ Strickland. “Make sure to keep devices fully charged in case the power goes out and try to secure any loose objects around your property. If at all possible, do not go out during the height of the storm.”

The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) is evaluating rapid response equipment such as chain saws, chippers, as well as inspecting drainage ditches in advance of the storm.

The ground around much of the state is saturated, so additional rainfall and high winds can topple trees and create power outages. MDOT SHA urges drivers to get as much information about conditions and make smart travel decisions Friday morning.

The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) is advising motorists who are planning to travel on Maryland’s toll bridges to check wind warnings and restrictions criteria by clicking here.

MDOT SHA urges motorists to take the following precautions:
• Don’t drive through standing water. It only takes six inches of moving water to sweep a person off his/her feet, and 12 inches of moving water to move the average sedan. Remember “Turn Around, Don’t Drown”;
• If power is out at a traffic signal, State law requires ALL drivers at the intersection to treat it as a four-way stop;
• Don’t try to move fallen tree branches as high-voltage wires may be intertwined;
• Use low-beam headlights when windshield wipers are activated; and
• Keep a close eye on local information sources for the latest weather conditions and plan accordingly.

High Wind Warning Baltimore 20180302

Wind Warning Maryland 20180302