Baltimore’s subway commuters will reportedly need to plan ahead for a second system-wide shutdown this year.
Kevin Quinn, head of the Maryland Transit Administration, told Baltimore lawmakers gathered in Annapolis this morning that the agency expects the city’s subway system will need to be shut down this August to repair sections of straight track, according to The Sun’s Scott Dance. Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn was also at the meeting.
Quinn said the agency isn’t sure how long the August shutdown will last until the current ongoing trackwork is finished and engineers can inspect the remaining track, per the report.
MTA spokespeople have not responded to a request for comment from Baltimore Fishbowl.
The entire subway system is already closed through March 11. The MTA on Sunday announced the closure of all 14 subway stations so that crews could perform emergency repairs. To cover the gaps for commuters, Mayor Catherine Pugh requested that Quinn and Gov. Larry Hogan arrange for bus bridges to shuttle passengers along what would have been their routes, a $2.2 million expense that Hogan approved.
In a report published yesterday (and completed back in November 2016), the MTA revealed it actually knew that sections of the subway track were in poor enough condition that they needed emergency repairs. Quinn told the Baltimore Brew Thursday that the agency decided to keep the system up and running based on an “engineering decision” from “the engineering folks and the inspectors that we could operate still safely.”
The planned shutdown for this August has been in the works; a release from the agency made mention of a “planned summer replacement project” for sections of track.
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