Metro and Maryland officials allocate US stimulus funds for maintenance projects
The Transportation Planning Board of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments will allocate $230 million of stimulus money for Metroâ€™s maintenance projects, while the Maryland government will assign the initial portion of stimulus funds to set a $365 million transportation project in motion, states a report in The Washington Post.The Metro projects consist of a $48 million plan to build a new rail-car inspection and testing structure for rapid servicing of rehabilitated and new cars, and a $40 million proposal to replace dilapidated rail station platforms and buses with new ones.The Maryland government will help finance a $365 million transportation proposal that will commence in a monthâ€™s time. It will comprise bridge maintenance and road resurfacing projects.Nearly $610 million of Maryland government funds will be allocated for transit and road projects of which $40 million will be used for Washington suburbs. The project break up reads as follows: $65 million for 100 hybrid buses and machinery, $142 million for transit work, $146 million for resurfacing work and $223 million for highway projects.Martin O'Malley, Governor of Maryland, was quoted by The Washington Post saying that the projects in Maryland were not massive, but were necessary for restoring the stateâ€™s infrastructure.Emeka Momeme, the chief administrative office of Metro, affirmed that the transit projects would enable better service and lower operating costs.Metro departmentâ€™s $1.3 million operating budget is currently facing a $154 million deficit. The $230 million stimulus money may force the board to shift money to the operating budget from the capital budget.