BRTB Approves Amendments to Maximize2040 and Amended 2016-2019 TIP for MDTA's I-95 Project
The Baltimore Regional Transportation Board (BRTB) voted August 23, 2016 to approve BRTB Resolution #17-9 in support of one update to the Amended 2016-2019 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) and Maximize2040: A Performance-Based Transportation Plan for the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) I-95: Moravia Road to the Fort McHenry Tunnel road widening project.
The BRTB welcomed comments from Tuesday, July 5 through Friday, August 5, 2016. Details of the amendment and comment period are below.
ABOUT THE 2016-2019 TIP AND MAXIMIZE2040
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.
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 year 2020 to 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.
Amendments occur to the Amended 2016-2019 TIP and Maximize2040 because of changes to project scope and funding or changes to federal documentation policies. Public comment periods and meetings aim to keep communication open regarding these changes.
I-95: MORAVIA ROAD TO THE FORT MCHENRY TUNNEL
MDTA requests of the BRTB to update the Amended 2016-2019 TIP and Maximize2040 to include as a new project the road widening of I-95 from Moravia Road to the Fort McHenry Tunnel (TIP ID # 22-1601-41).
This project will reconfigure (restripe) I-95 to provide four continuous mainline lanes in each direction. This project will provide lane continuity and additional capacity along I-95 on this segment. The total work within the limits extends for 3.7 miles in the northbound direction and 1.1 miles in the southbound direction. This is needed to address existing congestion and to accommodate diverted traffic from I-895 that will result from MDTA’s Canton Viaduct Project.
This project, a high priority, utilizes MDTA toll revenue to add $3.25 million for preliminary engineering and $47.852 million in construction funds. The estimated total cost is $51.102 million.
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. MDTA requests the year of operation change from 2030 to 2018, with construction beginning in Fiscal Year 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 5-7 of the document linked below.
PUBLIC REVIEW AND COMMENT
The BRTB welcomed comments from the public from Tuesday, July 5 through Friday, August 5, 2016. The public was invited to learn more and/or share comments on these projects during the BRTB’s Public Advisory Committee (PAC) Policy Subcommittee on Wednesday, August 3 at 4:30 p.m. at the Baltimore Metropolitan Council, located at 1500 Whetstone Way, Suite 300, Baltimore, MD 21230. Comments were also welcome during the Public Comment Opportunity during the BRTB meetings on Tuesday, July 26 at 9 a.m. and Tuesday, August 23 (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.