Opinion: Maryland Governor's 'Road Warrior' Status Doesn't Excuse This Boondoggle

A Baltimore Sun columnist writes a scathing critique of Maryland's highway building program.

1 minute read

January 8, 2019, 7:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

U.S. Route 40 Alternate and U.S. Route 219

The intersection of U.S. Route 40 Alternate and U.S. Route 219 in Grantsville, Maryland. | Google Maps

Dan Rodricks provides a dispatch from Grantsville, Maryland, where construction has begun on a $61.5 million highway construction project supported by Governor Larry Hogan and questioned by environmentalists, transit advocates, and fiscal conservatives.

The opposition's case is most salient in a soundbite in a July 2018 article by Michael Dresser. In that article from July, Dru Schmidt-Perkins, former executive director of the environmental group 1000 Friends of Maryland, called the project a "highway from nowhere through nowhere to nowhere."

The work to build a roundabout in Grantsville is one of the many highway and road projects approved by Gov. Hogan after he cancelled funding for the planned Red Line.

Rodricks adds to the commentary by questioning the wisdom of the work in Grantsville, the Route 219 Realignment project, which is only one component of the much larger package of work approved by Gov. Hogan.

"Pardon me for being skeptical of large, new road projects through the rural countryside, especially when there’s a huge need for improved infrastructure in heavily populated metropolitan areas," writes Rodricks.

"Hogan is a road warrior. He promised asphalt. He’s delivering it. But this is the same man who, in killing the Red Line, said, 'We are opposed to wasteful boondoggles,' then appears to have funded a beauty in Garrett County."

Friday, December 14, 2018 in The Baltimore Sun

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