Nearly $650 million to go to Prince George’s transportation projects -- Gazette.Net



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Nearly $650 million is headed for transportation projects in Prince George's County thanks to a July 1 increase in Maryland's motor fuel tax, officials announced Monday.

The projects will reduce traffic congestion, improve pedestrian safety, and create 4,000 jobs, Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) said in a statement.

The state set aside $50 million to improve pedestrian access to the Branch Avenue Metro Station, including constructing a new pedestrian bridge over Branch Avenue itself. Another $7 million will pay for the design of a full interchange on Interstate 495 at the Greenbelt Metro Station, where there is only a partial interchange.

Another $150 million will pay for the construction of a new interchange on Pennsylvania Avenue at Suitland Parkway and $20 million will pay for right-of-way acquisition for bicycle and pedestrian improvements along a stretch of U.S. 1 in College Park.

Funds for two other projects — $280 million for right-of-way acquisition and final design work on the proposed Purple Line light rail system and $100 million to construct an interchange on Indian Head Highway at Kerby Hill-Livingston Road — were announced earlier this year, when the tax increase was signed into law.

Another $26 million will pay for construction of various pedestrian and bicycle improvements along Branch Avenue, Naylor Road, Kenilworth Avenue and Queens Chapel Road.

The state's tax on motor fuel — which previously had not been increased since 1992 — rose this month from 23.5 cents per gallon to 27 cents per gallon.

Prince George's County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) thanked O'Malley in a statement, and said the new money would help push the county toward becoming the economic engine of the Washington, D.C., region.



dleaderman@gazette.net