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MDOT: No major changes coming for Red Line

Red LineJC06The Maryland Department of Transportation says it will listen to concerns about Baltimore’s proposed light rail Red Line but that major changes to the project aren’t coming.

“The alignment and mode selected in August 2009 after extensive stakeholder input achieves benefits comparable to the best transit projects in the country,” said Erin Henson, a transportation spokeswoman on Wednesday night. “To make major changes to the route and mode at this point would only increase the project’s overall cost or reduce ridership.

“Nonetheless, reasonable suggestions to make the project even more competitive and attractive for federal funding must be part of our on-going dialogue with stakeholders.”

The department’s response came after four state lawmakers sent a letter to Gov. Martin O’Malley on Wednesday citing “grave concerns” while pleading with the governor to overhaul the Red Line project.

The 14.1-mile, $2.6 billion dollar transit project — if kept on track — could start moving passengers from Woodlawn to East Baltimore by 2021.