Gov. Martin O’Malley last week announced that Maryland was the first state to meet requirements that will allow it to use at least half of its $431 million of highway funding provided by the stimulus package.

The Federal Highway Administration approved all of the state’s projects only 20 days after the funds were allocated on March 3. The 74 projects in the state’s phase one plan, which had to be ready for construction within 120 days or the funding would be redistributed to other states, were approved by the administration a week ago.

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