Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett joined Gov. Martin O’Malley and Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown during their announcement Aug. 5 that Montgomery County will be receiving $628 million in transportation investments and an additional $400 million for construction of the Purple Line that will benefit both Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. Brown also announced that the Purple Line will be built as a public-private partnership under
HB 560, the law he championed to attract private investment for new infrastructure in Maryland.
“I want to thank the O’Malley/Brown administration for making a major investment in our transportation system that will boost the economic vitality of the entire Washington region through new job creation and greater support for our business community,” said Leggett. “For many years, I have vigorously advocated for a meaningful increase in funding for transportation, and now, for the first time in a generation, we are seeing the results with significant and long overdue transportation infrastructure investments for our priority projects. This announcement moves forward the Purple Line, the Corridor Cities Transitway, the Watkins Mill interchange on I-270, supports Ride On and provides funding for many other projects that are essential to modernizing our transportation infrastructure and realizing our County’s plans for the future.”
O’Malley recognized the critical role Leggett played in advocating for the passage of the Transportation Act.
“Together, with the support of our local partners like County Executives Leggett and Rushern Baker, we made the better choices to invest in the future of Maryland’s transportation network, allowing us to create more than 57,200 jobs for our hardworking families and rebuild our State’s infrastructure,” said Governor O’Malley. “Today's announcement creates more than 9,700 jobs for Montgomery County, reduces traffic congestion and revitalizes communities. Thanks to Lt. Governor Brown’s leadership, we can move ahead with the Purple Line and bring the best private sector practices and innovation needed to create the 21st century transportation network that a modern economy requires.”
Joining Leggett were County Council President Nancy Navarro, Council Vice President Craig Rice, and Councilmembers Marc Elrich, Valerie Ervin, George Leventhal and Hans Riemer.
“Thanks to Governor O’Malley’s leadership and the courageous action of the General Assembly, some of Montgomery County’s most urgently needed transportation projects can now move forward,” said Navarro. “I was glad to join with the County Executive and my colleagues on the Council to make the case that transportation funding is critical to maintaining economic growth and quality of life for Montgomery County and all of Maryland.”
Leggett recognized and thanked the County’s State delegation, which was instrumental in the passage of the Transportation Act. At the event were Senator Karen Montgomery and Delegates Sam Arora, Charles Barkley, Brian Feldman, Ana Sol Gutierrez, Sheila Hixson, Tom Hucker, Anne Kaiser, Ariana Kelly, Susan Lee, Aruna Miller and Kirill Reznik.
“Montgomery County has great places to live, to work, to play, and to explore, but we need a great transportation infrastructure to connect them all,” said Sen. Jamie Raskin, chair, Montgomery County Senate Delegation. “I am thrilled that the Governor and our delegation in the General Assembly got together in 2013 to promote the big investments we need to get Montgomery County and the rest of Maryland moving. There was a lot of courage in the Governor’s leadership on this and I also want to thank Senate President Mike Miller for getting behind it in a big way. The teamwork we saw amongst County Executive Ike Leggett, the County Council, and the Montgomery delegations in Annapolis was inspiring and visionary.”
“The Montgomery County delegation’s top priorities going into the 2013 session were transportation, transportation and transportation,” said Delegate Anne Kaiser, chair, Montgomery County House Delegation. “The investments we made in roads and transit will support our business community and enhance everyone’s quality of life with shorter commute times, enhanced public safety and environmentally friendly transit options.”
Today’s announcement provides funding for the following key projects:
• Purple Line, a 16-mile light rail line that runs east-west inside the Capital Beltway between Bethesda and New Carrollton, will receive $280 million in new funding for right-of-way acquisition and final design and an additional $400 million in new construction funding.
• Corridor Cities Transitway, a 15-mile bus rapid transit system extending from the Shady Grove Metro Station to the COMSAT facility just south of Clarksburg, will receive $100 million in new funding for right-of-way acquisition and final design for the Phase I portion extending to the Metropolitan Grove MARC Station in Gaithersburg.
• I-270/Watkins Mill Road Interchange will include improvements to I-270 from north of MD 124 to south of Middlebrook Road and bicycle and pedestrian improvements along Watkins Mill Road. The project will receive $125 million in new funding for construction.
• Ride On Bus will receive $85 million in new funding, increasing the State’s subsidy by 50 percent to fully fund the State’s fair share of the bus service.
• MD 97 Relocation Near Brookeville will receive $25 million in new construction funding to build a two-lane MD 97 highway from south of Brookeville to north of Brookeville, relieving traffic congestion and improving safety in the historic town center.
• US 29 Interchanges Design at Musgrove Road and Fairland Road will receive $7 million in new funding for design of two interchanges that will accommodate projected traffic growth along this key north-south route, reduce congestion and improve highway safety.
• MD 124 Widening (Phase 2) will receive $3 million in new funding for design to widen this route to a six-lane divided highway from Midcounty Highway to south of Airpark Road. The third phase, widening MD 124 to Warfield Road, is not funded.
• MD 28/MD 198 Corridor Transportation Improvement Study will receive $3 million in new planning funds to evaluate possible roadway improvements in the corridor from MD 97 to I-95.