New bridge a good step, more infrastructure funds needed
The Charles County Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee commends Gov. Larry Hogan’s recent announcement of $765 million in funding for construction of a new Potomac River crossing from Charles County to King George County, Va. The governor should also be commended for an aggressive project that indicates the new bridge will be complete by 2023. The chamber concurs with Governor Hogan’s statement: “This crossing is vital to the nation’s security and to the quality of life of thousands of Marylanders who depend on this bridge daily for work, business and recreation.”
The Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Committee encourages the Charles County Commissioners to follow Governor Hogan’s example. Over the past five to seven years, Charles County has not remained true to its Long Term Transportation Plan and has consistently eliminated and defunded local transportation projects. Simultaneously, the county has provided no alternative long term transportation plan.
The Chamber of Commerce has advocated vigorously over the past 10-20 years for funding for safe, adequate and efficient infrastructure which is critical to economic development and job growth in our county. In order for businesses to invest or grow and to create jobs, businesses need infrastructure or the certainty that infrastructure will be there. Traffic relief is not just a business issue, but is also a consistent theme from the motoring public in hearing after hearing and in comment after comment on social media. Moreover, a safe, efficient road network is critical to our residents, our first responders and our children — all of whom traverse our roads.
The Chamber’s Economic Development Committee thanks the governor and implores the county commissioners to ensure rapid completion of the Western Parkway, which includes funding of all phases of the Western Parkway — to include Phases IIIA and IIIB, and to move quickly to implement and fund a long-term transportation plan that includes east-west connections and does not rely solely upon a northsouth transit route.
Maureen Woodruff, La Plata The writer is the chairwoman of the Charles County Chamber of Commerce’s Economic Development Committee.