O’Malley: Purple Line, other Washington area projects to benefit from gas tax increase


Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley at a bill signing ceremony earlier this month. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

As he signed legislation Thursday raising Maryland’s gas tax, Gov. Martin O’Malley identified an initial $1.2 billion in new road and transit projects that he said the new revenue will make possible, including several in the Washington region.

A list released by O’Malley (D) included $280 million in design work on the Purple Line, the proposed rail link between Bethesda and New Carrollton, and $100 million in design work for the Corridor Cities Transitway, a rapid bus line envisioned along I-270.

The list also included several new interchanges and other road upgrades around the state, as well as $100 million for expanded MARC train service and $170 million for design work on a proposed transit line in Baltimore.

Transportation officials say the legislation will yield $4.4 billion for new projects over the next six years.

Motorists can expect to pay 13 to 20 cents more per gallon of gas by mid-2016, according to legislative analysts. The increase will be phased in, with the first bump of about 4 cents a gallon coming in July.

“This historic transportation bill allows us to move forward with the first new major transportation projects in more than eight years and get our construction industry back to work,” O’Malley said at a ceremony in Annapolis where he signed more than 250 bills into law, including one a sweeping gun-control measure.

Among the road projects identified by O’Malley:

• $125 million for construction: I-270/Watkins Mill Road Interchange in Montgomery County;

• $100 million for construction: MD 210 at Kerby Hill Road/Livingston Road Interchange in Prince George’s County;

• $82 million for construction: U.S. 15/Monocacy Boulevard Interchange in Frederick County/Western Maryland;

• $60 million for construction: I-695 Leeds Avenue Interchange reconstruction and bridge replacement in Baltimore County;

•$54 million for construction: U.S. 301/MD 304 Interchange in Queen Anne’s County/Eastern Shore;

• $49 million for construction: U.S. 29 northbound widening to three lanes from Seneca Drive to MD 175 in Howard County;

• $44 million for construction: Aberdeen Proving Ground BRAC Intersection Improvement in Harford County;

• $20 million for design: New Thomas Johnson Bridge in Calvert and St. Mary’s counties/Southern Maryland.

John Wagner has covered Maryland government and politics for The Post since 2004.
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