Highway projects may start once MVA gets approval on fees

June 14, 1991

State highway chief Hal Kassoff told a coalition of road contractors, engineers and labor unions yesterday that he plans to launch 26 road construction projects worth $85 million this summer if, as expected, the legislature agrees to raise more than 70 motor vehicle fees later this month.

Mr. Kassoff told Marylanders for Efficient and Safe Highways at the Baltimore-Washington International Marriott Hotel that he plans to restart all the road projects put out for bid before Dec. 10, when the state froze spending on most new transportation construction.

Those projects, he said, include the $21 million reconstruction of the interchange at U.S. 29 and Route 103 in Howard County; the $7.6 million expansion of Route 228 in Charles County into a six-lane road from Sharperville Road to U.S. 301; and the $35 million expansion of Route 214 in Prince George's County into a four-lane highway along two stretches west of the Capital Beltway.

A bill that would give the Motor Vehicle Administration the power to raise the fees will be considered by legislators at a special budget session June 26. The fees are expected to reap about $35 million in fiscal 1992, which begins July 1.

Stephen G. Zentz, deputy transportation secretary, said the money would be coupled with federal matching funds and new borrowing power to underwrite hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of currently frozen projects.

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