Purple Line at least a year behind schedule, reports show

Workers put up rebar and spray special concrete behind it to hold the tunnel in place. (WTOP/Max Smith)
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) (WTOP/Max Smith)
purple line
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)
Machinery digs into the Purple Line tunnel. (WTOP/Max Smith) (WTOP/Max Smith)
The excavation machine works 4 feet at a time on each eight-hour shift, with workers putting up rebar and spraying special concrete behind it to hold the tunnel in place.(WTOP/Max Smith)
The excavation machine works four feet at a time on each eight-hour shift. (WTOP/Max Smith) (WTOP/Max Smith)
All work on the Purple Line tunnel, including the tracks, is scheduled to be finished in 2021, which would keep the project on track to open in 2022. (WTOP/Max Smith)
The Purple Line is at least a year behind schedule, reports show. (WTOP/Max Smith) (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)
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) (WTOP/Max Smith)
(1/6)
Workers put up rebar and spray special concrete behind it to hold the tunnel in place. (WTOP/Max Smith)
purple line
Machinery digs into the Purple Line tunnel. (WTOP/Max Smith)
The excavation machine works 4 feet at a time on each eight-hour shift, with workers putting up rebar and spraying special concrete behind it to hold the tunnel in place.(WTOP/Max Smith)
All work on the Purple Line tunnel, including the tracks, is scheduled to be finished in 2021, which would keep the project on track to open in 2022. (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.

 

This content was republished with permission from CNN.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up