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ANNAPOLIS (March 9, 2009) – After receiving rave reviews and amazing ratings, Maryland Public Television, the Maryland State Highway Administration and the Maryland Highway Centennial partners are proud to announce the encore presentation of “Moving Maryland Forward – A century of modern highways” on March 12th at 9 p.m.
According to Nielsen ratings, over 45,000 households comprised of more than 58,000 viewers tuned in when the documentary originally aired on MPT on November 13, 2008. This is equivalent to of a 2.9 share, which is more than comparable to major network viewer ratings in that time period, and is double the share of the MPT mainstay, “Masterpiece Theatre.”
The film, providing 100 years of history, explores the hard road Maryland has traveled from the founding of the State Roads Commission in 1908, to its incredible transformation into the world-class road system we enjoy today. Audiences are taken down memory lane to a time when the majority of Maryland’s roads were made of crushed stones, logs or oyster shells, and when snow was left to melt naturally since it was considered an “act of God.” Along with a profusion of other fascinating facts, viewers are treated with rare footage of Maryland’s highways and bridges in various stages of construction, as well as interviews with transportation professionals from both the public and private sector – some with over 50 years experience.
The re-airing of the documentary is a pleasant addition to the year-long celebration of Maryland’s highways. With exhibits in the Baltimore Museum of Industry, the Maryland Science Center and at community and state fairs, the anniversary observance was developed to promote safety among drivers, motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians throughout the state, a message that was underscored through the centennial theme, “Buckle up. Live to be 100 like we are.”
The centennial celebration also reminds Maryland citizens of the value of our modern transportation system. The State Roads Commission, founded in 1908, gradually evolved into the State Highway Administration (SHA) and the Maryland Transportation Authority under the Maryland Department of Transportation in 1970. Funding for the documentary is shared by a number of firms in private industry, many of which are longtime partners in the road-building industry.
The Maryland Highway Centennial Executive Committee spearheaded the effort to highlight the 100th Anniversary of the Maryland State Roads Commission. The committee was chaired by John D. Porcari, Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary, and former Governor Harry Hughes, Honorary Centennial Chairman. Partners in the effort include MDOT, SHA, the Maryland Transportation Authority, the Federal Highway Administration, the Maryland Highway Safety Foundation, the Maryland Quality Initiative and Maryland Public Television.
For more information, please visit www.mdhighwaycentennial.com.