ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Transportation officials in Maryland have suspended new construction contracts, hiring and procurement for a proposed light rail project.

Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn said in a statement Wednesday that the steps were necessary because a judge ordered further study of the project’s ridership estimates.

Rahn says Maryland has filed an appeal of Tuesday’s ruling, but there’s no timeline for a response.

Work on the 16-mile line has been delayed for months because of a federal suit filed by opponents of the line to connect Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.

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