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Home / News & Reviews / News Wire / Search for new Purple Line contractor expected to take until December

Search for new Purple Line contractor expected to take until December

By | September 9, 2021

Delays continue for troubled light rail project, once slated for completion in early 2022

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Purple and white light rail trainset parked on curve
Purple and white light rail trainset parked on curve
While the first equipment has been completed for Maryland’s Purple Line, construction remains on hold and is years behind schedule. (Denko Imaging/Maryland Transit Administration)

HANOVER, Md. — Selection of a new contractor for Maryland’s much-delayed Purple Line light rail project is likely to occur in December, with a contract finalized by February — about five months later than had previously been projected.

The Washington Post reports groups bidding to replace the previous contractor, which quit a year ago in a dispute over delays and cost overruns, had asked for more time to submit proposals. A spokeswoman for the Maryland Transit Administration told the newspaper in an email that the additional time would “deliver more value to the state in the bids.”

A new timeline for the project — which was supposed to be complete in March 2022 but is at least 2½ years behind schedule — is likely to be determined when the new contractor is selected, as will a new cost estimate for the 16-mile light rail line.

The project has been in limbo since the consortium building the project quit in September 2020, citing $700 million in unpaid cost overruns, many resulting from legal challenges that delayed construction [see “Digest: Judge rules builders can quit …,” Trains News Wire, Sept. 11, 2021]. The new schedule must be approved by the state Board of Public Works because it changes terms of a $250 million settlement with the builders while allowing two of the three primary contractors to remain involved [see “Digest: Canada announces major change …,” News Wire, Nov. 25, 2020].

One thought on “Search for new Purple Line contractor expected to take until December

  1. Eleven years ago I lived adjacent to this – at the time, proposed – project and have been following it’s tortured path ever since. It is a textbook case on how not to build a public transportation project.

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