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Six teams submit qualification statements for Maryland's Purple Line

Six private-sector teams have responded to a request for qualifications to design, build, construct, finance, operate and maintain the Purple Line in Montgomery and Prince George's counties under Maryland's new public-private partnership (PPP) law, Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) officials announced Wednesday.

MDOT and Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) officials will review the responses and then announce a short list of teams in January. Those teams will be invited to submit formal proposals in early summer, MDOT/MTA officials said in a press release.

In late 2014 or early 2015, the agencies will select a preferred partner and recommend a final agreement to the Board of Public Works for its review and approval, they said. Construction could begin in spring 2015.

"Our intent is to short list as many as four teams to ensure competition and innovation in the Purple Line project," said Maryland Transit Administrator Robert Smith.

In November, MTA approved a PPP process for the Purple Line. Under the PPP delivery method, a single private partner will be responsible for providing financing to design, construct, operate and maintain the line. The delivery method differs from a typical project in which the state hires a contractor to design and construct a transit line and then MTA operates the system, MDOT/MTA officials said.

The 16-mile Purple Line light-rail corridor will run east-west inside the Capital Beltway between Bethesda in Montgomery County and New Carrollton in Prince George’s County. The $2.2 billion project includes 21 stations that will provide direct connections to Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's Metrorail Orange Line, Green Line and two branches of the Red Line, as well as the MARC Brunswick, Camden and Penn Lines.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 12/13/2013