In today's edition of Purple Line NOW News, here's what you'll find:
- Thank you!
- Purple Line in the News
- Features & Highlights
- MDOT Urban Tree Program Grant
- Maryland General Assembly
- Community Advisory Teams
- Construction News
- Board of Public Works Approves New Builder Contract
- Photos from Around the Corridor
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WHAT'S HAPPENING AT PLN?
Again, we are so appreciative of your financial support over the past months (and years/decades!). Your donations help us:
--continue our work advocating for the project!
--maintain our role as an answer-getter for all of your questions!
--bring important project information to our community and beyond!
We use every donation we receive to continue our newsletter, continue offering regular webinars, continue being a strong liaison to help connect you to people who can solve your issues, and continue our strong advocacy for the project in every way possible. If you would like to know more about who we are, why we are asking for donations, and what we do with your gift once it arrives on our doorstep, you can read all about it in our November newsletter.
Although the matching campaign has ended, we are grateful for every donation we receive, so if you didn't have a chance to donate before the end of the year and would like to do so now, just click the purple button above. Unless you tell us otherwise, your name will be listed on our website and in publications for a year following your donation.
THE PURPLE LINE IN THE NEWS
Shaver, K. “Maryland board approves $3.4 billion contract.” Washington Post, 26 January 2022.
FEATURES & HIGHLIGHTS
MDOT Urban Tree Program Grant
The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and the Maryland Urban and Community Forest Committee (MUCFC) has opened the application period for the Urban Tree Grant Program. Please see the link for more information about this program. Some guidelines:
- Communities are eligible that have been impacted by any state transportation project, not just the Purple Line.
- Individuals cannot apply for the program exclusively, the application must be sponsored by the county’s Forestry Board. Contact the local Forestry Board office for assistance here: http://www.marylandforestryboards.org/chairs.cfm
- Applications must meet the requirements provided in the attachments and be submitted by February 15, 2022.
- Purple Line is not associated with the applications nor the selection process for the trees. The exact location of the tree plantings on properties might be limited by Purple Line construction/future placement of infrastructure.
Maryland General Assembly
Just a note that Maryland General Assembly has opened for the season. Purple Line NOW is tracking Purple Line relevant bills such as the SAFE Roads Act and the like. We'll send out related information and action alerts as they arise.
2022 Community Advisory Teams
We do not have the dates for the 2022 Community Advisory Teams (CATs) yet, but understand they will be happening sometime later this year after the new builder is on board. As soon as we know, we'll publish those dates in this newsletter.
Board of Public Works Approves New Builder Contract
One week ago, Maryland’s Board of Public Works -- comprised of Governor Larry Hogan, Treasurer Dereck E. Davis, and Comptroller Peter Franchot – approved the $3.4 billion contract for the Purple Line’s new builder, Maryland Transit Solutions (MTS). The company, which is comprised of the U.S. subsidiaries Dragados USA, Inc. (Dragados) and OHLA Group, Inc. (OHLA), had the strongest technical proposal and the lowest price of the two finalists competing for the contract.
The additional $1.46 billion in increased costs are the result of higher insurance rates, significant labor shortages, and a challenged supply chain.
According to the Washington Post, the board also approved “$15 million for a state consultant to oversee the construction’s technical details and another $15.4 million for five contracts to complete work the state began managing after the previous contractor left. That includes moving utility lines and building storm water drainage systems. That work will be done outside the new construction contract and was not included in the $3.4 billion, state officials said.” (Shaver, K. “Maryland board approves $3.4 billion contract.” Washington Post, 26 January 2022.)
A new schedule was also presented, with full scale construction resuming this spring. MDOT MTA will continue helping with aspects of construction during the ramp-up. The Light Rail Vehicles are set to arrive in fall of 2023. Vehicle testing will begin in the summer of 2024 and progress to system-wide testing by the end of 2025. Finally, revenue service (passenger service) will begin in the fall of 2026. Note that with this new contract, service along the entire route will open simultaneously, rather than the phased-in approach previously planned.
The good news is that the increase in construction costs will not affect the cost of a ride on the Purple Line, which will be priced on par with other local transit systems. In addition, the choice to purchase two additional light rail vehicles as part of the contract is a promising sign that Maryland was keeping the quality of the service in mind as part of negotiations.
We are happy to see the past two years of uncertainty behind us and looking forward to seeing full construction beginning robustly in just a few short months!
Photos from Around the Corridor
The following photos are courtesy of MDOT MTA. Thank you to the hard working Purple Line crews!