Transportation officials say big things are coming in 2014.
Due to revenue from the state’s gas tax increases, the State Highway Administration was able to green-light several projects that had been on hold for lack of funding.
“There is a lot of good stuff coming up,” spokesman Charlie Gischlar said, adding that gas tax funds have “allowed us to move a lot of projects forward, not only in Frederick County, but throughout the state.”
One of the state’s biggest undertakings in the county, the U.S. 15/Monocacy Boulevard interchange, will be in the engineering stage until 2015. The $82 million project is funded for construction after that, however.
In Frederick, the SHA is expected to wrap up the Motter Avenue bridge replacement project, totaling $14 million, in the fall. The agency will also build a new park and ride at Md. 75 and I-70 in late summer.
A streetscape project on Md.144 in New Market is likely to break ground in the fall. That project aims to improve drainage in the area, refurbish the road surface and improve sidewalks. It will also add signs, lighting and other landscaping features.
Myersville could see construction of sidewalk improvements on Md. 17 begin as soon as the spring. The project, which spans from Eagle Bay Drive to Cedar Street, will give students at Myersville Elementary a safer path to school.
When the weather warms up, the SHA will tackle resurfacing projects throughout the county.
It will resurface sections of northbound U.S. 15 from Angleberger Road to the Owens Creek bridge and northbound I-270 from Md. 80 to I-70.
Gischlar encouraged drivers to be alert in the construction zones that will pop up throughout the year.
TransIT could also see big changes in the new year.
Riders should have an easier time getting tickets, according to director Nancy Norris.
County bus administrators are looking to develop an app for ticket purchases. Now, riders can buy tickets by mail, at the treasurer’s office or at the TransIT office. A mobile app would allow people to buy tickets with their cellphone at any time.
As part of the mobile project, TransIT intends to roll out a one-day pass available only through the app.
The system will also look into the possibility of purchasing three electric buses, Norris wrote in an email. TransIT will request grant and local funding for the buses and necessary infrastructure to charge them.
“Our fleet of large transit buses is aging and there is the potential for long term savings with all electric vehicles, both in fuel and maintenance,” Norris wrote.
The Motor Vehicle Administration announced that it will also change some policies.
Immigrants in the state illegally will be allowed to apply for licenses and identification as long they meet requirements, such as proof of residency and having paid taxes.
Follow Kelsi Loos on Twitter: @KelsiFNP.