BERLIN – The ongoing Route 113 dualization project got a small boost this week from federal funds assigned to right-of-way acquisition for the third phase.
The $222,300 appropriation comes from the Federal Highway Administration through the Fiscal Year 2009 Omnibus Appropriations bill.
Bob Hulburd, president of 113 dualization proponent CRASH (County Residents Action for Safer Highways), praised the appropriation.
“I’m always glad to see additional money for completing any part of 113,” Hulburd said. “I support the efforts of Senators Cardin and Mikulski on federal aid.”
Maryland’s members of Congress announced the funding this week.
“When completed, the expansion of US 113 to a four-lane highway will help address safety concerns, relieve congestions on this heavily traveled roadway and support the community and local businesses,” said Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD). “As a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, I am especially pleased that roadway improvements for US 113 include resurfacing of existing roadways and shoulders, reforestation, drainage upgrades and better signage and pavement markings.”
Cardin was joined in hailing the funding by fellow Senator Barbara Mikulski and Congressman Frank Kratovil.
“A safer America begins at home. That means investing in our infrastructure,” Mikulski said in a press release. “As Maryland’s senior senator, you can count on me to keep fighting for federal funding that will create jobs in Maryland and keep travelers along its roadways safe.”
Kratovil said in a statement: “US 113 is a major thoroughfare connecting beach communities along the Eastern Shore and is in desperate need of an upgrade to accommodate existing and future traffic. I am pleased that the federal government will be investing in these improvements taking some of the burden way from the state and local governments.”
Federal funding was instrumental in jump-starting the dualization of Rt. 113, which started at the Delaware line, several years ago.
“The initial money the federal legislators got for us back in the ‘90s to start off the north end was the key ingredient,” said Hulburd. “It wouldn’t have happened otherwise.”
Hulburd called the small right of way appropriation a good sign for further 113 dualization funding.
A major highway funding bill is expected to come up for re-authorization this fall, which could include some of the funding necessary to continue with phases 3, 4 and 5, none of which are currently funded for construction.
“It’s just one piece of the puzzle towards getting to the end. We still have a long way to go,” said Hulburd.