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Foxx: Baltimore's Red Line funds can't be used for other projects


Following Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan's cancellation of a proposal to extend Balitmore's light-rail line, federal funding set aside for the extension cannot be used for any other state transit projects.

U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) announced the news earlier this week at a meeting with Maryland's transportation secretary Pete Rahn and other government officials.

She had previously penned a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx asking if the funds could be used "for other transit modalities on the Red Line route."

Responding to her inquiry, Foxx said that the $100 million in federal funding for constructing the Red Line light-rail route could not be used for another project, meaning the state stands to lose the funds entirely.

In his letter to Mikulski, Foxx went on to say that the U.S. Department of Transportation shared her concern "regarding the effect of Gov. Hogan's decision to cancel and abandon the Red Line project, forfeiting the federal government's commitment for the development and construction of the project."

However, Foxx also noted that the Federal Transit Administration has not yet received an official confirmation from Hogan's administration regarding the Red Line's cancellation, which means the project remains in the agency's capital investment grant pipeline.

Mikluski added that her support of the Red Line "has always been about jobs today and jobs tomorrow."

"I’ve been bullish on the Red Line so that we can ease congestion, revitalize communities and improve our state’s transportation infrastructure," she said. "I am disappointed Governor Hogan has canceled the project."

The proposed 14.1-mile light-rail route would have run from downtown Baltimore into western Baltimore County, and would have featured 19 stations.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/14/2015