June 2, 2020
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The Federal Highway Administration and the Maryland Department of Transportation made available on April 17 a 505-page draft version of an environmental assessment for the proposed Washington D.C. to Baltimore Loop Project; the first step in a joint federal-state review of what the U.S. Department of Transportation is calling “non-traditional transportation technology.”

[Above photo by The Boring Company.]

That draft is now open to a 45-day public comment period and final governmental approvals will depend on the outcome of the review and comment process, alongside any “subsequent modifications,” the agencies noted.

The California-based Boring Company is proposing to build a privately-funded underground high-speed train-like tunnel facility to help alleviate traffic congestion between Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, MD.

Photo by The Boring Company

The proposed project would consist of twin underground tunnels approximately 35 miles in length between the two cities which in part would follow the right-of-way under the Baltimore Washington Parkway, USDOT said in a statement, with the proposed Loop station terminals located on New York Avenue northwest of Union Station in Washington, D.C., and in the Camden Yards area in downtown Baltimore.

The release of the Loop project’s environmental assessment coincides with the launch of USDOT’s new Non-Traditional and Emerging Transportation Technology or NETT Council in mid-March, the agency said; a new “internal deliberative body” USDOT Secretary Elaine Chao said is tasked with identifying jurisdictional and regulatory gaps arising from USDOT’s review of new transportation technologies.

 

editor@aashto.org

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