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Duke announces it will not participate in light rail mediation requested by GoTriangle officials

Courtesy of GoTriangle
Courtesy of GoTriangle

In a letter to GoTriangle Thursday, University officials announced that Duke will not participate in mediation that was requested by local officials regarding the proposed light rail project.

The request for mediation came in a March 4 letter after Duke declined to sign a cooperative agreement on the light rail by the Feb. 28 deadline. The current route for the Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit Project expected the University to donate land and give right of way. 

"Having concluded that your proposed DOLRT route down Erwin Road is simply not workable, we do not see any value in entering into mediation," Duke's letter stated.

The concerns reiterated by Duke in the Thursday letter include vibrations from construction, electromagnetic interference, liability and utilities.

GoTriangle spokesman Michael Charbonneau told WRAL that GoTriangle had not officially received the letter yet and could not comment.

The Thursday letter was signed by President Vincent Price, Executive Vice President Tallman Trask and A. Eugene Washington, chancellor for health affairs. 

"So this all comes down to risk. GoTriangle has created a set of compromises that Duke is simply unwilling to accept," Duke's letter stated. "These circumstances, based on facts that we have no reason to believe will change with further review or mediation, will jeopardize community health, public safety and the future viability of our enterprise."

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