In a press release, Governor Martin O'Malley (who was also at the groundbreaking), said:
"The communities of West Baltimore have been frustrated and divided by this concrete wall for nearly four decades," said Governor O'Malley. "It is time to remove the unnecessary divider, reunite communities and make neighborhood-friendly improvements to the MARC station while creating jobs. With the Red Line and our transit oriented development vision for the area moving forward, the future of West Baltimore holds great promise."
The Governor's press release notes that in the original construction of the freeway, "Nearly 700 homes were taken, displacing working-class families, by the time construction of what was known as I-170 got underway in 1974. Public opposition by civil rights leaders, community activists and others to a network of urban highways that were planned to cut through the city eventually stopped construction of I-170 but not before a 1.4 mile section was completed through West Baltimore."
Thanks to John Coleman