O’Malley-Brown Administration Announces $7.2 Million Additional Funding for Three More Intersections Near Aberdeen Proving Ground
ABERDEEN, Md. (October 5, 2010) – Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown – chair of the Governor’s Subcabinet for Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) – joined federal, state and local officials for a groundbreaking ceremony to officially mark the start of construction for a $42.6 million, BRAC-related improvement project at the US 40 (South Philadelphia Boulevard) and MD-715 interchange. The project is the first BRAC-related highway improvement project to begin construction in Harford County. The US 40/MD-715 interchange is the primary access point to the U.S. Army’s Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG).
“From our first day in office, Governor O’Malley made preparing for BRAC and these new jobs in Maryland a top priority. I am proud to lead the O’Malley Administration’s mission to successfully bring BRAC to Maryland,” said Lt. Governor Brown. “As we mark the start of construction for our first BRAC project in Harford County, we are very pleased to announce additional funding for three more projects. We are keeping the momentum going forward to support Maryland jobs and revive the economy.”
The Lt. Governor also announced the O’Malley-Brown Administration is adding $7.2 million in funding for additional BRAC projects in Aberdeen, including:
$5.2 million to construct Phase I and complete engineering for Phase II for an intersection improvement project at US 40/MD-7/MD-159. This project involves widening MD-7 by 34 feet for an additional justify, through and channelized right turn lane. The final intersection will be two-justify turn lanes, one-through lane and one right turn lane.
$2 million to continue design work for two MD-22 intersections: MD-22/MD-462 for preliminary engineering to widen MD-22 and to add turn lanes at the intersection and MD-22/Beards Hill for preliminary engineering to widen MD-22 and add justify-turn lanes from Beards Hill onto MD-22.
“BRAC is bringing 60,000 new jobs to our state. We are making strategic investments in our infrastructure to help get people to work in Maryland,” said Governor Martin O’Malley prior to the event. “On behalf of the citizens of Maryland, Lt. Governor Brown and I wish to thank Senator Mikulski, Senator Cardin, Congressman Ruppersberger, Congressman Kratovil and the rest of the Maryland Delegation for securing the funding we need for this project and others like it throughout Maryland. Thanks to our federal and local BRAC partners, we are moving forward today on the first BRAC project to improve our transportation network supporting Aberdeen Proving Grounds and Harford County. Private sector businesses and distribution centers in Aberdeen also will reap the benefits from better, safer access to US 40.”
Working with Harford County, the City of Aberdeen and federal officials, the State of Maryland identified the interchange area and access to APG as a key transportation priority as the region prepares for an influx of BRAC-related jobs. To expedite construction work, the project was divided into two phases. The first phase includes work along MD-715 near the APG gate and begins this month. The entire project is slated for completion by spring of 2013.
Lt. Governor Brown was joined by Congressmen C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger and Frank M. Kratovil, Jr., Deputy Transportation Secretary Harold M. Bartlett, County Councilmember Mary Ann Lisanti, Major General Nickolas G. Justice, Gary Martin – Deputy Commander to Major General Justice RDECOM, Jim Richardson – Executive Director, Harford County Office of Economic Development and Aberdeen Mayor Michael E. Bennett.
“The U.S. 40 interchange project and other intersection upgrades will mean a safer and faster commute to the new BRAC jobs at Aberdeen,” Senator Barbara A. Mikulski said. “BRAC brings great opportunities, but also great challenges. That’s why I continue to fight for funding in the federal checkbook to upgrade the transportation infrastructure around our military bases.”
“BRAC is important to our State’s future and this project demonstrates the commitment of the Maryland Congressional Delegation to wisely invest federal dollars in supporting the mission at Aberdeen Proving Ground and in ensuring that workers commuting to APG have safe, reliable roadways when traveling to their jobs,” said Senator Benjamin L. Cardin. “Along with our State and local partners, Maryland’s Congressional Delegation has worked hard to bring new jobs to Maryland through BRAC and this project will help create a new gateway to the jobs here in Aberdeen.”
Lt. Governor Brown emphasized the importance of the project to Maryland’s economy since it supports the consolidation of 8,800 direct jobs at Aberdeen Proving Ground. Design and construction work for the $42.6 million project supports an additional 390 direct and indirect jobs. The project was largely funded through federal earmarks obtained last year by members of Maryland’s Congressional delegation, with matching funds provided by the State of Maryland.
“In these difficult economic times, it is great news to talk about the tens of thousands of high-paying jobs moving to Maryland through military base reorganization,” said Congressman Ruppersberger, a Member of the House Appropriations Committee who secured federal funding for the project. “It is also a great challenge as we work to preserve the excellent quality of life that our existing residents enjoy. That’s what this project is all about. We’re creating even more jobs in the process.”
“This significant federal investment is critical to accommodating BRAC-related growth while also improving the quality of life for the families who live here,” said Congressman Kratovil, a member of Armed Services Committee. “In the short term, we are putting men and women to work designing and building the infrastructure that in the long term will support improved commerce and build a stronger and more resilient economic base. I am pleased to support this important project.”
The US 40/MD-715 project includes:
Upgrading the US 40 / MD-715 partial interchange to a full interchange;
Improvements to the MD-715 and Old Philadelphia Road intersection; and
Widening MD-715 from two lanes in each direction to three lanes in each direction to provide improved access to Aberdeen Proving Ground’s main gate.
When completed, the improvements will eliminate the need for drivers to make a U-turn from eastbound US 40 to access northbound MD-715.
“Getting ready for BRAC takes a lot of coordination, leadership and funding,” said County Executive David R. Craig. “Harford County is pleased with work with the State on all three of these efforts and particularly on crucial transportation investments. Today was an important step in implementing our top BRAC priorities. We look forward to continued coordination on BRAC with our State and federal partners.”
To deliver this project quickly, the State is expediting the project by six to nine months through the use of a design-build contract and a two-phase schedule for construction work. The State Highway Administration and its contractor, American Infrastructure of Fallston, Md., are beginning construction of the first phase, from the APG Main Gate to the bridge over AMTRAK. The second phase of work will be from the AMTRAK bridge to west of the US 40/MD-715 interchange. The entire interchange project will be complete spring 2013.
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