Hoyer wants answers on Nice Bridge

Bryan P. Sears//June 5, 2015

Hoyer wants answers on Nice Bridge

By Bryan P. Sears

//June 5, 2015

A powerful Maryland congressman wants state transportation officials to explain how plans to replace the Harry W. Nice bridge will be affected by recently approved toll reductions.

Rep. Steny Hoyer, in a June 4 letter to Maryland Transportation Authority Executive Director Bruce W. Gardner, to provide details including what has already been spent on the project as well as a timeline for completion of the project that is estimated to cost upwards of $1 billion.

“The Maryland Transportation Authority has identified replacement of the bridge as a top priority but I am concerned about how the Maryland Transportation Authority plans to move forward with this critically necessary replacement given the current budget constraints,” writes Hoyer, who is the number two Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives who also represents the area there the bridge is located.

In May, the authority board approved a plan to cut tolls at Maryland bridges, tunnels and toll roads. The plan will result in a $54 million in toll revenues that will be offset by a number of cuts including $29 million for the replacement of the 74 year-old Nice Bridge.

The bridge connects Charles County to King George County, Virginia — areas that Hoyer notes have seen its population grow by 80 percent since the bridge was resurfaced in 1985. Traffic is expected to increase by about 45 percent and many in the area use the bridge to commute to Virginia to work at the Dahlgren Naval Surface Warfare Center.

A number of elected officials have expressed concern about the future of the replacement given the cuts and statements made by transportation officials about another possible resurfacing plan.

State transportation officials are expected to appear before two state Senate committees next week to discuss the toll reductions and the affect on other transportation projects.






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