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Purple Line Meeting Set For Tonight

By Aaron Kraut

Tuesday - 12/18/2012, 12:00pm  ET

The Maryland Transit Administration will host a discussion of the latest Bethesda Purple Line plans tonight at Bethesda Elementary School (7600 Arlington Rd.).

The “neighborhood work group” is part of an ongoing series of meetings with neighbors and residents of areas that would be affected by the construction and development of the Purple Line, the 16-mile light rail that would connect Bethesda with Silver Spring and College Park before ending in New Carrollton.

The $2.15 billion project is supposed to be completed in 2020. But it is currently unfunded, and according to Montgomery County officials looking for a hike in the state’s gas tax, it’s in serious jeopardy of ever being built.

The meeting today is from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and will include the latest renderings and designs for the Bethesda Purple Line Station, which would be built south of the existing Metro station at Wisconsin Avenue and Elm Street.

A number of issues remain, including how the Purple Line Station would connect with a planned South Metro Station entrance and how the light rail would affect the Capital Crescent Trail.

Some Trail advocates have been outspoken about their belief that the Purple Line shouldn’t touch existing Trail space at all. In October, MTA officials told a County Council committee they found a way to accomodate some of the walking path in the existing Trail tunnel under Wisconsin Avenue. The light rail is planned to travel through that tunnel.

Flickr photo by thisisbossi