Governor Hogan announced earlier this week that the State Highway Administration will make engineering plans for highway construction projects available online for free, instead of charging a fee. The Governor commented that this step moves Maryland towards being more business friendly.
As reported by the Washington Post,
The change took effect July 1, allowing potential bidders to access construction plans without a charge through the eMaryland Marketplace. Contractors can view the documents as soon as the state advertises projects.
The Maryland Department of Transportation previously sold printed copies of the engineering plans, with prices ranging from $15 to $175. The fees brought in about $40,000 a year, and the state used the revenue to cover printing costs, according to the governor’s office.
The Hogan administration said that eliminating the charge will improve efficiency for businesses, increase competitiveness for potential bidders and eliminate the use of several tons of paper each year.