Pre-Construction Work Gets Nod on $5.6B Purple Line Project

A team of private companies were recently awarded a multi-billion dollar contract to design, build and operate a light-rail Purple Line in the Maryland suburbs.

Tue April 26, 2016 - Northeast Edition
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A team of private companies recently awarded a $5.6 billion contract to design, build and operate a light-rail Purple Line in the Maryland suburbs.
A team of private companies recently awarded a $5.6 billion contract to design, build and operate a light-rail Purple Line in the Maryland suburbs.

The Washington Post is reporting that a team of private companies recently awarded a $5.6 billion contract to design, build and operate a light-rail Purple Line in the Maryland suburbs has begun pre-construction work on the rail project, state officials said late Thursday.

The companies — a consortium called Purple Line Transit Partners — were granted “limited notice to proceed” shortly after state Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn signed the contract for a 36-year public-private partnership April 6, officials said.

Under the limited go-ahead, the team may complete the line's design and do soil borings and survey work, said Charles Lattuca, head of project development and delivery for the Maryland Transit Administration. Lattuca and Rahn spoke Thursday night at a Purple Line forum in Silver Spring sponsored by the advocacy group Purple Line Now.

After the gathering, Lattuca said the pre-construction work will amount to $12 million, which the state likely will pay after the work is completed this summer. He said the state plans to grant the team full “notice to proceed,” which would allow construction to begin, soon after it signs a full funding agreement with the Federal Transit Administration for $900 million in anticipated federal construction grants. That agreement is expected to be signed in July. The bulldozers can't rev up until that full permission is granted.

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