Recap: Infrastructure and Land Use Member Meeting - Wilson Parran, Deputy Secretary, MDOT - February 11, 2014

Posted Date: 
February 11, 2014

February 11, 2014
Guest Speaker: Wilson Parran, Deputy Secretary, Administration and Operations, Maryland Department of Transportation

Vice-Chair of the Infrastructure and Land Use Committee, Gus Bauman, and Co-Chair of the Infrastructure and Land Use Committee, Pete Monge, welcomed MCCC members and introduced the guest speaker, Wilson Parran, Deputy Secretary, Administration and Operations, Maryland Department of Transportation. Doug Simmons, SHA Deputy Administrator and Henry Kay, MTA Executive Director for Transit Development and Delivery joined Parran in answering member questions.  

Deputy Secretary Parran said he appreciates the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce’s help with passing the Transportation and Infrastructure Investment Act in the 2013 Maryland General Assembly.

Maryland has finalized the largest 6 year transportation budget in state history at $15.6 million. The Consolidated Transportation Program (CTP) will address safety, traffic and economic competitiveness issues. Parran provided planning and funding updates for road, rail and alternate transportation projects in Montgomery County and throughout Maryland.

Projects discussed at this meeting include the Watkins Mill Interchange, US 29 interchanges, MD 97, MD 124, MD 28-MD 198 Corridor, MD 97-Randolph Road, County Ride On Bus, Purple Line, and CCT. There is also work underway with carpooling, bikeways and recreational trails. The Maryland Department of Transportation is working closely with the Counties to advance projects as quickly as possible.

BWI Airport and Port of Baltimore have experienced significant growth, specifically on an international level. Marc Rail recently started 7-day service connecting Baltimore and Washington.

Federal funding in the Federal Highway Trust is at risk of running out in September 2014. The loss of Federal funding would significantly impact the CTP. The Maryland Department of Transportation is working with Congressional representatives to minimize the impact.

Mr. Parran opened the discussion to questions and he was interested in hearing from members who spoke on a variety of issues including congestion relief on 495 and I-270, Purple Line funding, phasing of the CCT, and the state’s contribution to Metro funding.

During the question and answer period, a question about workforce demand and employment changes prompted a conversation about ensuring our workforce is job ready for the construction and operations needs of these projects. MDOT engages partners around the state to ensure that the top 10-15 skills necessary are being developed. For example, Mr. Simmons spoke to exciting work SHA is doing with regard to water quality improvement and environmental site design, examples of which can be found on the ICC.  This is a big growth area for SHA and Montgomery County has been an important partner in making environmental stewardship an important aspect of new projects.

 

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