ANNAPOLIS – Maryland is expected to receive additional federal funds for highway and transit improvements over the next five years thanks to a measure passed by Congress in June, a state highway official told a legislative panel Tuesday.
The Transportation and Equity Act for the 21st Century requires federal gas tax money that had been going toward deficit reduction to be turned over to the Federal Highway Trust Fund for repairs, said David Chapin, an assistant secretary for the Maryland Department of Transportation.
From fiscal year 1992 to 1997, the federal government gave the state an average of $415 million a year for highway and transit improvements, Chapin told members of the Joint Committee on Federal Relations.
This year – and until 2003 – the average annual contribution will be about $525 million, Chapin said.
Some highway projects were targeted as “high priority” and will receive $22 million each year as a result. They include: phase one of an upgrade in Frederick County of Interstates 70, 270 and 340; and an upgrade of U.S. Route 113 in Worcester County, north of U.S. Route 50 to Maryland Highway 589.
Transit projects are expected to receive the biggest overall increase during the next five years: 35 percent, compared to 24 percent for highways. The MARC commuter rail system and the Baltimore Central Light Rail are expected to benefit. -30-