ACEC/MW MDOT Luncheon Review: Thanks to Secretary Pete Rahn for His Years of Leadership, and Looking Forward to Working with Incoming Secretary Greg Slater

ACEC/MW member Mike Perrotta recaps the December 16, 2019 MDOT Luncheon where we said farewell to Secretary Pete Rahn and welcomed incoming Secretary Greg Slater.
Monday, December 16, 2019
College Park Marriott Hotel & Conference Center

ACEC Metropolitan Washington (ACEC/MW) teamed up with ACEC Maryland to host the annual Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) Business Opportunities and Networking Luncheon on the campus of the University of Maryland.   Senior Managers from each of MDOT's Business Units were on hand to present their organization's business objectives, initiatives and updated programs to an audience of 200 private and public sector professionals.  

Rizwan Siddiqi, current President of ACEC/MW, kicked off the Luncheon by announcing ACEC/MW's new Municipality committees and the creation of upcoming scholarship awards.   Rizwan then introduced MDOT's Secretary, Pete Rahn, who announced that he had informed Governor Hogan of his resignation, effective January 10, 2020.  Pete served 5 years of “long days but short years” as he put it and reflected on the many accomplishments to the State's transportation system during his tenure.  This included the ongoing I-270 Progressive DB project (I-495 to Frederick), the completion of MD 404, the Howard Street Tunnel project, and the practical design innovation of the US 50/Severn River Bridge capacity expansion (saving the State approximately $22 Million). 

Key elements/takeaways from the Business Unit presentations (see the complete presentation for more detail): 

MDOT SHA  -  Greg Slater, current MDOT State Highway Administrator, confirmed that he will be replacing Pete as MDOT Secretary, pending legislative approval, but did not mention who would become the interim MDOT SHA Administrator.   His presentation focused on MDOT SHA's Pillars of Progress (innovation, modernization, communication and customer experience), along with their ‘key' challenges (safety, state of good repair, and mobility) and emphasis on the TSMO program.  Top accomplishments this past year included the deployment of High Friction Surface Treatment on pavements, an 8-month reduction in average A/E contract processing time, moving forward with the P3 Programs (including the Capital Beltway Accord between MD and VA), the creation of a new Asset Management Office, and the launching of Context-Driven Safety.

MDOT MVA  -  Administrator Christine Nizer reported improved customer satisfaction, IT modernization, and the progression of digital pilot programs including alcohol detection technology in state vehicles, digital license plates and drivers' licenses, and connected and automated vehicles.  Upcoming procurements include several construction, service and maintenance opportunities.

Maryland Transportation Authority (MdTA)  -  Will Pines, Chief Engineer, stated that the I-95/JFK Highway ETL expansion project will include up to 20 Design-Bid-Build projects and a new DB interchange project in Cecil County (Belvidere Road) will be advertised in the Spring of 2020 .  The Nice Bridge DB Team (led by Skanska) was selected and will begin work in 2020 on the $463 Million project.  TSMO opportunities will include the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Gate System and Toll Plaza Reconstruction, and hard-running shoulders along portions of I-95.  Upcoming A/E contracts expected in the Summer of 2020 include ITS/Electrical (3-5 @ $17M total), and Annual Inspection (4-6 @ $65M total).

MDOT MTA  -  Administrator Kevin Quinn spoke about the agency's ‘themes' (state of good repair, leveraging new technology to improve system performance, and focus on customer perspective).  He then listed the successes from the past year, including the progress of the Purple Line (approx. 20% complete, 2 more years anticipated), the launching of the CharmPass mobile ticketing and the Transit App.  Upcoming procurement opportunities include construction and maintenance for Metro, MARC, Commuter Bus and Local Bus.  

MDOT MPA  -  Steve Johnson, Director of Engineering, updated attendees on the Port of Baltimore's improvements including berth, SWM and Resiliency Buildout construction at Dundalk Marine Terminal and overviews of the other active facilities throughout the Port.  Upcoming A/E procurement opportunities include Concrete Deck Repair V (Summer 2020 – NTE $2 M) and Agency-wide Building Repair III (Winter 2021 – NTE $10 M).

MDOT MAA  -  Administrator Ricky Smith stated that DC-area residents have now passed Baltimore-area residents using BWI airport for travel.  There are multiple packages for design bidding opportunities under CMAR for the Terminal A/B Connector and Baggage Handling System, with an estimated $400 Million construction procurement upcoming (2020-2023).  Additional construction procurement opportunities (inclusive of DBE Subcontracts) include the Southwest Airlines Maintenance Complex, the Airfield Rehab Program, and the Consolidated Rental Car Facility Improvements.
Upcoming ACEC/MW and ACEC/MD Events 
VA Transportation Breakfast – February 12, 2020 at CIT in Herndon, VA
Maryland Legislative Day – January 30th, 2020 in Annapolis
Chesapeake Bay TMDL Symposium – February 19th, 2020 at the College Park Marriott
ACEC/MW Transportation Committee
The ACEC/MW Transportation Committee meets monthly on the last Friday of the month with the next meeting on January 31, 2020.  The committee covers MDOT, DDOT and VDOT, rail and aviation.  It is the largest committee within ACEC/MW.  If you are interested in joining the committee, please email ACEC/MW.
About the Author: Michael A. Perrotta, P.E., AICP                                                                           
Mr. Perrotta is Century Engineering, Inc.'s Vice President in charge of Transportation Planning and Preliminary Engineering for the firm.  He has over 25 years of experience in multimodal transportation improvement projects, infrastructure expansion, development projects and conducting environmental analysis, environmental documentation and public involvement. He has served as a contract/project manager for numerous high-profile infrastructure improvement projects for clients throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, with professional engineering licenses in 6 states.  Mike has been involved in ACEC/MW and MD  committees since 2010 and is the past President of ASCE's Maryland Section.   Mike earned a bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from Clemson University and a master's degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Maryland.


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