Riders looking forward to Maryland’s highly anticipated Purple Line will have to wait more than four years, and before the first passengers take a ride, it’s going to cost more to complete.
Riders looking forward to Maryland’s highly anticipated Purple Line will have to wait more than four years before the first passengers can take a ride, and it will cost more than $1 billion more than expected to complete.
The Maryland Department of Transportation cited rising material costs, a shrinking workforce, material shortages due to supply chain challenges, surges in the insurance market and other post-pandemic factors as reasons for the slowdown and price hike.
It is now estimated to cost $3.4 billion, up $2 billion, to complete construction, and the service’s opening has been delayed from March 2022 to fall 2026. The original public-private partnership (commonly referred to as a P3) agreement in 2016 had broader costs estimated at $5.6 billion, and with the new P3 agreement, the cost has increased to $9.3 billion.
MDOT chose Maryland Transit Solutions, or MTS, as the new team to complete the 16.2-mile, 21-station Purple Line connecting Prince George and Montgomery counties. It will submit the selection to the Public Works Council for approval on 26 January.
MTS is a subsidiary of Dragados USA Inc. and OHL USA Inc. Construction will start later in the spring.
“Incorporating the amendment to the Purple Line P3 Agreement with the Public Works Council is the next step needed to move the Purple Line from construction to an active light rail line that creates a truly interconnected regional transit system,” said Holly. Arnold of Maryland Transit Administration in a position.
The Purple Line has been experiencing delays since its inception. In 2016, the Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail have filed a lawsuit that stopped the project. More recently, one of the major contractors stop the project in 2020.
“Despite the challenges of recent years, we have never lost sight of the benefits of the Purple Line for residents and businesses in the National Capital Region,” says Arnold.
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