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Johns Hopkins Given OK By Montgomery County

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Montgomery County Council unanimously okayed approval to a massive expansion of the county's Life Sciences Center in Gaithersburg.
Matt Bush
Montgomery County Council unanimously okayed approval to a massive expansion of the county's Life Sciences Center in Gaithersburg.

By Matt Bush

Johns Hopkins University can move forward with its plans to expand its Montgomery County campus in Gaithersburg. The campus will be the centerpiece of the expansion of the county's life sciences center.

County council gave a unanimous ok to the move. Councilman Marc Elrich was one of the last to support the plan, after months of wrangling.

"The hype for this project is greater than what this project is going to deliver. And I think the fears of the project are greater than what is going to materialize on the ground," says Elrich.

One of the biggest fears is the expansion will lead to a traffic nightmare in the area, which is not currently served by a Metrorail station. Councilman Phil Andrews shared that fear, but believes tying construction to how many people use mass transit to the area will prevent gridlock.

"It's going to be documented in a survey of employees that you have to achieve 18 percent of the workforce getting to work other than by driving alone before stage two can go forward," says Andrews.

And by stage four of construction, mass transit ridership must reach 28 percent.

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