The Maryland State Highway Administration (abbreviated MDSHA, MSHA, or simply SHA) is the state sub-agency responsible for maintaining Maryland's numbered highways outside of Baltimore City. Formed originally under authority of the General Assembly of Maryland in 1908 as the State Roads Commission (S.R.C.), under the direction of the executive branch of state government headed by the Governor of Maryland, it is tasked with maintaining non-tolled/free bridges throughout the State, removing snow from the state's major thoroughfares, administering the State's "adopt-a-highway" program, and both developing and maintaining the State's freeway/expressway system. Since the reorganization of the several commissions, bureaus, boards, and assorted minor agencies with departments of the executive branch and establishment of the Governor's Cabinet in the early 1970s following the adoption of several individual reorganization recommendations after the rejection by the voters in a November 1968 referendum of the 1968 proposed overall new state constitution prepared by the 1967-1968 Constitutional Convention. It is now a division of the larger establishment of the Maryland Department of Transportation and is currently overseen by an administrator.
The headquarters for MSHA is located in Baltimore City. This building houses numerous divisions and offices, such as:
Office of Planning and Preliminary Engineering
Office of Highway Development
Office of Traffic and Safety
Office of Structures
Office of Environmental Design
Office of Construction
Office of Policy and Research
Office of Real Estate
Office of CHART and ITS Development ("CHART" is an acronym for Coordinated Highways Action Response Team and provides incident response services throughout the State, though it only provide regular patrols on interstates and select major arterials.)
Signal testing at the Office of Traffic and Safety
MDSHA sign shop
MSHA also maintains four research labs located throughout the State, as well as the Office of Traffic and Safety (OOTS) located in Hanover—which houses several additional divisions. Some other services provided at the OOTS complex include:
Traffic Engineering Design Division, which is responsible for the development of new traffic signals, signal modifications, upgrades, and signal phasing.
Office of Maintenance, which provides assistance with recurring maintenance tasks that require more intensive study—particularly roadway safety and resurfacing projects.
The Statewide Operations Center is responsible for requesting incident response teams for incidents on State roadways. Responders may including police, fire, medical, CHART, HazMat, MEMA, environmental, or maintenance teams. This facility is also equipped to operate as a Statewide Transportation Emergency Operations Center.
The sign shop, which designs and fabricates signing for use throughout the entire state.
The Office of Materials Technology (OMT) which consists of the Executive Services area and eight Divisions: Field Explorations, Engineering Geology, Pavement and Geotechnical, Asphalt Technology, Concrete Technology, Soils and Aggregate Technology, Structural Materials and Pavement Markings and Materials Management. All are crucial in the maintenance of current roadways as well as the development of new ones.
While OOTS and the Districts oversee the installation, modification, operation, maintenance, and removal of traffic signals along State roadways, Montgomery County differs in that it is responsible for the operation and maintenance of all signals within the County—even those along State roadways. However, the Districts and OOTS still control decisions regarding the installation, modification (including phasing), and removal of signals. A result of this agreement is that it relieves MdSHA of some of the additional resource cost of the regular duties with regards to signals.
There are seven districts in the State. These districts at the least, have divisions for traffic, construction, maintenance, and utilities. Each district also oversees several maintenance shops—typically one per county. The following is a table of the districts, counties within their jurisdiction, and their respective headquarters.