Governor Hogan Calls on President Biden, Secretary Buttigieg to Reverse Federal Highway Administration Decision to Delay Traffic Relief Plan For I-270/495, American Legion Bridge

From the Office of Governor Larry Hogan: Governor Larry Hogan today issued the following statement and sent a letter calling on President Biden and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg to immediately reverse the acting federal highway administrator’s decision to overrule the agency’s professional staff and delay the State of Maryland’s Traffic Relief Plan for the American Legion Bridge and the Capital Beltway:

“President Biden and Secretary Buttigieg pledged to support the states’ most critical infrastructure projects to create jobs and improve the quality of life in our communities. I united governors from both parties around an infrastructure plan, and held a summit in Annapolis to help pass the bipartisan infrastructure law.

“But now we have learned that the acting federal highway administrator plans to further delay Maryland’s transformative Traffic Relief Plan. We were completely blindsided by this action, particularly given that every comprehensive analysis we submitted had already been reviewed and approved by the agency. In fact, only a few weeks ago, the agency’s professional experts praised our study as a model for other states. This is just the latest example of how the acting administrator is undermining the law and longstanding practices that govern the approval of critical state projects. We cannot stand for this irresponsible and incompetent federal overreach.

“I am calling on President Biden and Secretary Buttigieg to reverse this acting administrator’s rogue decision and to fulfill the agency’s commitments. If action is not taken to immediately rectify this improper decision, we are prepared to use every tool at our disposal—up to and including legal action. While we do not want it to come to that, these reckless and apparently politically-motivated actions may leave us with no other choice.

“In advancing this project over the past six years, we have already had to overcome numerous attempts at sabotage by some Montgomery County politicians pandering to a small minority of pro-traffic activists. State transportation officials have gone above and beyond to address all of these frivolous concerns over and over again by conducting extensive public engagement far exceeding regulatory requirements, significantly reducing impacts, studying alternatives, and expanding multimodal mobility and connectivity. Yet they continue to try to obstruct a project that an overwhelming majority of their constituents desperately want.

“On top of that, we have had to contend with two years of unwarranted federal delays. These delays have increased the cost of the project by more than 20% amid unprecedented inflation, supply chain issues, labor shortages, and interest rate increases, potentially costing Maryland taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. As a result, I have directed state transportation officials to initiate the process of applying for a federal bridge grant to mitigate these federally-driven cost increases.

“This has been called the most important and transformative transportation project for the National Capital Region in the last 50 years, and with so many Marylanders still stuck in soul-crushing traffic, we are not going to let politics delay it any further.”

Background Information on FHWA Delays 

The I-495 & I-270 Managed Lanes Study has been delayed by two years, much of which was caused directly by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

Delays include:

  • Delay of Preliminary Alternatives Workshops: 2-month delay
  • Request for Screened Alternatives Milestone instead of going to Alternatives Retained for Detailed Study: 3-month delay
  • Federal government shutdown in 2019: 1-month delay
  • Change of the Alternatives Retained for Detailed Study after other agencies concurred: 2-month delay
  • Draft Environmental Impact Statement Comment Period Extension: 1-month delay
  • Change in Preferred Alternative, prepare Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement, and 15-day extension of comment period: 9-month delay
  • Separate Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision: 2-month delay
  • Creating an extra-regulatory “comment” period during the availability period of the Final Environmental Impact Statement and demanding responses: 1-month delay

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17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Now in its 17th year, the Kensington Day of the Book Festival is a family-friendly street festival featuring 150+ renowned authors, poets, and literary organizations. Enjoy live music on five stages, special guest speakers, military veteran writers and comedians, poetry readings, cookbook demos, children's program, and much more.

Admission is free, and attendees will also be able to explore a marketplace of books and food offerings from local vendors.

Not your average book festival! This festival offers something for everyone!

17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Sunday, April 21, 2024, 11am-4pm (held rain or shine!)

Howard Avenue, Kensington, MD 20895

www.dayofthebook.com

Instagram: @kensingtonbookfestival

Contact: Elisenda Sola-Sole, Festival Director

[email protected]

301-949-9416 (text preferred)

FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival

Get ready to experience the vibrant colors, tantalizing flavors, and infectious rhythms of the Caribbean at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival! Hosted by RHU LLC, this exciting festival is set to take place on May 18, 2024, at the picturesque 16700 Barnesville Rd in Boyds, MD.

Step into a world where the Caribbean spirit comes alive! From 12:00 PM onwards, immerse yourself in a sensory journey that celebrates the unique culture, cuisine, and music of the Caribbean. Whether you're an African American, a Reggae or Soca music enthusiast, a wine lover, or part of the vibrant Caribbean diaspora, this festival promises to delight and captivate you in every way.

Let the enticing aromas of mouthwatering Caribbean dishes tantalize your taste buds. Feast on traditional delicacies prepared by expert chefs, showcasing the rich and diverse culinary heritage of the Caribbean. Indulge in flavorful jerk chicken, succulent seafood, and delectable plantain dishes that will transport you straight to the islands.

Accompanying the culinary extravaganza is a carefully curated selection of premium wines, ensuring the perfect pairing for your palate. Sip on fine wines from renowned vineyards, each sip a reflection of the Caribbean's vibrant spirit. Discover new flavors, expand your wine knowledge, and savor unforgettable moments with every glass.

As the sun sets, get ready to groove to the infectious rhythms of Caribbean music. Feel the pulsating beats of reggae, soca, dancehall, and calypso, moving your body to the lively melodies. Live performances by talented musicians and performers will keep the energy high, ensuring a night of unforgettable entertainment.

Don't miss this opportunity to embrace the Caribbean spirit and celebrate the arrival of spring in style! Tickets are available on AllEvents, so secure your spot today. Join us at the FEST OF SPRING Caribbean Wine Food & Music Festival, where cultures collide and unforgettable memories are made.

LIVE PERFORMANCES By: CULTURE Feat. Kenyatta Hill, EXCO LEVI, IMAGE BAND, RAS LIDJ REGG'GO with Special Guest SUGAR BEAR FROM E.U. & MORE! & MORE!

MUSIC By: DJ ABLAZE, DJ SMALLY & NAJ SUPREME

2 NIGHT Camping packages available: RV/CAMPER $200 | TENTS $150 Starting on Friday May 17 @ 5pm | 30 RV SPACES | 30+ TENT SPACES

KIDS 12 & UNDER FREE!!!

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