A transitway linking upper Montgomery County’s fast-growing biotechnology corridor with the Metrorail system could be built four years earlier and for $310 million less than a state plan would allow, according to a privately funded analysis released Tuesday.
The analysis, by the Baltimore engineering firm Kittelson and Associates, found that the first nine-mile segment of the so-called Corridor Cities Transitway could be built between the Shady Grove Metrorail station and the Metropolitan Grove MARC station with significantly lower right-of-way costs, fewer costly bridges and some scaled-back stations. The study was paid for by a dozen businesses, developers and institutions in the Gaithersburg area, including Johns Hopkins University and Shady Grove Adventist Hospital.
State plans call for construction of the first section to begin in 2018 and the line to open in 2020 at a cost of $545 million. The business group’s engineering firm said construction on its plan could start in 2014, with the first segment opening in 2016, at a cost of $235 million.