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Cost Overruns and Delays Causing Drama on Maryland's Purple Line

Project documents acquired by The Washington Post reveal numerous unresolved problems with construction on the Purple Line.
January 11, 2019, 8am PST | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Maryland Transit Administration
Maryland Department of Transportation

"The opening of Maryland’s Purple Line is at least a year behind schedule, and delays have added at least $215 million to the light-rail line’s cost," reports Katherine Shaver.

Now the Purple Line is expected to open in February 2023, "almost a year behind the March 2022 opening date in the project’s contract and four months behind the October 2022 date that Maryland transit officials insist is still possible," according to Shaver.

Apparently there is still dispute over the potential opening data. State transportation officials are pushing Purple Line Transit Partners (PLTP), "a team of companies building the 16-mile line and helping to finance its construction," to accelerate work to stick closer to the original schedule. Meanwhile, contractors have also proposed a much later opening date of June 2024.

There are $5.6 billion reasons for PLTP and the state to figure out a way to get on the same page. "PLTP and the state signed a $5.6 billion contract — one of the largest ever in Maryland — for the private consortium to design and build the line and then operate and maintain it for 30 years. PLTP also is helping to finance the line’s $2.4 billion construction," according to Shaver.

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Published on Thursday, January 10, 2019 in The Washington Post
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