Kevin Plank’s Port Covington development got some bad news this week when the federal government turned down a $76 million request for transportation infrastructure for the project.
Port Covington is located right off I-95, and the developers had requested the money in order to widen the highway off ramps and make other improvements in anticipation of future traffic. Their request was one of 212 projects submitted to the Department of Transportation for a grant that’s considered “hugely competitive.” This grant was one reason the Port Covington developers had cited for moving so quickly to get the hotly debated TIF agreement approved by the Baltimore City Council–basically, they would’ve had to have the TIF money approved in order to get this grant. Now that the grant has been turned down, it’s unclear how the TIF request will be affected.
The city also sought funds to smooth the flow of freight trains through the Howard Street Tunnel, something that’s of increasing concern now that Baltimore stands to benefit from the newly-widened Panama Canal. That application–for $155 million–was denied, too.
“This is a disappointing outcome,” a spokesman for Governor Larry Hogan’s said. “This is the second time in two years that the Obama administration has overlooked Baltimore by withholding federal assistance that could make a real difference to the future of the city.” The state has indicated that it will re-apply for the federal funding next year. And Sagamore has indicated that it plans to seek funds from a different federal program to build a light rail spur.
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