FILE — In this photo taken in September 2018, workers put up rebar and spray special concrete behind it to hold the tunnel for the Purple Line in place. (WTOP/Max Smith)
The Purple Line is a light rail line that will connect the New Carrollton and Bethesda Metro stations. (Courtesy Maryland Transit Administration)
Courtesy Maryland Transit Administration
Machinery digs into the Purple Line tunnel. (WTOP/Max Smith)
The excavation machine works four feet at a time on each eight-hour shift. (WTOP/Max Smith)
The Purple Line is at least a year behind schedule, reports show. (WTOP/Max Smith)
For now, excavators are digging a tunnel about 20 feet high and 40 feet wide. After the tunnel breaks through at the other end, crews will go back through to dig another 10 feet or so down so that there is room for the concrete slab that will eventually hold the tracks. (WTOP/Max Smith)
WASHINGTON – Newly obtained reports show the Purple Line is at least a year behind schedule.
The Bethesda-to-New Carrollton rail line was supposed to open in early 2022, but it’s been delayed by a lawsuit, environmental reviews, property acquisitions and coordination with utilities and CSX.
Maryland transit leaders insist a late 2022 opening is still possible.
But in reports
obtained by The Washington Post, the companies building the line have said it won’t begin carrying passengers until at least 2023 – and that’s if construction is accelerated.
If not, it could open two years late, in 2024.
State agencies believe the companies can do more to speed up construction. The delays have added more than $200 million to the light-rail line’s cost.
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