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Governor Larry Hogan Announces Federal BUILD Grants for Two Major Transportation Projects

Over $26 Million Awarded for Port of Baltimore, Belvidere Road Interchange

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan today announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded $26.6 million in Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Discretionary Grants for two major transportation projects in Maryland. A $20 million grant for the Belvidere Road Interchange Project will significantly improve truck access to I-95 to support development at the Principio Business Park in Cecil County, and a $6.6 million grant for the Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore’s Seagirt Marine Terminal, which will deepen a second container berth to allow the Port to handle two supersized container ships simultaneously.

“Our administration is committed to expanding Maryland’s transportation network, and these projects will support thousands of new jobs and spur economic growth and development in every corner of our state,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “I want to thank Secretary Elaine Chao and her team at the U.S. Department of Transportation for working with us to get these critical projects moving.”

The total economic impact of the proposed Belvidere Road interchange is significant, potentially yielding between 8,300 and 10,600 jobs directly related to existing and planned distribution, warehousing, manufacturing, and retail businesses within the Cecil County Principio Enterprise Zone and adjacent development. A $20 million BUILD Transportation Discretionary Grant will support the project, which is a partnership between the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA), Cecil County, and Stewart Property Management, Inc., in coordination with the Federal Highway Administration. The Principio Business Park is projected to generate more than $560 million in revenue for Cecil County during the next 20 years. Cecil County listed the proposed I-95/Belvidere Road interchange as its top transportation priority.

The I-95 at Belvidere Road Interchange Project met the following BUILD Grant criteria: safety, economic competitiveness, quality of life, environmental protection, state of good repair, innovation, partnership, and additional non-federal revenue for infrastructure investments. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process for the I-95 at Belvidere Road Study is underway. An informational public open house will be held January 17, 2019. Final approval of the NEPA document is expected to be completed in fall 2019/winter 2020. Project information can be found at mdta.maryland.gov.

The $32.7 million deepening of the berth at the Port of Baltimore will be funded by the $6.6 million in U.S. Department of Transportation BUILD grant funding, $7.8 million from the state, and $18.4 million from Ports America Chesapeake, which operates the Seagirt Marine Terminal for the MDOT Maryland Port Administration. A second 50-foot deep container berth at the Port will allow the Port to handle two supersized container ships simultaneously, therefore enabling it to continue to break records. Construction is scheduled to begin in the second half of 2019 and should take approximately one year to complete.

Under a public-private partnership agreement signed in 2010 with Ports America Chesapeake, a 50-foot deep draft berth was constructed at the Seagirt Marine Terminal. The Port of Baltimore is one of a few U.S. East Coast ports with the necessary 50-foot deep channel to accommodate these massive container vessels. Earlier this fall, the Port of Baltimore welcomed the largest container ship to ever visit Maryland when the 11,000-TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit) container ship Gunde Maersk arrived at Seagirt.

The Port of Baltimore has seen a significant growth in its container business over the last several years. Last year, a record 596,972 containers made their way across the Port’s piers. Through October 2018, containers are five percent ahead of last year’s record year.

So far in 2018, the Port’s state-owned marine terminals have established records for:

  •        Best Fiscal Year (July 2017-June 2018) for general cargo tons: 10,976,270 tons;
  •        Best quarter for general cargo tons: 2,797,656 tons (second quarter);
  •        Best 1st six months for general cargo tons: 5,562,954 tons; and
  •        Most TEU (Twenty-foot Equivalent Unit) containers in one month: 90,152 in May.

Among the nation’s ports, the Port of Baltimore ranks first for autos and light trucks, roll on/roll off heavy farm and construction machinery, and imported sugar. The Port ranks second in exported coal. Overall, the Port ranks ninth among all ports for the total dollar value of cargo and 12th in foreign cargo tonnage. Business at the Port of Baltimore generates about 13,650 direct jobs, while about 127,600 jobs in Maryland are linked to Port activities. The Port is responsible for nearly $3 billion in personal wages and salary and $310 million in state and local tax revenues.

Find out more about federal BUILD grants by visiting www.transportation.gov/BUILDgrants.

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