Senator fought for projects to support transportation infrastructure along job corridors creating construction jobs and improving the commutes of the people of Baltimore City and Montgomery County
WASHINGTON – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) today announced that the Maryland Department of Transportation and Montgomery County will each be awarded $10,000,000 in federal funding for improvements along North Avenue in the City of Baltimore and US 29 Bus Rapid Transit Corridor. Senator Mikulski is the Vice Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, which funds the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and these annual Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grants.
“This is great news for two major job corridors in Baltimore City and Montgomery County,” said Senator Mikulski. “This federal funding will improve the lives and livelihoods of Maryland families by easing their commutes to work, school and shopping. This is an investment in jobs today and jobs tomorrow that will open new opportunities to thousands of Marylanders.”
The Maryland Department of Transportation and the City of Baltimore’s North Avenue Rising project will improve approximately five miles of this job corridor that is home to the Maryland Institute College of Art, Coppin State University, the University of Baltimore and Johns Hopkins University. Despite being home to these iconic institutions and Baltimore’s second busiest bus line carrying four million residents a year, North Avenue has a mix of vacant residential and commercial property and deteriorating sidewalk and roadway infrastructure. This federal funding will buy much needed dedicated bus lanes and new bike facilities, enhancements at Maryland Transit Administration’s (MTA) metro and light rail stations, improvements at major bus stops and sidewalks, streetscaping and roadway re-pavement. This project will contribute to the corridor’s overall economic revitalization, improving opportunities for neighborhoods along this major east-west artery.
Montgomery County’s US 29 Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Improvements project will transform and ease congestion along Maryland’s busiest transit corridor. This federal funding will help establish a fourteen mile transit line between Silver Spring, White Oak and Burtonsville. It will include twelve BRT station locations, 10 new bike share stations and ADA sidewalk upgrades. This project will serve a growing residential population of 120,000 on the eastern side of Montgomery County, connecting them with jobs at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other major employers along the corridor, such as shopping centers, federal offices and regional park and rides. It also will connect with the future Purple Line light rail project. BRT is a form of transit using specially designed vehicles on dedicated guideways along major corridors.
Senator Mikulski, as Vice Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, provided $500 million in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016 (Public Law 114-113) for U.S. DOT TIGER grants nationwide. These are competitive grants for highways, bridges, rail, transit and port projects. The criteria for these grants include state of good repair, economic competitiveness, quality of life, environmental sustainability, safety, innovation and partnership.
TIGER grants were created by Congress in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5), and the Senate Appropriations Committee, under the leadership of Vice Chairwoman Mikulski, has continued to fund this program each year. Vice Chairwoman Mikulski has supported several recent TIGER grants awarded to the State of Maryland, including $10 million for both the Southeast Baltimore Port Industry Freight Corridor in 2015 and widening MD 175 at Fort Meade in 2014.