Governor announces millions in highway improvements
BOWIE, MD (September 8, 2010) – Governor Martin O’Malley highlighted investment and job creation efforts in Prince George’s County today, as he welcomed students back to school and addressed the Greater Prince George’s Business Roundtable. Addressing the Roundtable’s Board of Directors, Governor O’Malley announced a series of highway improvements designed to leverage the job creating potential of the federal Base Realignment process which will bring 60,000 new jobs to Maryland.
“We are urgently focused, as are you, on creating jobs, saving jobs, and improving the conditions that allow businesses – businesses large, medium, and small – to create and save jobs,” said Governor O’Malley. “Investments in our infrastructure, including our schools and highways, have allowed us to hold on to jobs better than all but four other states and maintain a rate of unemployment that is 25% lower than the national rate. We live in a transformational time – and there is no State that is better equipped than ours to tap into the opportunities before us and the job-creating promise of the future.”
Governor O’Malley committed $7.5 million in his FY11 budget towards the construction of a new school at Oxon Hill High School, part of an overall $151 million school construction investment in Prince George’s County under the O’Malley-Brown Administration, a 67 percent increase from the previous administration. Statewide, Governor O’Malley has committed a record nearly $1.3 billion to school construction, representing an increase of more than 50 percent since taking office. In January, Education Week magazine ranked Maryland public schools #1 best in America for the second year in a row.
This morning, Governor O’Malley highlighted the importance of infrastructure improvements at our schools as well as one our roads. Addressing the Greater Prince George’s Business Roundtable, Governor O’Malley announced $4.5 million in funding for highway improvements related to the federal Base Realignment (BRAC) process. $2.5 million in federal funds, secured by Congresswomen Donna Edwards, will design improvements to two intersections impacted by BRAC traffic: MD 337 at I-495/I-95 North off-ramp and MD 337 at Suitland Parkway / Westover Road. In addition, Governor O’Malley announced $2 million in improvements to the interchange at I-495 / Forestville Road.
“We are moving forward on these upgrades, and we are moving forward with the Locally-Preferred Alternative on the Purple Line – so that we position ourselves for even greater job creation,” Governor O’Malley continued.
Last month, Prince George’s County’s unemployment rate of 7.6 percent was the 11th lowest of Maryland’s 24 counties and equal to the statewide average for the month, which remains 25 percent lower than the national rate. Since January, Maryland employers have added 40,000 jobs to their payrolls, growing jobs at triple the rate of the rest of the nation and double that of our neighbors in Virginia.