Updating Timeline for MD 32 Widening Project from 2030 to 2020
The Baltimore Regional Transportation Board (BRTB) welcomed comments on one amendment to Maximize2040: A Performance-Based Transportation Plan and the Amended 2016-2019 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) for Maryland State Highway Administration's (SHA) MD 32: MD 108 to Linden Church Road project from March 4 through April 8, 2016. The BRTB voted to approve the amendment on Tuesday, April 26 via BRTB Resolution #16-14. Details of the amendment and comment period are below.
ABOUT MAXIMIZE2040 AND THE TRANSPORTATION IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM
Maximize2040 is this region's long-range transportation plan developed by the BRTB. Maximize2040 serves as the blueprint for fiscally constrained transportation planning in the Baltimore region from the years 2020 through 2040. The plan also establishes the region’s broad transportation goals and performance measures, which now serve as guiding principles as the region plans and carries out projects.
The Amended 2016-2019 TIP is the list of regional transportation projects requesting federal funding in the near term. It includes more than $2.5 billion in proposed federal, state and local money for highway, transit, bicycle and pedestrian projects during the next four years. The funding goes towards maintaining, operating and expanding the transportation system. The TIP is fiscally constrained.
Amendments occur to Maximize2040 or the TIP because of changes to project scope and funding, changes to federal documentation policies, or a regionally significant project year of operation crossing a conformity horizon year. Public comment periods and meetings aim to keep communication open regarding these changes.
MD 32: MD 108 TO LINDEN CHURCH ROAD
SHA requested the BRTB amend Maximize2040 and the TIP to update the year of operation and funding for the MD 32: MD 108 to Linden Church Road project (TIP ID # 66-1602-41).
This $33 million project widens MD 32 from two to four lanes, between MD 108 and Linden Church Road. It is one segment of an overall project to widen MD 32 from MD 108 to I-70.
The project seeks to address congestion and safety problems resulting from increased traffic on the existing two-lane road.
Amending Maximize2040 and the TIP allows SHA to utilize state and local funds in the amount of $2.3 million for preliminary engineering and $30 million for construction.
In addition, federal regulations require that the BRTB review this amendment since the project sponsor proposes a major change in the project initiation date that was included in the Maximize2040 document the BRTB adopted on November 24, 2015. SHA requests the year of operation change from 2030 to 2020, with construction beginning in FY 2017.
ANALYSIS OF AIR QUALITY CONFORMITY
Under the Clean Air Act Amendments, areas designated as being in nonattainment or maintenance of air quality standards are required to review their current transportation plans and programs to ensure they are in conformity with the applicable State Air Quality Implementation Plan (SIP). The Baltimore region is a federally designated “nonattainment” area for ground-level ozone and is in a maintenance stage for fine particulate matter.
Federal law requires that the MPO analyze projects proposed for amendment to ensure they do not jeopardize the conformity of the plan under federal rules and guidelines.
The Conformity Results show that implementation of this project in an earlier timeframe will not worsen the region’s air quality or delay the timely attainment of national air quality standards or interfere with implementation of any transportation control measures (TCMs). Read the detailed air quality analysis on pages 5 through 8 of the document linked below.
PUBLIC REVIEW AND COMMENT
The public review period was held from Friday, March 4 through Friday, April 8, 2016. No public comments were received during this comment period.
During this time, the BRTB hosted a public meeting on Tuesday, March 22 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Dayton Oaks Elementary School (Cafeteria), located at 4691 Ten Oaks Rd, Dayton, MD 21036. The BRTB also made a presentation to the BRTB’s Public Advisory Committee (PAC) Policy Subcommittee on Wednesday, April 6 at 4:30 p.m. at the Baltimore Metropolitan Council, located at 1500 Whetstone Way, Suite 300, Baltimore, MD 21230.
The BRTB also accepted comments during the Public Comment Opportunity during the BRTB meetings on Tuesday, March 22 at 9 a.m. and Tuesday, April 26 (scheduled vote) at 9 a.m.
The Baltimore Regional Transportation Board operates its programs and services without regard to race, color, or national origin in accordance with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and other applicable laws. Appropriate services can be provided to qualified individuals with disabilities or those in need of language assistance who submit a request at least seven days prior to a meeting. Call 410-732-0500.