In order to adequately enhance Maryland’s economic growth and quality of life, the state will need to make numerous improvements to its transportation system. This is according to a new report released by TRIP, a Washington, D.C.-based national transportation research organization.
TRIP’s report, “The Top 40 Transportation Projects to Support Economic Growth and Quality of Life in Maryland,” identifies and ranks the projects needed to provide Maryland with a transportation system that can support the increased movement of people, goods and resources throughout the state.
The most needed transportation improvements in Maryland include projects to build, expand or modernize the state’s highways, bridges and public transit systems. These improvements would enhance economic development opportunities throughout the state by increasing mobility and freight movement, easing congestion and making Maryland an attractive place to live, visit and do business.
According to the TRIP report, the top 10 most needed projects for Maryland’s economic growth includes: (1) widening I-95/I-495 in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties; (2) replacing the Governor Nice Bridge in Charles County; and (3) widening and bridge rehabilitation and replacement on I-695 in Baltimore.
A full list of needed projects, descriptions and their impact on economic development can be found in the appendix of the report.
“This detailed priority list of projects further serves to underscore the fiscal crisis Maryland currently faces in funding transportation infrastructure,” said Donald C. Fry, president and CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee. “Nothing on this list will get accomplished until our state’s lawmakers find a way to increase revenue to Maryland’s stagnant Transportation Trust Fund.”
Enhancing critical segments of Maryland’s transportation system will boost the state’s economy in the short-term by creating jobs in construction and related fields. In the long term these improvements will enhance economic competitiveness by reducing travel delays and transportation costs, improving access and mobility, improving safety and stimulating sustained job growth, improving the quality of life for the state’s residents and visitors.
TRIP ranked each transportation project based on a rating system that considered the following: short-term economic benefits, including job creation; the level of improvement in the condition of the transportation facility, including safety improvements; the degree of improvement in access and mobility; and, the long-term improvement provided in regional or state economic performance and competitiveness.