WASHINGTON — Some residents in Silver Spring, Maryland, living along the future route of the Purple Line have raised other concerns over the transit project.
They believe the state is failing to give them the advanced notice they were promised when it comes to the construction timeline and the direct impact the work will have on their neighborhoods.
“Our struggle has been that we haven’t gotten any prior notice, as we were promised by the Purple Line transit committee,” said Rebecca Lavash, president of the Sligo Branview Citizens Association.
Lavash’s association joined five others in the Silver Spring area to send a joint letter to Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, urging him to intervene.
Lavash said during the planning process, she and other neighbors were told by the state that they would be given all the information they needed to prepare for the construction and would be able to weigh in on the process.
As construction began with tree removal, Lavash said there was no advanced notice about where construction crews would be and when.
She also said no one has reached out to community organizations about the impact projects will have on neighborhoods.
“We just want to have a little control about what’s gonna happen to our lives over the next couple years,” Lavash said.
Chris Doherty, spokesman for Purple Line Transit Partners, said the project’s website has updates for residents about construction.
Doherty said community advisory teams, made up of members of impacted communities, will begin meeting in mid-October.
“What’s going on in those areas will be reviewed on a regular basis with those teams, so they’re constantly kept updated on what construction impacts might be in their particular area,” Doherty said.
The Montgomery County executive’s office said it has received the letter, but didn’t comment further about it.
Lavash lives along a stretch of the New Carrollton-to-Bethesda light rail line, which will be underground.
She acknowledged the project managers have made positive moves, which include the auditing of homes near where the tunnel will be built in case a home becomes damaged during the construction process.
Her hope is that before tunnel blasting begins, project managers will be in better communication with the community.
She hopes the state will offer a complete project schedule to community organizations so they can study it.
“We all want to see the Purple Line being built,” she said. “This is not an anti-Purple Line movement by any stretch of the imagination.”
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