WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley Appoints New Transportation Chief

Play associated audio
Jim Smith will be in charge of the Department of Transportation, one of the state's largest agencies.
WAMU/Elliott Francis
Jim Smith will be in charge of the Department of Transportation, one of the state's largest agencies.

Maryland's new secretary of transportation says he'll make bridge maintenance a priority in the state.

The state's new Transportation Secretary Jim Smith is no stranger to the state's infrastructure challenges. At the announcement of his appointment, Governor Martin O'Malley explained why.

"Public service has been the calling of Jim's professional life. As a member of the county council, as a judge, and as county executive, and I'm absolutely convinced that he's going to be a very effective transportation secretary for the the people of our state."

As Baltimore County executive, Smith prioritized the reduction of congestion on Baltimore's beltway. He says one of his first tasks as head of state transportation will be to check the inspection records for the state's bridges, particularly road spans built between 1950 and 1970.

"That was the time that they were not using redundancy in their engineering. This was reported recently, it means that if there is a problem in one area, it would affect the entire bridge because there wasn't any redundancy built into the design," he said.

Smith will also oversee the state's recently passed $4.4 billion Transportation Infrastructure Investment Act. The Department of Transportation is of one of Maryland's largest state agencies, spending $3 billion a year for operating expenses and capital projects.

NPR

Bill Cunningham, Iconic 'New York Times' Photographer, Dies At 87

Cunningham worked at the Times for almost 40 years, capturing the fashion trends of the day with a timeless eye.
NPR

With A Zap, Scientists Create Low-Fat Chocolate

Scientists say they've figured out how to reduce the fat in milk chocolate by running it through an electric field. The result is healthier, but is it tastier?
NPR

NPR Battleground Map: Florida, Pennsylvania Move In Opposite Directions

Florida goes from Toss Up to Lean D, and Pennsylvania moves from Lean D to Toss Up. Overall, though, Clinton would beat Trump if she just wins states that at least lean in her direction.
NPR

President Obama Acknowledges 'Brexit' To Silicon Valley Crowd

President Obama delivered a speech Friday at Stanford University, and remarked on the Brexit vote in front of a crowd of young, tech-forward, pro-globalization attendees from 170 countries.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.