Wicomico County getting big bucks for transportation priorities, bike ways
WICOMICO CO., Md. – New projects and repairs for transportation, roadways, and bridges can cost an arm and a leg, and with so many priorities on the list the Maryland Department of Transportation is doing what they can to help.
“Usually there’s never enough money I mean that’s one of the biggest questions and one of the biggest discussion items this year because there’s many more projects on the wish list,” Senator Addie Eckardt said.
The Transportation Department is taking its annual tour meeting with county and city leaders to discuss the draft consolidated transportation program which details the department’s six-year capital budget, and recently they met with leaders in Wicomico County to discuss local needs.
“Wicomico County has a lot of bridges, we have a lot of low-lying areas that get flooded,” Senator Eckardt said. “There are a lot of miles of roads that need to be maintained both by the county system and by the state road system.”
Funding from the state is now on the way to help move those projects along. The Maryland Transit Administration is providing $5 million in operating and capital grants to the Tri-County Council of the Lower Eastern Shore to support Shore Transit.
“Transportation is a major issue on the shore in a rural area, and I think lots of time we forget we do have our own form of mass transit, it’s not as responsive as we would all like it to be,” Senator Eckardt said.
The City of Salisbury is also getting some help. They’ll be receiving just under $600,000 to design 8.9 miles of on-street bikeways on 15 streets in key areas.
“You would be surprised how expensive they are, even though most of the projects just have to do with stripping the roads and putting in signage, there is still curb and gutter work to be done and other things and it adds up really quickly,” Amanda Pollack, Director of Infrastructure and Development Department, said.
And we’re told this funding is a win for them because it’s one step forward in helping them achieve their goal for their bicycle master plan.
“So, this should connect you to any major point in Salisbury whether you’re going to downtown or Salisbury University, or the hospital, or shopping, or the zoo, or the city park, you should be able to leave your neighborhood and get on a bicycle facility and get there safely,” Pollack said.