Companies selected to build Purple Line

WASHINGTON — Purple Line Transit Partners, a team of private companies, will build, operate and maintain the light-rail Purple Line, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan says.

The team, led by Fluor Enterprises Inc., will start construction of the 16.2-mile line from New Carrollton to Bethesda, in late 2016. The line would be open for service in 2022.

The agreement with the Purple Line Transit Partners has the state paying $159.8 million in upfront construction costs. That’s $8 million less than Hogan originally said, according to a news release.

Purple Line Transit Partners is made up of the following companies: Fluor, Meridiam Infrastructure Purple Line LLC, and Star America Purple Line LLC.

“With great construction know-how, superior transit expertise and continued low interest rates, Purple Line Transit Partners is positioned to deliver a tremendous value to Maryland taxpayers,” says Transportation Secretary Pete K. Rahn, in a news release.

After the private companies build the line over six years, they would then operate and take care of it for another 30 years, bringing the cost to Maryland to $3.3 billion. The state says the overall costs during the 36-year period have been reduced $550 million.

Funding also will come from Prince George’s and Montgomery counties and the federal government. The counties have pledged $330 million and the feds, $900 million with another $125 million recommended in the fiscal year 2017 budget.

“Purple Line Transit Partners is proud to partner on this project that demonstrates how the public sector can join forces with the private sector to deliver innovative projects at a fixed price with a guaranteed schedule, all while transferring operations, maintenance and performance risk to the private partners,” says Herb Morgan, CEO of Purple Line Transit Partners, in a news release.

“This approach leverages private investment, provides high service levels, and reduces the overall public costs. Our team is committed to working collaboratively with stakeholders in the many communities we will serve and starting construction quickly to deliver this world-class project,” Morgan says.

Once the Board of Public Works approves the deal in April, the contract is expected to close in early June.

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Colleen Kelleher

Colleen Kelleher is an award-winning journalist who has been with WTOP since 1996. Kelleher joined WTOP as the afternoon radio writer and night and weekend editor and made the move to in 2001. Now she works early mornings as the site's Senior Digital Editor.

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