Purple Line NOW News - November 25, 2020

Purple Line NOW News will be back with a full edition in its next newsletter with reviews of the most recent Community Advisory Team meetings, an update on yesterday's settlement, and progress being made along the corridor. For today, a Thanksgiving message from Purple Line NOW's Board President:

Purple Line NOW is appreciative of all who are working to make the Purple Line a reality.

Although the project experienced some serious setbacks, we are incredibly thankful that the Governor and Purple Line Transit Partners were able to come to an agreement to continue the partnership and move the project forward.

We appreciate Matt Pollack’s leadership of the MTA team, Acting Project Director Vernon Hartsock’s detailed supervision of the work, Gary Witherspoon’s continuation of the Community Advisory Teams, and all those building the project, as we head into a difficult construction season.

Purple Line NOW is working to support these efforts, and to find relief for those, especially small businesses whose difficulties have been worsened by the delay. And we are mindful of those many who are foregoing their shortened commutes and other conveniences which will be provided by the Purple Line when it is completed.

Ralph Bennett, Board President

We also want to leave you with a few photos from all the work that is currently being done throughout our Purple Line communities. 


Deck Placement - University Boulevard at Northwest Branch

Installation of Floodplain - Paint Branch

Mud Mat - Veterans Parkway

Sewer Bypass Installation - Wayne Avenue

Welding Form Brackets - Veterans Parkway

Breaking News, Settlement Reached!

We’ll have more to say later, but for now, here is the Maryland Department of Transportation's press release announcing that “the State of Maryland and its partners – Meridiam, Star America and Fluor - today have reached a $250 million agreement that settles all outstanding financial claims and terminates the current litigation between the parties regarding the Purple Line project.”

We are glad to see that this matter has been settled and that all parties involved can get back to building the Purple Line!

Fluor is leaving the consortium and so Maryland will continue to manage the construction while the process for finding a new "Design and Build" contractor moves forward. There are many details yet to come, but a negotiated outcome between Maryland and the Purple Line Transit Partners was always the fastest way back on track and we are most thankful.


Purple Line NOW News - November 11, 2020

In today's edition of Purple Line NOW News, here's what you'll find:

  • Highlights from the Greater Lyttonsville/Woodside Community Advisory Team Meeting
  • Art-In-Transit Update
  • Photos from Around the Purple Line Corridor

Happy Veterans Day to all of the men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces! We here at Purple Line NOW honor your sacrifice and service.

event.png

PURPLE LINE NEWS AND EVENTS

Community Advisory Team Fall Meeting Schedule

These are the remaining Community Advisory Teams (CAT) meetings for this fall:

  • November 17, Silver Spring, 6:30 pm
  • December 1, University Boulevard, 6:30 pm
  • December 8, Bethesda, 6:30 pm
  • December 15, Riverdale Park/Glenridge/New Carrollton, 6:30 pm
  • December 17, Long Branch, 6:30 pm

Please Help Us Continue Our Work!

You'll be receiving an email in the next few weeks asking you to consider giving to Purple Line NOW (or renewing your annual contribution). As you know, we don't hold fundraisers, but instead rely on contributions from individuals and businesses to help us bring you information about the project via our newsletter and public fora, which are always free to the public. We attend meetings, like the one you'll read about below, and stay on top of as much construction news as we can to bring you the latest as the project chugs along toward completion.

We hope you will consider supporting Purple Line NOW at whatever level you are most comfortable - all donations are very much appreciated! The black DONATE button below will take you directly to our donation page. 

We will publicize your name (or your organization’s name) on our website and at our events as a way of thanking you and letting the community know how much you care about seeing this project finally become a reality. We appreciate all donations, small or large. Thank you, thank you! 

DONATE

construction2.png

CONSTRUCTION NEWS TO KNOW

Greater Lyttonsville/Woodside Community Advisory Team Meeting

Many of our board and team members belong to a Community Advisory Team (CAT) for their area and regularly attend the CAT meetings when they are held. As we have done before, we will be bringing you some highlights from each of the meetings, which have begun this past week for the fall schedule. We encourage you to view the entire presentation at the MTA MDOT website.

If you would like to read an overview of where the project stands and what the short-term and long-term plans are moving forward, please see the October 28, 2020 edition of Purple Line NEWS, where we provide an overview a briefing from MTA MDOT.

The Greater Lyttonsville/Woodside CAT meeting was held last Thursday, November 5, 2020. The stations covered in this segment include Lyttonsville and 16th Street/Woodside.

Gary Witherspoon, MDOT MTA Public Outreach & Communications Deputy Project Director, Matthew Pollack, Executive Director, Transit Development and Delivery, and Vernon G. Hartsock, Acting Project Director submitted the presentation.

Matthew Pollack is a Professional Engineer (PE) with over 30 years of light and heavy rail experience. Matt was raised in Montgomery County and currently lives in Prince George’s County. Vernon Hartsock is the Acting Project Director, with 28 years of MDOT MTA experience, and oversaw the design and construction of numerous MDOT MTA capital projects.

The team reported that outside of the P3 Agreement, some of the project activities are continuing:

  • Polk Street Maintenance Facility
  • Ken-Gar wetlands restoration
  • Paint Branch stream restoration
  • Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission’s 66” waterline relocation

In the meantime, as the team is evaluating construction activities and which ones might resume, MDOT MTA is “coordinating the work gaps presented by the departure of the PLTC.” 

  • Project funding is in place.
  • The long-term plan is still under development.
  • Community collaboration remains critical to project success.

The group has encouraged the community to provide input, attend meetings, and send in questions, so they not only know where problem areas are located, but also, as they move forward, what priorities respective communities would like to see.

In the past two months, MDOT MTA and the contractors have been working together to continue:

  • Manufacturing light rail vehicles and other key project components, including electrical components, and special trackwork;
  • Completing final construction designs for stormwater management and intelligent transportation systems across the alignment.

As mentioned, starting with a select few locations, they are also "directing the resumption of on-site construction along the alignment." They said that, "as contractors come online, the volume of work will increase." Here are some of the contractors the presentation highlighted and what they are currently doing:

  • Pessoa Construction Company – Water and sewer utility relocations and concrete work
  • Henkels & McCoy – Gas and overhead power relocations
  • M. C. Dean – Systems and electrical work
  • Empire Landscaping – Erosion and sediment control maintenance
  • Traffic Engineering Services – Maintenance of traffic support

In the short-term (over the next six months), plans are to continue watermain relocations and retaining wall construction. In the long term, throughout the next year, crews will be continuing work to relocate utilities, construct crash walls, and work on the Talbot Avenue and Lyttonsville Place bridges.


Watermain Relocation -- Wayne at Fenton in Silver Spring

Questions can be submitted to MDOT MTA until tomorrow (November 12) for this particular CAT meeting by emailing them to outreach@purplelinemd.com. If you miss this deadline or have questions about other areas of the project, feel free to send them to us here at Purple Line NOW (cscott@purplelinenow.comand we will do our best to get an answer for you or connect you to the right people.

Art-In-Transit Update

According to the presentation, 16 of 22 art-in-transit contracts have been fully executed. Eight of the 16 are in Montgomery County, for the following stations listed:

  • Connecticut Avenue
  • Lyttonsville Station (2 artists)
  • Silver Spring Metro
  • Silver Spring Library
  • Dale Drive
  • Long Branch
  • Piney Branch

Photos from Around the Purple Line Corridor


Sewer Relocation -- Kenilworth Avenue

Asphalt Resurfacing -- Riverdale Road

Conduit Ductbank Installation -- Veterans Parkway

Stay Connected!

We have a new feature for those who prefer to print off our newsletter (or save it to a PDF) instead of reading in your email. If you visit our website and click on the title of the article you wish to print or save, you'll be brought to a page that has a small printer and PDF icon at the top. Click on the one you prefer. You do not need our permission to circulate or forward our newsletter.

Make sure you are signed up for timely alerts from Purple Line NOW via our Twitter and Facebook pages, and at our website Purple Line NOW.


Purple Line NOW News - October 28, 2020

In today's edition of Purple Line NOW News, here's what you'll find:

  • Next Community Advisory Team Meetings Set
  • Please Give! 
  • Status Update on the Purple Line Project

event.png

PURPLE LINE NEWS AND EVENTS

Community Advisory Team Fall Meeting Schedule

The fall meeting schedule has been set for members of the Community Advisory Teams:

  • November 5, Lyttonsville, 6:30 pm
  • November 10, College Park, 6:30 pm
  • November 17, Silver Spring, 6:30 pm
  • December 1, University Boulevard, 6:30 pm
  • December 8, Bethesda, 6:30 pm
  • December 15, Riverdale Park/Glenridge/New Carrollton, 6:30 pm
  • December 17, Long Branch, 6:30 pm

Please Help Us Continue Our Work!

You'll be receiving an email in the next few weeks asking you to consider giving to Purple Line NOW (or renewing your annual contribution). As you know, we don't hold fundraisers, but instead rely on contributions from individuals and businesses to help us bring you information about the project via our newsletter and public fora, which are always free to the public. We attend meetings, like the one you'll read about below, and stay on top of as much construction news as we can to bring you the latest as the project chugs along toward completion.

We hope you will consider supporting Purple Line NOW at whatever level you are most comfortable - all donations are very much appreciated! The black DONATE button below will take you directly to our donation page. 

We will publicize your name (or your organization’s name) on our website and at our events as a way of thanking you and letting the community know how much you care about seeing this project finally become a reality. We appreciate all donations, small or large. Thank you, thank you!

DONATE 

 

construction2.png

CONSTRUCTION NEWS TO KNOW

Status Update on the Purple Line

Purple Line NOW attended a discussion on the Purple Line project with Maryland's Department of Transportion, hosted by Senator William Smith, Delegate Lorig Charkoudian, Delegate David Moon, and Delegate Jheanelle Wilkins last Thursday evening. Matt Pollack (Executive Director at Maryland Transit Administration), Vernon Hartsock (Acting Project Director for the Purple Line), and Gary Witherspoon (Purple Line Deputy Project Director) provided a status update on the project as of October 22, 2020.

As MTA moved into the state-managed construction phase, Director Pollack announced that the state does not intend to run the project, but rather will be looking for a new concessionaire in the months ahead to continue the work left on the project.

As of today, the state has taken over around 150 contracts. “The project is now the state’s alignment…the keys have essentially been handed over and the state is now in control of the ROW. As much as the design builder wanted to leave, we wanted to continue. Other than the design builder, everyone else wanted to keep working,” Pollack said.

Mr. Pollack reiterated the state’s commitment to finishing the project, which is always good news to hear. He did mention that the state is still hopeful that negotiations with the current concessionaire (PLTP) can be resolved, even though that will mean a new builder will be hired.

Since the concessionaire ended construction work, the state and PLTP have been working to make sure that sites are safely buttoned up, that all materials and documentation are transferred in an orderly fashion, and that everything gets accounted for as they assume the care, custody, and control of the project. Mr. Pollack said that demobilizing from an active project is “not clean, not pretty,” but they have been maintaining daily transition meetings and focusing on the preservation (security) and protection (safe to go on haitius) of each work site.

Vernon Hartsock went over the short-term and long-term plans as they pertain to the schedule. They are assessing what work can go forward as they search for a new concessionaire and what work must be closed for a new builder to complete. They each emphasized the need to continue certain aspects of the project during this transition time, things like utility relocations and other work, so that the new concessionaire can be given a “clean sheet” from which to begin their work with many of the hurdles already resolved.

For those concerned about losing the character of the project, the civil engineering (e.g. trackbeds, stations, physical infrastructure) is 97% done. The systems, the technology, the power, are about 65% completed. They have the designer of record, Atkins, working for them under direct contract.

Production of the rail cars is in full force with two out of the 26 almost fully done and in testing phase. Mr. Pollack said that communities have been participating in neighborhood walks-throughs so that MTA can listen to residents and elected officials and see firsthand what items need to be dealt with first -- things like sidewalks, fencing, etc.

Most encouraging, perhaps, is that some crews have resumed work on the project, starting with a few locations, including the aforementioned water and sewer relocation, but also includes concrete and paving work, overhead power location, traffic engineering services, and landscaping around the University of Maryland’s M. Pollack said, “Every day we are greenlighting contractors to continue the work.”

We wanted to highlight some of the questions that were asked, but as soon as the recording link is available, we'll include it in our newsletter so you can listen to the entire discussion at your convenience.

1) What is the plan going forward?

Pollack: Although we are still in settlement discussions and there remains some hope that we can come to agreement, absent that, we will resolicit for a new concessionaire and design build contractor to finish the work.

2) What is the definition of short-term work?

Pollack: “De-risking the project. Trying to get all the work done that tend to be causes of concerns for a [future] concessionaire. To do that, MTA is hoping to complete all utilities so the next contractor that comes in will have a reduced risk and hopefully allow the state to garner better prices to take the project to completion.

3) What about the work that has been done to prevent the project from becoming stagnant?

Pollack: Some area where work won’t be able to continue will need to be closed down properly for safety reasons, but if there is an area where we can restore sidewalks in the short term, or areas that need some additional protection, we will work to make that happen.

4) Who will pay for Purple Line if the private sector has pulled out?

Pollack: The private sector is not paying for the job. The private sector is financing the job. State/taxpayers are paying for job. Previously, the private sector was going to finance the project and then get paid back. But, we have a commitment from the state and we are still pursuing the TIFIA loans and will use the transportation trust fund where needed to fund the project going forward.

5) What about the CCT?

Pollack: As far as the funding goes, there is no intention of deleting scale at that design level. Timing is difficult for the CCT users in that construction must be almost completely done before the trail can be reestablished due to the way it is set up. There is going to be electric rail there so we cannot open safely in advance of the project.

Let us know if YOU have any questions by sending an email to us at cscott@purplelinenow.com and we will try to get them answered. As always, we'll bring you as much information as possible from the CAT meetings and as developments occur.

Stay Connected!

We have a new feature for those who prefer to print off our newsletter (or save it to a PDF) instead of reading in your email. If you visit our website and click on the title of the article you wish to print or save, you'll be brought to a page that has a small printer and PDF icon at the top. Click on the one you prefer. You do not need our permission to circulate or forward our newsletter.

Make sure you are signed up for timely alerts from Purple Line NOW via our Twitter and Facebook pages, and at our website Purple Line NOW.



Follow Us

 Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twiter

Donate Now Contact Us e-News