New Agreement Means Purple Line is Back on Track

An agreement has been reached to settle all outstanding financial claims and end litigation concerning the proposed Purple Line.

The Maryland Department of Transportation, Meridiam, Star America and Fluor, which had been partners on the project, reached an agreement which calls for the state to pay $250 million.

Under the terms, Purple Line Transit Partners P3 Agreement will proceed, but only with Meridiam and Star America as P3 developers and equity partners, the state announced. A formal settlement is pending a review by the Board of Public Works in December.

The Purple Line is a 16-mile light-rail line with 21 stations that will extend from Bethesda to New Carrollton in Prince George’s County.

“This agreement is a major step toward completing the Purple Line, a transformative project for our state and the region,” said Gov. Larry Hogan in a news release.

If approved by BPW, Meridiam and Star America would seek a new contractor to design and build the project. The companies would work in coordination with MDOT and the Maryland Transit Authority. Meanwhile, MDOT and MTA will retain oversight of some of the contracts and purchase orders so that work can continue. This includes light rail car manufacturing, bridge work, storm water drainage, paving and utility and pump station construction.

“Today is a great day for everyone with a stake in the Purple Line’s success but most especially for the people of Maryland. On behalf of my colleagues at Meridiam and our partner, Star America, we express our thanks for the resilient partnership we share with Governor Hogan, with Secretary Slater and the MTA,” wrote Jane Garvey, Chairman, Meridiam North America and Chairman of the Purple Line Transit Partners Board, in a news release.

“Star America is proud to have worked alongside our partners, Meridiam and the State of Maryland, to find the path to continue our partnership,” wrote Christophe Petit, President of Star America Infrastructure Partners.

“We look forward to working together to select a new design builder, reducing the risks to that completing contractor and rebuilding our operations and maintenance team so as to ensure the successful completion of construction and the long term operation of this important piece of the transportation system in Maryland,” he wrote.

“When you are trying to solve complex issues, collaboration is the key. In big projects like this, there are challenges you will encounter, and it takes a good partnership to work together productively on solutions,” said Greg Slater, MDOT Secretary.

In a tweet, Councilmember Andrew Friedson called the agreement “positive news” and noted, “Our community has sacrificed so that this project critical to our transportation, environmental and cconomin development goals gets done, and must ensure construct gets back on track.”

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Suzanne Pollak

About Suzanne Pollak

Suzanne is a freelance reporter with Montgomery Community Media. She has over 35 years professional experience writing for newspapers, magazines, non-profit newsletters and the web.


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