Governor Larry Hogan Announces Funding for Hagerstown Urban Improvement Project, Start of $105 Million I-81 Widening
Important Projects will Positively Impact Hagerstown, Western Maryland, and Entire State
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan today joined Transportation Deputy Secretary James F. Ports, Jr., Senator Andrew Serafini, Delegate Neil Parrott, Delegate Brett Wilson, and County Commissioner President Terry Baker, and other state and local officials in downtown Hagerstown to make two important announcements impacting Hagerstown, Western Maryland, and the entire state. First, the governor announced the start of construction to widen I-81, a $105 million project that is the first phase of improvements to enhance safety and relieve traffic congestion along the heavily-traveled corridor.
Working with the West Virginia Department of Transportation, the Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration (SHA) will widen I-81 between US 11 in West Virginia and MD 63/MD 68 in Washington County to a total of six travel lanes, and reconstruct the four bridges within the project limits.
“Today I am pleased to announce that – as we speak – shovels are in the ground and work is underway to widen I-81 between U.S. 11 in West Virginia and MD 63 in Maryland,” said Governor Hogan. “These improvements to I-81 are critical infrastructure investments that will help citizens here in Washington County, across Western Maryland, and all across our state go about their daily lives in a faster, more efficient, and safer manner.”
I-81 is a critical link for West Virginia and Western Maryland and serves a significant freight and commercial corridor, with traffic volume doubling over the last two decades and projected to triple by 2035. Governor Hogan also allocated $5 million for design and engineering for 2.5 miles of the I-81 corridor between MD 63/MD 68 and I-70.
In addition, the state recently applied for a federal FASTLANE grant for the next phase of I-81 widening with substantial support from residents, officials, planning organizations, and the business community.
Governor Hogan also pledged to commit more than $7 million in the administration’s upcoming Capital Budget to help fund the proposed Hagerstown Urban Improvement Project, a public-private partnership to revitalize downtown Hagerstown. Standing outside The Maryland Theater in downtown Hagerstown, where the administration held a regional cabinet meeting in October that included a presentation about the project by the local delegation, the governor praised it as an innovative model for communities across the state.
“Economic development is the primary focus of our administration and this urban redevelopment and improvement project will serve as a model for the entire state on the importance of public and private partnerships and state and local governments working together with the private sector to spur redevelopment, economic growth, and job creation in our historic communities,” said Governor Hogan.
“Governor Hogan promised that Western Maryland would no longer be ignored, forgotten, or neglected, and today he is once again delivering on that promise,” said Senator Serafini.
The Hagerstown Urban Improvement Project is a Washington County-based initiative in partnership with the City of Hagerstown, Washington County Board of Education, Maryland Theatre, and University System of Maryland at Hagerstown. This public-private partnership supports several key projects with the goal of stimulating revitalization in downtown Hagerstown.