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TJ Bridge replacement on top of the priority list again

The replacement of the Gov. Thomas Johnson Bridge continues to be the “Top Regional Highway Priority” in Southern Maryland. That assessment was provided to Maryland’s Transportation Secretary James Smith in a letter dated June 10 from Tri-County Council Chairman Steve Weems, who is a Calvert County commissioner.

The regional transportation priorities were approved by the county commissioners of Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s, the Regional Infrastructure Advisory Committee for Southern Maryland and the council executive board. The bridge has been at the top of the list for quite some time and was reaffirmed in the 2008 final report of the Commission to Study Southern Maryland Transportation Needs Assessment.

The letter says about the bridge: “This Project will relieve commuter congestion, improve safety, properly position the Patuxent River Naval Air Station for future Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), improve emergency evacuation plans and provide bicycle tourism opportunities between the Three Notch Trail and Solomons Island.”

The council urges the state to continue funding for the project. The letter states: “With the new funds allocated in FY 2014, engineering and construction of the replacement bridge and the interchange at MD 4 and MD 235 will continue to be a multi-million dollar capital investment, for which the funding will be appropriated over many years.”

The top “Regional Transit Priority” according to the letter is the Southern Maryland Rapid Transit Project to “provide fixed route, high-capacity transit service in the MDS 5/US 301 corridor from the Branch Avenue Metro Station to Waldorf/White Plains in Charles County.” According to the letter, “This Rapid Transit Investment will have a significant impact in the improvement of air quality and carbon footprint of the Region, as well as significantly reducing the congestion to the Washington DC metropolitan area.”

Other “Regionally Significant Projects” on the list are:

·       Construction of the controlled access highway option on US 301 in Waldorf

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