PHOTO: Left to right – Stephen Skippen, Skanska; Amando Madan, Skanska; Lewis Shrensky, Fort Myer Construction; Sam Patel, Fort Myer Construction; Gov. Larry Hogan; James Russ, MTBMA; Bill Childs, MTBMA; Pete Placke, MTBMA; Mike Sakata, MWRTBA/ARTBA.

By Eileen Houlihan, senior writer/editor, ARTBA

Transportation infrastructure plays a big role in growing the Maryland economy and putting people to work, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) told ARTBA’s local affiliate, the Metropolitan Washington Road & Transportation Builders Association (MWRTBA), during a Dec. 15 holiday luncheon in Annapolis. He said the state made significant progress in 2017 on all of its most important projects.

“We inherited a transportation network that was in need of serious repair and that is exactly what we’ve been doing,” Hogan said. “Work on 69 structurally deficient bridges, 8,000 highways miles, and nearly 1,000 projects that total $9 billion are underway across our state from one end to the other.”

Hogan added that more people are using tolls, enabling some bridge work to progress faster. For example, the Harry W. Nice Memorial Bridge improvement project is expected to go to bid early next year, with construction starting by 2020 and traffic across the Potomac River in 2023. Hogan also noted numerous ARTBA/MWRTBA members were at the August groundbreaking ceremony for the Purple Line, a 16-mile light rail line in D.C.’s northern suburbs. It is one of the nation’s largest P3 transportation transit projects.

Also present at the holiday luncheon were key members of ARTBA’s Maryland Chapter, the Maryland Transportation Builders and Materials Association (MTBMA), including Chairman Bill Childs of Chaney Enterprises, First Vice Chairman Pete Placke of Gray & Son, Inc., and President James Russ, as well as Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) Deputy Secretary James Ports.