You may have heard the exciting news early this morning that the Full Funding Grant Agreement for the Purple Line will be signed soon!!
Purple Line NOW is brimming with anticipation that Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has told Maryland officials that the Full Funding Grant Agreement for the project which was to have been signed in August 2016, will be signed next week. As always, we want to be cautious before we begin the celebrations, but rest assured, we will be back in touch as soon as the FFGA is officially signed! In the meantime, here's the scoop:
The signing of the FFGA will remove the LAST obstacle to the construction of the Purple Line by allowing Maryland to seek reimbursement from the $900 million in Federal matching funds. Purple Line NOW President Ralph Bennett elaborated, “With these assurance in hand, Maryland can move forward to start construction with far less uncertainty.”
Ralph also added that we want to “thank all elected officials who have supported the project through this difficult year and before, and all loyal supporters of the project who have worked and waited for many years to reach this day. And, we want to commend MTA and Purple Line Transit Partners for their patience and hard work to get to this point.”
Purple Line Now Vice President Greg Sanders observed, “While nothing is certain until the paper is signed, it’s safe to say that Maryland is far closer to a groundbreaking than the last time we were on the eve of a federal signing. Preparatory work proceeded while the project was held up. Even after groundbreaking, there are challenges ahead to minimize the disruption inherent in a project of this magnitude.”
Treasurer Tina Slater concluded, “Purple Line NOW looks forward to the day the trains will run, providing the mobility and benefits it promises and for which we have waited so long. In the meantime, we will work to keep supporters and the general public informed as the lawsuit concludes and as Maryland takes the next steps to connecting communities in our region.”
We'll keep you posted as the process plays out with any news for groundbreaking and celebrations, and of course, any stumbling blocks along the way. In the meantime, Purple Line NOW has partnered with the Coalition for Smarter Growth to host a Happy Hour to talk all things smart growth on August 31 from 6 pm - 7:30 pm at Bump N' Grind and you can bet we'll give you the latest news on the Purple Line project. If you can attend, send me a quick email and I'll add you to the list:
Thursday, August 31 | 6 pm - 7:30 pm
Bump N' Grind | 1200 East-West Highway, Silver Spring
Finally, despite all this good news, our work continues to make sure the project breaks ground and proceeds on the smoothest track possible. If you are able, please remember Purple Line NOW in your giving plans. We need your help as we move forward to making sure this project finally becomes a reality.
Cheers to all of us!