WASHINGTON – Congress is giving money to improve three Western Maryland highways, expand Metro in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties and extend commuter rail service into Frederick.
The funding package, approved by the House and Senate, now awaits President Clinton’s signature.
The largest amount of money, $200 million, is going to Metro to complete construction on the Green and Red Lines.
The Red Line’s extension into Glenmont in Montgomery County is scheduled for completion next July, said Leona Agouridis, spokeswoman for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
The Green Line extension would take it to Branch Avenue in Prince George’s County, adding five stations by 2001.
Maryland also will get $6 million for work on U.S. 220 in Allegany County, U.S. 219 north of Interstate 68 in Garrett County and I-68 in Washington and Allegany counties.
“We just found out, so we haven’t allocated money towards anything yet,” said Valerie Burnette Edgar, spokeswoman for the State Highway Administration.
“It’s good news for us and we’re very happy. We have to figure out the best way to use that money,” she said.
The MARC system is slated to get $31 million. The bulk of the money will be used to “continue to pay the bills on double decker cars,” said Frank Fulton, spokesman for the Maryland Mass Transit Administration.
“This will also be used to provide a good deal of the federal share for the cost of the Frederick extension,” he said. The design for the extension is to be completed this fall, with construction beginning in the spring, Fulton said.
Maryland’s state bus program is set to get $8 million. That money will be used to acquire new buses, to maintain buses and to make some improvements around the system’s bus stops, he said.
“We’ll probably earmark $3 to $4 million to go to the smaller statewide transit systems,” Fulton said. “Decisions will be made early next year as to which transit system around the state will get what.”
The Coast Guard Yard in Curtis Bay will receive $12 million for its $45 million project to replace a fleet of 30-year-old boats.
“These projects are critical to Maryland’s economic health,” Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md., said in a prepared statement. “These projects save jobs, create jobs and link people to jobs.”