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Maryland transit agency provides public more time to review Purple Line environmental document

The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) has extended the public comment period from Oct. 7 to Oct. 21 for an environmental impact statement for the the proposed Purple Line light-rail route.

In response to requests from community members, stakeholders and project partners, MTA agreed to the deadline extension for accepting public comments on the proposed project's Final Environmental Impact Statement and Draft Section 4(f) Evaluation (FEIS),  officials said in a press release. The FEIS was published on Sept. 6.

The environmental statement is designed to identify and address issues raised by the agency, the public and other stakeholders during  the project development phase.

The FEIS includes alternates considered, transportation and environmental impacts, and plans for implementing construction on the proposed east-west line in Montgomery and Prince George's counties.

"Public feedback is an essential element of how we do business, and we encourage citizens to give their input on the findings in the FEIS," said MTA Administrator Robert Smith.

Comments will be collected and sent to the Federal Transit Administration, which then will issue a "record of decision" on whether to advance the project to further design development and the right-of-way acquisition process.

The Purple Line is a proposed $2.2 billion, 16-mile, 21 station light-rail line that would provide connections to major business districts and other activity centers in Bethesda, Silver Spring, Takoma/Langley Park, College Park/University of Maryland and New Carrollton. The line also would link to Metrorail's Red, Green and Orange lines.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 9/27/2013