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Map of proposed Red Line route.

About that Red Line tunnel to nowhere

Baltimore isn’t getting the much talked about Red Line project because state officials under Republican Gov. Larry Hogan worried the proposed $2.9 billion project would wind up being a money pit.

And while officials and supporters have been talking for years about the 14.1-mile long lightrail line that would connect Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center with Woodlawn in Baltimore County there was never anything in the way of construction. The state never signed a funding agreement with the federal government nor advanced to the stage where a contractor had been selected.

But that didn’t stop at least one delegate from Baltimore City from asking about what happens to the hole she believes

Del. Barbara A. Robinson (Photo: Maryland State Archives)

Del. Barbara A. Robinson (Photo: Maryland State Archives)

has already been started as part of the project’s construction.

Del. Barbara Robinson, D-Baltimore City, wanted to know about the fate of that alleged tunnel to no where and wondered if its fate would be similar to that of the so-called “Highway to Nowhere” that 40 years ago was meant to connect I-95 to I-70.

“What happens to the progress that has been made?” Robinson asked state Transportation Sec. Pete K. Rahn. “Will that just be a tunnel that doesn’t go anywhere? What happens to what has already been made?”

Robinson asked her question during a briefing on the recent decision to cancel the anticipated transit project that was held by the House Appropriations and Senate Budget and Taxation Committees.

Rahn, who told legislators that the 3.4 mile long tunnel at a projected cost of $1 billion was the fatal flaw in the project that could not be worked around, seemed surprised by the question.

“The Red Line is not moving forward but we do not have a tunnel,” Rahn explained. “We do not have a tunnel in place so there is no construction that will be stranded as a result of this decision. The tunnel was a feature within the proposed project but has not been built.”

Hopefully, Rahn’s answer fills in the gaps.