(MDOT SHA photo: MDOT SHA Logo)

(May 21, 2014 Queen Anne, Md.) – Delivering on his commitment last summer to invest new transportation funding for traffic safety enhancements and quality of life improvements for Eastern Shore residents, Governor Martin O’Malley today announced the start of work to widen MD 404 to a four-lane divided highway from west of MD 309 (Starr Road) to Cemetery Road, a distance of 1.5 miles (Phase 1B).
The long-awaited $39 million project ($20.8 million for construction) is a top transportation priority for this region and was made possible thanks to funding from the Transportation Infrastructure Investment Act of 2013.  Governor O’Malley and Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown also announced $10 million in new funding to move the next two MD 404 phases ​(2A, 2B) into design.  The new funding also includes design of safety enhancements to minimize traffic conflict points by limiting access along MD 404 from US 50 to the Denton Bypass.
“We made a pledge last summer to use funding from the Transportation Act to invest in projects that will improve safety, relieve congestion, create jobs and spur economic development throughout Maryland,” said Governor O’Malley.  “We are keeping our promise by starting this widening project and investing in future MD 404 phases to continue our ongoing efforts to enhance traffic safety along this heavily used roadway.”
Last August, Governor O’Malley joined local officials in announcing nearly $160 million in key transportation projects for the Eastern Shore made possible by the Transportation Act, including funds to construct a new interchange at US 301 / MD 304, widen MD 404 and build a new MD 331 Dover Bridge.  Earlier this month, Governor O’Malley and Lt. Governor Brown also announced $49 million in new construction funding for another important Eastern Shore highway safety project -- widening US 113 to a four-lane divided highway from north of Five Mile Branch Road to south of Massey Branch, a distance of 3.75 miles, in Worcester County.
“Thousands of motorists rely on MD 404 each day to safely travel to the beaches and historic towns along Maryland’s Lower Eastern Shore,” said Lt. Governor Brown. “Thanks to the funding from the Transportation Act, along with federal funds secured by members of our Congressional Delegation, we can make it easier and safer for Maryland residents and visitors to travel to and from their vacation destination.”
The wider roadway will improve safety and operations and reduce traffic congestion caused by high seasonal peaks associated with summer resort traffic.  MD 404 is a major corridor for motorists traveling to the Eastern Shore in the summer when the average daily traffic count climbs from 18,500 vehicles per day to 23,100 per day.
“This funding is about jobs on the Eastern Shore,” U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski said. “A reliable and well maintained infrastructure is vital to creating jobs today in construction and jobs tomorrow through economic growth.  From Maryland families and tourists traveling to the Eastern Shore to daily commuters traveling to and from work, these funds will help increase safety, ease congestion and improve our state’s transportation infrastructure.  I’m proud to put funds in the federal checkbook for Maryland’s highways and byways that are laying the groundwork for our future.”
“Investments in transportation infrastructure are investments in job creation and economic development across the region,” said U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Transportation Infrastructure Subcommittee. “The federal government has been a strong partner throughout Maryland to modernize our transportation choices.  Efforts to improve the safety our rural roads and beach routes are incredibly important to the livability of our Eastern Shore communities.”
MD 404 Groundbreaking Project 
During a groundbreaking ceremony today for Phase 1B at the Maryland National Guard Armory in Queen Anne, Maryland Department of Transportation officials detailed how the $10 million in new design funds added by Governor O’Malley and Lt. Governor Brown would be used to advance the next two phases of MD 404 widening:
Phase 2A:  Widening MD 404 from MD 480 to Hillsboro Road
Cost:  $2.5 million (State)

Phase 2B:  Widening MD 404 from Old Queen Anne Road to west of MD 309
Cost:  $2.6 million (State)

AccessManagement:  Design of safety enhancements to minimize traffic conflict points by limiting access along MD 404 from US 50 to the Denton Bypass
$5 million (Federal: $4 million / State: $1 million)

“Thanks to the leadership of Governor O’Malley and Lt. Governor Brown in securing passage of the Transportation Infrastructure Investment Act of 2013, the Maryland Department of Transportation has a sustainable funding source that will allow us to widen this section of MD 404 and advance the next two phases of this important highway safety project,” said Deputy Transportation Secretary Wilson H. Parran.  “We thank our Congressional Delegation for their support as well in securing funding to advance the widening of MD 404.”
Phase 1B is part of a larger multi-phase safety project that involves widening MD 404 to a four-lane divided highway from US 50 to the Denton Bypass (11.83 miles).  Shoulders will accommodate bicycles and pedestrians.  The widening includes safety enhancements to minimize traffic conflict points by limiting access along the newly widened roadway.  Each phase of widening includes shoulders to accommodate bicycles and pedestrians.  The remaining widening projects are being done in phases as funding is available.
“I am honored to speak on behalf of the families who have lost loved ones over the years on the single-lane portions of MD 404.  The work being represented here today, and we faithfully believe will follow, until this highway is a four-lane highway from US 50 to the Denton Bypass, will be in lasting memory of all those whom we have lost,” said Mrs. Marie Freeman with the C-Team, an advocacy group for traffic safety on MD 404.  “This speaks to what I truly believe - when we all work together as one community for a noble cause, everyone benefits.”
David A. Bramble, Inc. of Chestertown, Maryland, was awarded the $20.8 million contract by the Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration (SHA).  Work will begin in May and is scheduled to be complete summer 2017, weather permitting.
For the next two years, motorists should expect single lane closures on MD 404 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Construction crews will use cones and barrels together with a flagging operation as needed, to direct traffic during the work.
While SHA and its transportation partners work hard to maintain safe traffic mobility in work zones, each driver needs to actively modify his or her driving style to help prevent crashes.  Stay alert and look for reduced speed limits, narrow driving lanes and highway workers. Slow down and don’t follow too closely.  Safer Driving. Safer Work Zones. For Everyone!

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