In today's edition of Purple Line NOW News, here's what you'll find:
- What's Happening at PLN?
- How Can PLN Serve You Better in 2021? Take Our Survey!
- We're Getting Close - Get Your Donation Matched Today!
- Purple Line in the News
- Photos of Progress
- Construction Updates
- General Questions about Purple Line Status
- Bethesda CAT Meeting Q&A
- Long Branch CAT Meeting Q&A
- Riverdale-Glenridge-New Carrollton CAT Meeting Q&A
- University Boulevard CAT Meeting Q&A
WHAT'S HAPPENING AT PLN
Take Our Survey
If you haven't had a chance to take our survey, please take a minute and click on the link below. We want to make sure we address the needs of our constituency as effectively as possible. Taking the survey will provide us with direction as we plan our activities and outreach for the next twelve months. Thank you!
We're Getting Close - Get Your Donation Matched Today!
As you know, Purple Line NOW has received a generous matching donation to be used to double any donation from $25 up to $1,000 until the goal of $5,000 is reached.
As of today, our anonymous donor has currently matched $2,900 in donations! Thank you to all who have already given!
We know this is a tough time for everyone. If you are able to and can give during this matching campaign, we would sincerely appreciate your consideration. You can see a list of our generous donors on our website -- those who have contributed in the past year and helped us accomplish our work. If you do not see your name on our list or if your annual contribution is nearing expiration, we hope you’ll take the opportunity to renew your donation during this period when your generosity will be doubled by the challenge grant! Click the link below to donate.
Challenge grants work like this: If you give a gift of $25, your donation will count as $50. If you give $1,000, your donation will count as $2,000. Any and all donations are welcome and very much appreciated.
A reminder: Purple Line NOW does not receive underwriting grants from any source, government (local or otherwise), nor are we a membership organization (we do not ask for annual dues). We operate solely on donations from individuals and businesses like you who care about the Purple Line and whose generosity allow us to continue our work each year. Remember, with your donation, your name (or your business name) will be listed on our website, as well as in event literature and signage for a year following your donation.
THE PURPLE LINE IN THE NEWS
Long Branch Library Reopens After $4 Million Renovation Project (Source of the Spring)
Study: Development around Prince George’s, Anne Arundel rail stations needs a boost (Shaver, February 3, 2021, Washington Post)
FEATURES & HIGHLIGHTS
In the future, this space will be used to highlight some movers and shakers in the purple line world - developers, builders, thought leaders -- those who are in the thick of seeing this project through. Stay tuned! For now, some cool photos from MDOT MTA of work going on around the corridor:
As promised, after the fall 2020 Community Advisory Teams (CATs) met, MDOT MTA staff compiled a list of questions that residents asked, and they recently posted the answers on their website.
Below, you can find some of those responses, with general questions first, then listed by CAT meeting. For this issue, we focused on those CATs which were held after the settlement of the lawsuit between the concessionaire (PLTP) and the State of Maryland. Remember, these are only a few of the questions asked, but if you are interested in seeing the full list, please click on the link above.
Before we get into station-specific questions, there were a number of general questions that may be of interest to everyone:
Question: Do you expect any portions of the project design to change now under the settlement agreement?
Response: The Purple Line does not expect any designs to change.
Question: It is possible to accelerate completion of certain infrastructure in and around the project that is disruptive to the community?
Response: The state is evaluating construction across the alignment, including areas of local community priority. MDOT MTA is actively working with design, construction, and manufacturing contractors to keep the project moving forward. Our focus is on completing design, permitting, and any unfinished work, first with paving, stormwater, drainage, and other utility projects now underway along the Purple Line corridor. We remain committed to continue working with the community and local businesses to collaborate and find opportunities to minimize any impacts to the best of our ability. If the state is reasonably able to advance work beyond utilities using the available pool of contractors, the state will do so.
Question: What new general timelines can we expect for completion of various aspects of the project?
Response: The state will manage Purple Line construction until the new design-build contractor is on board. We do not have a new timeline at this moment.
Question: What work will exactly be accomplished by state MDOT/MTA in the interim until contractors are back on the job?
Response: The state plans to manage construction for 6 to 12 months in the interim. Essentially, the state will do as much of the utility relocation as possible. This makes the job of finishing the Purple Line for the design-build contractor much easier. In addition to utility work, the state is also working to complete walls along the entire alignment and the Glenridge Operations & Maintenance Facility (OMF). The state will look at the possibility of completing other infrastructure, including bridges.
Question: In a best-case scenario, how long should selection of a new design-build contract take?
Response: We do not currently have a timeframe for choosing the design-build contractor. Parameters in the settlement agreement lay out the schedule that we will move forward with in order to bring the new design-build contractor onboard and to also understand the timeframe of State-managed construction.
Bethesda CAT Meeting – December 8, 2020
Question: In 2017, the Montgomery County Council approved the purchase of 0.4 acres next to Bethesda Row, for a future Capital Crescent Civic Green. At that time, it was reported that the county expects to receive easement money from the State for use of the land during Purple Line construction. Can you please provide an update?
Response: MDOT MTA and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) remain in active discussions regarding the easement near the Capital Crescent Civic Green. The County is working to finalize the design. Once complete, the property transaction will move through the approval process with the State and M-NCPPC.
Question: Given that the Sleaford Road tunnel was already constructed prior to the construction disruption, would the State consider temporarily or permanently completing the path between East-West Hwy and Sleaford Road? Additionally, would the State consider constructing a temporary pedestrian bridge over the alignment at Pearl Street?
Response: MDOT MTA is undertaking a review of the open construction projects across the entire alignment of the Purple Line and reviewing the remaining work to complete the pedestrian path through the Sleaford Road underpass. The construction team expects to be able to complete the permanent path by late Summer 2021. A temporary pedestrian bridge or crossing between Elm Street Park and Pearl Street was not included in the original construction budget. At this time, the Purple Line is focused on completing utility relocations and other on-going community priority construction projects. MDOT MTA estimates it would take a year to design a temporary pedestrian bridge and require additional engineering and construction resources not currently available.
Question: Will completion of the Capital Crescent Trail be delayed due to project cost overruns?
Response: The Capital Crescent Trail construction is going to proceed according to the design schedule that the new design-builder puts forward. There are no anticipated delays due to cost overruns that may occur in the future. At this time, the Capital Crescent Trail is fully in the design and part of the construction plans and will be completed with the rest of the project.
Question: Will the noise walls behind the Town of Chevy Chase be completed in this interim period?
Response: The noise walls are currently being manufactured. We anticipate that the project will start receiving deliveries in early January. Our contractor has some panels already made but have been waiting until they had enough to work continuously to completion. We anticipate this work starting in the first quarter of 2021.
Long Branch CAT Meeting - December 17, 2020
Question: I didn't see the Manchester Place Art in Transit on the list of sites that have been executed. What's going on with that art project?
Response: If it is not listed as executed, contracts are still being signed. Artists are continuing to work towards installing their pieces at all 21 stations along the alignment.
Question: Will bus stops be relocated once the Purple Line is in service?
Response: The various bus operators in the region are responsible for the location of their bus stops. Decisions to reroute or remove bus stops following Purple Line revenue service would be made by the bus operators. During construction, the operators will notify the public of any relocation of bus stops.
Question: Can Piney Branch Road be restriped between Flower Avenue and University Boulevard? At Arliss Street, it's very dangerous and the lane moves.
Response: We do not currently plan to change the striping here, but we are going to install diagonal striping on the wide shoulder to better delineate that it is not a through lane.
Riverdale-Glenridge-New Carrollton CAT Meeting - December 15, 2020
Question: What is the Glenridge Mall bridge? When will it open?
Response: Prior to construction, there was a joint access to the Glenridge Shopping Center and the Prince George’s County Parks maintenance facility, the latter of which was replaced by our Glenridge Operations & Maintenance Facility (OMF). That access point was closed and will be replaced by a bridge a few hundred feet to the east that will allow public access to the Glenridge Shopping Center from Veterans Parkway (MD 410), as well as to the OMF, over the Purple Line tracks. This new access point will be a signalized intersection. We do not yet have an opening date for the bridge.
Question: At the intersection of Annapolis Road (MD 450) and Veterans Parkway (MD 410), on the westbound side of Annapolis Road over the sidewalk by the Glenridge Shopping Center sign there is a hanging wire. Can you please have your team get that hanging utility wire taken care of?
Response: We promised during the meeting that our construction team would investigate the hanging wire. Ultimately, they found it was not related to the Purple Line. The issue was shared with the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA), and the wire was removed.
Question: Regarding the artists chosen for the Prince George's County station locations, how many of the artist are from Prince George's County. If none of the Artists are from Prince George's County, why not?
Response: The Purple Line set up Art-in-Transit committees in both counties with representatives from county government, local businesses, and residents. The artists were selected from around the world.
After the meeting, we found that the art selection committees also included representatives from the MDOT MTA, PLTP and professional artists. Also, of the nearly 90 artists who were considered semi-finalists, 20 were from Maryland. Selected artists from Maryland and vicinity include those from Baltimore (Long Branch, Piney Branch and Riggs Road stations), Cambridge (Takoma-Langley station); Mt. Ranier (New Carrollton station), Phoenix (Lyttonsville station); Smithsburg (New Carrollton station); Towson (Woodside/16th Street station); Upper Marlboro (Lyttonsville station); Washington, DC (Silver Spring station). You can view their renderings on the project website: Purple Line Art-In-Transit.
University Boulevard CAT Meeting - December 1, 2020
Question: At what point in the construction timeline should we expect peak construction at the intersections with Riggs Road and New Hampshire Avenue?
Response: The utility work will be continuing for a while. There is no exact schedule for when a particular intersection will be impacted, but the work will be done during weekdays and handled with maintenance of traffic signage.
Question: There are a number of issues on state highways like Carroll Avenue and New Hampshire Avenue that are outside of the immediate construction zone. SHA was planning work in some of these areas. Will the Purple Line delay create challenges for SHA completing their work on other roads?
Response: No. If the MDOT SHA limit of disturbance does not impact the Purple Line limit of disturbance, there should be no delay.
Question: A number of storm drains on New Hampshire Avenue, right near University Boulevard, have been blocked with rocks for construction. This now leads to flooding and ponding water, which will freeze in the winter. When will this be addressed?
Response: If drain blockage has been caused by Purple Line construction, we will address it. If the blockage is found to be caused by illegal dumping, please alert county authorities.
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