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How much would the trail cost to complete without the rail line? MoCo should only be on the hook for funding that portion, if even that. The rest should come from rail funds. That's comparable to how the ICC trail was funded with highway funds (what little is being built).

Jack asks "How much would the trail cost to complete without the rail line?"
But the question assumes it is possible to complete the trail as a safe and direct trail without the rail line. To do so would require the County to offer CSXT enough $$$ for a right-of-way for the trail in several critical places so that CSXT would be bought off of its hard corporate policy against allowing trails in its right-of-way. It would cost many millions of dollars to get CSXT interested, if they would listen at all. Then the County would still face the high cost of building a crash barrier between the trail and CSX tracks at the Silver Spring end, and also the costs of several bridges and underpasses for the trail at Connecticut Ave., 16th Street, Spring Street and Colesville Road. The 2001 M-NCPPC trail facility plan set a rough estimate of $6M just for the elevated trail structure over Colesville Road and into the new Transit Center to make the connection to the MetBranch Trail.
If the County cannot, or will not, buy CSXT right-of-way for the trail alone, then any other trail alignment would be much less direct with at-grade crossings of several busy roadways, including 16th Street and Colesville Road. See the CCCT website, www.cctrail.org, Action Page article on finishing the trail, to see why CCCT will not endorse a trail alignment that does not follow along the CSXT corridor.
MTA must buy the CSXT right-of-way for the Purple Line. CSXT has already indicated to MTA it will negotiate with the State for the joint transit/trail project. Costs of some of the structures could be shared between transit and trail, including the most expensive elevated structure at Colesville Road. The Purple Line both makes completing the trial much more feasible and makes the cost of the trail lower than it would be if the County tried to build the trail alone.
Trail advocates should focus on insisting that the County and State work together to commit to full funding for the trail with the Purple Line, and let our politicians know we will not allow the trail to be dropped as they try to pass the buck back and forth between County and State.

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