Mayor Rawlings-Blake Applauds Agreement with MTA to Advance Red Line Project
BALTIMORE, MD. (October 24, 2012) – Today, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake thanked the Board of Estimates for approving a Memorandum of Understanding with the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) outlining the City’s commitment to the Red Line transit project. The 14-mile light rail line will connect Woodlawn through downtown Baltimore to the Johns Hopkins Bayview Campus. When complete, the Red Line is expected to eventually carry more than 50,000 riders daily. The Red Line has been designated for expedited review by the federal government, which will allow MTA to receive final environmental approvals by February.
“The Red Line will play a pivotal role in helping to grow the City,” said Mayor Rawlings-Blake. “Providing safe, attractive transportation choices – biking, walking and transit – for residents, visitors, and businesses will help to transform communities across the city, and will pay dividends for years to come.”
The agreement commits the City to constructing projects necessary to building the Red Line such as a widening of the Edmondson Avenue Bridge over the Gwynns Falls in West Baltimore during its planned reconstruction, and constructing the Boston Street-O’Donnell Street connector road in Southeast Baltimore. The City will also donate land currently occupied by the Departments of Public Works and General Services and acquire land for a new Red Line/Bayview MARC station.
MTA has also committed to an aggressive local workforce and contractor development program and to incorporate extensive sustainability measures in the project. MTA will also reimburse the City for certain costs related to land acquisition and technical design reviews, while the City will waive permit and document retrieval fees.
“The City’s commitment to the Red Line is critical,” said Ralign T. Wells, MTA Administrator. “Mayor Rawlings-Blake and her team are strong partners, and the City’s contributions will help get us to opening day.”
The agreement is signed for the City not only by the Mayor, but also by the Directors of Planning, Public Works, Transportation, General Services, Housing and Community Development, and Recreation and Parks, each of which will play an important role in making the Red Line a reality.
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