Monday, February 1, 2016

Leggett Announces Six-Year Capital Construction Budget; Focus on Education, Job & Business Creation, Affordable Housing, Transit, Road Maintenance

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett released his recommended $4.4 billion FY17 Capital Budget and six-year FY17-22 Capital Improvements Program (CIP) on January 15. The plan includes $192 million in funding for Purple Line-related projects – including a maximum $40 million County contribution to the State for the Purple Line, and $181 million for road maintenance. 

“Transportation infrastructure is critical to facilitate economic development, a high quality of life, and commercial and personal mobility,” said Leggett. “My recommended CIP reflects a balanced approach to funding roads ($340.8 million), mass transit ($232.8 million), pedestrian and bikeway facilities ($249.3 million), and highway maintenance ($181 million) - as well as bridges, traffic improvements, and parking ($147.5 million).

“Also included in my capital budget is a new Purple Line project to cover the County’s costs to secure land for right-of-way for the Purple Line as well as coordination and monitoring of the Purple Line and the three County-funded projects - the Capital Crescent Trail, Bethesda Metro Station South Entrance, and the Silver Spring Green Trail.

“This project also includes a maximum $40 million County contribution to the Purple Line project. While my FY17-22 capital budget includes $192.1 million for the four Purple Line- related projects, full costs and the required funding schedule will not be known until the State’s negotiations with the selected Concessionaire are concluded this spring.”

Other mass transit projects in the capital budget will complete construction of transit centers at Montgomery Mall and Takoma Park/Langley, improve the condition of Ride On bus stops and transit Park and Ride lots, and purchase 150 replacement buses. County and State funding has also been included to complete facility planning for the MD 355 and US 29 corridors as the first steps in a comprehensive bus rapid transit system.

Funding for new and improved roads has increased due to project cost increases and projects moving into the FY17 to 22 capital improvements program. Significant transportation projects include:
  • Montrose Parkway East will provide a new east-west road (with bridges, interchanges, sidewalks, and bikepaths) to connect the existing Montrose Parkway/Rockville Pike interchange to Veirs Mill Road. The road will improve access to the White Flint area and to I-270.
  • Goshen Road South will provide traffic congestion relief and safety improvements to the existing Goshen Road by widening existing lanes and adding a median, sidewalks and bikepaths.
  • Snouffer School Road and Snouffer School Road North (Webb Tract) are two related projects that will provide traffic congestion relief and safety improvements (sidewalks, turning lanes, and traffic signals) in the vicinity of the County’s future Multi-Agency Service Park. Both projects will be completed in FY19.    
  • Seminary Road Intersection improvements will realign an existing intersection in Silver Spring to improve traffic flow and enhance safety by adding on-road bike lanes and sidewalks by FY20.
  • East Gude Drive Roadway improvements will provide sidewalk safety improvements and enhance turning lanes at intersections to improve existing and future traffic flows by FY21.
  • Stringtown Road, Clarksburg Transportation Connections, Subdivision Roads and State Transportation projects: These projects represent partnerships with private developers to support development in the Clarksburg area. Work will be completed at various points during FY17 to FY20.
  • Maryland/Dawson Extended: Funding for the City of Rockville has been added to construct curbs, gutters, pavement, drainage, utility relocation, sidewalks and other safety and connectivity improvements to support continued development in the Rockville Town Center.
  • Wapakoneta Road Improvements and the Platt Ridge projects will be completed in FY17.
“Since FY06, I have increased road maintenance funds by $366 million,” said Leggett. “We must continue to aggressively address this issue. My recommended CIP includes $181 million for highway maintenance. Due to fiscal constraints, I was not able to increase funding for highway maintenance as I have done in the past. However, I have accelerated $6.15 million in FY18 funding into FY17, and I will look for opportunities to add funding in future CIP amendments.”