WASHINGTON – The Department of Transportation Wednesday proposed allotting $400 million for the construction of a new Woodrow Wilson Bridge – far short of the $1.6 billion local leaders sought.
“This project is unique. It is the only federally owned bridge in the interstate system. It cannot be financed by the states and the District of Columbia,” Maryland Gov. Parris Glendening said in a written statement.
Rep. Albert Wynn, D-Largo, also expressed his disappointment. “I don’t want to sound ungrateful for $400 million, but the amount the president has recommended is woefully inadequate and unacceptable,” he said.
Glendening said shifting the funding burden to the states would wreak havoc with Maryland’s highway programs. And, he said, motorists should not have to fund the replacement through the imposition of tolls.
“Tolls would cause a traffic nightmare,” Wynn said.
Congress still must act on the proposal.
The existing structure, opened in 1961, is only expected to last about seven more years. It was designed to carry about 75,000 vehicles daily. Today, about 170,000 vehicles cross it each day. The plan calls for two six-lane drawbridges to be built just south of the existing bridge. -30-