Gov. Hogan adds $890M to extend I-95 Express Toll Lanes into Harford County

I-95 Express Toll Lane ETLBALTIMORE, MD – The Hogan Administration announced on Friday the investment of an additional $890 million to extend the northbound I-95 Express Toll Lanes (ETL).

The expanded $1.1 billion project will now provide two ETLs for more than 10 miles from north of MD 43 in Baltimore County to north of MD 24 in Harford County. Governor Larry Hogan initially announced the ETL northbound extension project in December 2017 as part of his Baltimore Traffic Relief Plan.

“These important traffic relief initiatives will benefit Marylanders throughout the Baltimore region by giving drivers a safer and more efficient commute,” said Governor Hogan. “Our administration remains committed to transforming our state’s transportation infrastructure, and extending the express lanes is another example of our ongoing progress.”

The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) will begin the expanded $1.1 billion project in early 2019.

“The I-95 ETLs north of Baltimore have been very successful, and I’m pleased we are able to deliver even more traffic relief,” said Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary and MDTA Chairman Pete K. Rahn.

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The I-95 interchanges at MD 152 and MD 24 also will be reconstructed to provide access from the northbound ETL. Reconstruction of the MD 152 interchange includes associated park-and-ride. Reconstruction of the MD 24 interchange includes a two-lane flyover ramp toward Bel Air, alleviating congestion for motorists exiting I-95 to MD 24 and MD 924.

“Adding two express toll lanes in the northbound direction will provide better service for our customers, reduce congestion and crashes, improve safety and allow for better incident management and maintenance activities,” said MDTA Executive Director Kevin C. Reigrut.

As part of the project, there will be significant bridge improvements, such as the reconstruction of the Raphel Road, Bradshaw Road, Old Joppa Road and Clayton Road overpasses to accommodate the larger area needed for the ETLs. Additionally, the I-95 northbound bridges over the Big Gunpowder Falls, Little Gunpowder Falls and Winters Run will be widened and improved. Delivering on the community’s requests during the project planning process, MDTA will place five new noise walls along the corridor on both sides of I-95.

The original $210 million project was slated to provide a 7.75 mile, single-lane extension from north of MD 43 to MD 24. Public meetings were held in February 2018.


Governor Hogan eliminates up-front E-ZPass transponder fee

E-ZPass MarylandANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan on Wednesday announced that the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) would permanently eliminate the up-front $7.50 E-ZPass Maryland transponder fee for all new customers, putting $46 million back into Marylanders’ wallets over the next five years. In 2015, the governor also announced major toll rollbacks across the state, resulting in $270 million in savings for our citizens.

“Today, we continue moving forward with a commitment to provide relief for Maryland taxpayers by putting an additional $46 million back into the pockets of hardworking middle class families, retirees, and small businesses – and back into our growing economy,” said Governor Hogan. “Three years ago I stood here at this very spot and began a statewide toll cut that started with $270 million – the first time tolls had been cut in Maryland in 50 years – and with today’s transponder fee elimination, we have now cut taxes, tolls, and fees by over $1.2 billion in the last four years.”

Free transponders eliminate $6 million in fees and provide new E-ZPass Maryland customers $40 million in toll discounts over the next five years.

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Customers using E-ZPass Maryland save 25 percent or more on Maryland tolls. At the Bay Bridge, the savings increases to 37.5 percent, or $2.50 for an E-ZPass customer versus $4.00 using cash.

In addition, the MDTA will replace nearly 400,000 aged transponders that are currently in circulation at no cost to customers. Anyone who bought a transponder in 2018 will be issued a credit of $7.50 as long as the account is registered and in good standing. Customers who bought a transponder this calendar year will see the $7.50 credit on their accounts in the next several weeks.

“It’s never been a better time to become an E-ZPass Maryland customer,” said MDTA Executive Director Kevin C. Reigrut. “Current cash and video tolling customers can now get a free transponder and save time and money with the substantial discount that E-ZPass Maryland offers.”

Additional E-ZPass benefits include an enhanced customer experience at toll plazas, time savings when traveling, improved air quality by lowering emissions, and by far, the most efficient toll payment method. The 2015 Toll Roll Back Plan also eliminated the $1.50 monthly account maintenance fee, and in February 2018, the MDTA unveiled its new E-ZPass Maryland mobile website, providing customers with an easier and more-convenient way to access to their accounts via ezpassmd.com.

Financed solely by toll revenue, the MDTA is the state agency that finances, owns, operates, and maintains the state’s eight toll facilities.


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.

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

Police recover drugs, gun during traffic stop in Rosedale [PHOTOS]

Arrested HandcuffsOn Tuesday, the Maryland Transportation Authority Police arrested a Baltimore man after a probable-cause search led officers to find approximately 157 grams of suspected marijuana and a loaded handgun in his possession.

An MDTA Police officer stopped the driver, Kye-Ree Kenneth Martinez Young, a 19-year-old from Baltimore, on northbound Interstate 95 at mile-marker 62.8 in Rosedale, for not being restrained by a seat belt and an equipment violation.

Young was driving a 1999 Honda Civic. During a subsequent probable-cause search of the vehicle, officers located the suspected marijuana and the handgun.

MDTA Police charged Young with possession with the intent to distribute a controlled dangerous substance, knowingly transporting a firearm in a vehicle while traveling on a public road, possessing a firearm on person, being under the age of 21 and possessing a firearm, using a firearm in the commission of a felony, possession of drug paraphernalia, and transporting a firearm while taking part in drug trafficking.

After processing, officers took Young to the Baltimore County Court Commissioner. He is currently being held without bail at the Baltimore County Detention Center.

Weapon I-95 Rosedale 201802

Marijuana I-95 Rosedale 201802