From the Office of Gov. Martin O’Malley:
O’Malley-Brown Administration invests $42.6 million to make key interchange improvement at Aberdeen Proving Ground
ANNAPOLIS, MD (December 11, 2009) –Governor Martin O’Malley today announced that the O’Malley-Brown Administration, in partnership with federal funds, will begin a $42.6 million BRAC-related improvement project at the interchange of US 40 and MD 715. The project is the first that is BRAC-related to move to construction in Harford County. The interchange is the primary access point to the U.S. Army’s Aberdeen Proving Ground. Working with Harford County, the City of Aberdeen and military officials, this interchange was identified as a key transportation priority as the region prepares for an influx of BRAC-related jobs. The project advances after months of planning and prioritizing by the BRAC Sub-Cabinet created by Governor O’Malley and chaired by Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown.
“All agree that improving the interchange in Harford County is a top priority as we prepare for the thousands of BRAC jobs coming to Aberdeen,” said Governor O’Malley. “Thanks to the hard work of all the federal and local BRAC partners, we are now moving forward on the first project to keep traffic moving near Aberdeen Proving Ground. Lt. Governor Brown and I want to thank Senator Mikulski, Senator Cardin, Congressman Ruppersberger and the rest of the Maryland Delegation for their ongoing fight to obtain the additional federal funds needed to implement our BRAC plans.”
“This critical project – the first BRAC intersection project chosen for construction – will alleviate future traffic and sustain the high quality of life in the Aberdeen community. Perhaps most importantly, though, it will create more than 8,000 jobs and promote economic development and job creation well beyond the completion of BRAC movements,” Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown, chair of the Governor’s Subcabinet on Base Realignment and Closure said. “Under Governor O’Malley’s leadership and with our strong federal partnerships, Maryland is making great strides in preparing for the thousands of new families as they make their move to our great State. This project is a leading example of the progress that has been made through the strength of our partnerships and it would not be possible were it not for the regular, substantive collaborative work by local, state and federal officials.”
Governor O’Malley was joined today by Harford County Executive David R. Craig, Aberdeen Proving Ground Commander Colonel Orlando W. Ortiz and Aberdeen Mayor Michael E. Bennett. Governor O’Malley emphasized the importance of the project to Maryland’s economy. The interchange project supports the consolidation of 8,800 direct jobs at Aberdeen Proving Ground. The design and construction involved in the $42.6 million project supports an additional 450 direct and indirect jobs.
“I fought in the Senate to BRAC-proof Maryland’s bases, and now I am working to BRAC-ready our transportation systems,” said Senator Mikulski, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “We have a top notch work force in Maryland that deserves a top notch transportation system. I am proud to partner with my Team Maryland colleagues to make sure Maryland has what it needs to implement BRAC decisions and meet the increased demands on our communities.”
“I have been proud to stand as a part of this delegation over the years as we have worked tirelessly to bring thousands of high-quality jobs to Maryland through the BRAC process. Today’s announcement of the US 40/MD 715 interchange project in Harford County demonstrates our ongoing commitment to invest federal resources in better roads and greater infrastructure that are so critical to the success of the expanded mission of Aberdeen Proving Ground,” said Senator Cardin.
Despite the impact of the national economic downturn on transportation revenues and the need to defer $2.1 billion in capital transportation projects, Governor O’Malley recognized the importance of delivering BRAC improvements around the state. Funding for the project was accomplished through Federal earmarks obtained by the Maryland Congressional delegation and state matching funds. The State also will be investing in priority intersection improvements adjacent to Fort Meade in Anne Arundel County and the National Naval Medical Center in Montgomery County.
“BRAC presents a tremendous opportunity for Maryland, including tens of thousands of new jobs that will help get our economy back on track,” Congressman Ruppersberger said. “But as we prepare to welcome new families into our community, we must make sure we preserve the great quality of life that our existing residents enjoy. Today’s announcement is a part of that.”
The US 40/MD 715 project will include:
•The upgrade of the US 40 / MD 715 partial interchange to a full interchange
•Improvements to the MD 715 and Old Philadelphia Road intersection
•Widening of MD 715 from two lanes in each direction to three lanes in each direction to provide improved access to Aberdeen Proving Ground’s new, main gate.
When completed, the improvements will eliminate the need for the U-turn from eastbound US 40 to access northbound MD 715.
To deliver this project quickly, the State is expediting the project by six to nine months. Under the expedited schedule, the State Highway Administration expects to break ground on the project next fall. The first phase, the widening of MD 715, is expected to be complete in 2011 with the entire project complete by Summer 2012.