New contractors picked to restart Maryland’s Purple Line

Maryland transportation officials have picked new contractors to restart the stalled Purple Line light-rail project in Washington’s inner suburbs, state officials and a private consortium managing the project said Friday.

Dragados USA and OHL USA, American subsidiaries of major Spanish construction firms, will replace the team that quit last year after years of disputes over extensive delays and cost overruns, leaving a 16-mile stretch of construction sites mostly abandoned, The Washington Post reported.

Other details, such as when the line will begin to operate and how much it will cost to build, won’t be revealed until the Maryland Board of Public Works reviews the finalized contract, project officials said. It’s not clear when that would happen.

Purple Line Transit Partners is responsible for building the line, financing part of its construction and operating it for 30 years through a $5.85 billion public-private partnership.

The east-west line meant to connect with Metro and MARC in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties was originally expected to be carrying passengers in March 2022. The new timeline could add about 18 months in addition to the more than 2½ years of delays the previous contractor cited.

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