MDOT SHA highlights improvements coming to Somerset County infrastructure
SOMERSET COUNTY, Md. – The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and State Highway Administration (SHA) is continuing their tour through the state. Tuesday, MDOT SHA officials highlighted infrastructure improvements coming to Somerset County. The announcements are part of MDOT SHA’s Consolidated Transportation Plan (CTP).
MDOT SHA officials say that they’re not necessarily building much new infrastructure in the area. However, they say there is much funding to go around for system preservation and asset management.
“This year is $19.9 billion with $2.2 billion from the previous CTP. We’re covering Fiscal Years 2023-2028. The vast majority of that is going to go to highways, which is $966 million,” said MDOT Deputy Secretary Sean Powell. “We also have $178 million for airports, and $166 million for transit.”
Rail To Trail Project
One of the biggest projects underway in Somerset County is the Rail to Trail Project. Between MDOT and the County, about $20 million will help complete design and planning, and eventually completing construction.
“This really allows bicyclists and pedestrians. It’s really about accessibility, trying to help our vulnerable users. This gives an alternative to folks who want to go from Crisfield to Westover with a bike and pedestrian option,” said MDOT SHA Administrator Tim Smith.
Smith says the planning and design phases typically takes between 18 and 24 months. That’s still in the works, as well as permitting, and meeting environmental protection standards.
MDOT will continue their tour in the coming weeks. It’s an opportunity, says Powell, to find out what each jurisdiction really needs from them.
“We’ve been well-received around the state. Obviously, there are some tough questions from folks asking ‘When are we going to get this? When are we going to get that?’ One of the things to remember with the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act money, some of that will be looked at to be programed for the final CTP that comes out in January,” said Powell. “That’s the idea of these tours; is to be able to go out and gather information, use the county priority letters to come along when we’re, so the speak, in the kitchen and make the final cake.”