Transportation Secretary to Play Key Role in Funding New Projects

As reported by the Washington Post, Maryland’s new transportation secretary, James T. Smith, Jr., will play a key role in determining how additional transportation revenue is allocated to projects across the state.  From the article,

With a new state sales tax on gasoline, there is suddenly money to be had — an estimated $4.4 billion in additional revenue over the next six years — and a long wish list of projects that were postponed during the lean years.

Smith will help to determine who gets what, and when.

“The person serving as secretary of transportation for the next year or so will be making some critical decisions about spending that will shape transportation for years to come in Maryland,” said Lon Anderson, head of government affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic.

During the interview for this article, Secretary Smith offered his thoughts on how the funding should be spent.

Smith, who lives in Cockeysville in Baltimore County, said he is well aware that he must keep promises made statewide that the additional pain at the pump would ease traffic, provide more transit options, create jobs and spur economic development.

“One of the biggest challenges of our department is to deliver visible signs of what this money is allowing to happen,” Smith said recently during a one-hour interview at the Maryland Department of Transportation headquarters near Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport. “There’s so much in the queue that it will be a challenge to get it out.”