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Maryland chooses team to build, maintain Purple Line light-rail route


Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan yesterday announced that Purple Line Transit Partners has been chosen to build the 16.2-mile, $2 billion Purple Line light-rail project.

The team — which comprises Fluor Enterprises Inc., Meridiam Infrastructure Purple Line LLC and Star America Purple Line LLC — will design, build, finance, operate and maintain the line under a public-private contract.

The line will have 21 stations and will run from New Carrollton to Bethesda, Md.

With an expected $1.36 billion in fare revenue, along with local and federal contributions to the project, the final cost for the state will be $3.3 billion over 36 years, according to a press release issued by Hogan's office.

The state's upfront expenditure for Purple Line construction will be $159.8 million, down $8 million from previously announced estimates. Additionally, Maryland's annual availability payments have decreased to $149 million from $167 million. These payments cover financing, operations, maintenance and future required capital repairs and replacements for the line, Hogan's release said.

Following approval by Maryland's Board of Public Works in April, the contract would proceed to the financial close in early June. That would enable the state to work with the Federal Transit Administration to finalize a full funding grant agreement in July, Hogan's release said.

The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA), which will oversee construction, will give Purple Line Transit Partners full notice to proceed on the project at the financial close, with construction starting in late 2016.

The line is expected to open for service in spring 2022.

In January 2015, the MTA identified four teams on the short list for consideration.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 3/3/2016