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Maryland Delegation to Urge Biden Administration to Support Updating and Expanding I-81 Corridor in Western Maryland

March 16th, 2021 by WCBC Radio

U.S. Representative David Trone, a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation-Housing and Urban Development, led Maryland delegation members in urging U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigeig to approve the funding request for the I-81/Halfway Boulevard Freight Connection Project in Western Maryland. The request was submitted by Washington County and the Maryland Department of Transportation. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Representatives Steny Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Andy Harris, Kweisi Mfume, and Jamie Raskin all joined the request.

I‑81 is estimated to carry 12 percent of the country's Gross Domestic Product per year. The Maryland portion alone carries more than 19,400 trucks per day, which falls within the top 1% of truck volume by lane mile in the entire nation. This heavy usage creates a disruptive bottleneck that slows the speed of transportation and worsens road conditions.

The I-81/Halfway Boulevard Freight Connection Project would widen I-81 from MD 68 to beyond I-70, complete a county road that connects Interstate 81 with MD 63 via Halfway Boulevard, and address critical safety concerns.

“This application represents the strong partnership between Maryland, Washington County, and the private sector to leverage all available resources to complete this priority project,” the lawmakers wrote. “A federal investment in our community will help ensure that I‑81 remains a national asset for freight movement for decades to come – safely and responsibly moving critical goods and services around our nation.”