Happy New Year!
In today's edition of Purple Line NOW News, here's what you'll find:
- Help Purple Line NOW and Get a Matching Donation!
- Thank You to All of Our Generous Donors!
- Our Annual Top Ten Purple Line Stories Review
PURPLE LINE NEWS AND EVENTS
Please Help Us Continue Our Work!
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. Our anonymous donor has currently matched $1,500 in donations!
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. Purple Line NOW needs, on average, about $20,000 a year to continue its work and our bank balance is low.
Please take a moment to see the list of our generous donors below -- those who have contributed in the past year and helped us accomplish our work. If you do not see your name on the list below 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!
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.
While fundraising for an organization such as ours is never easy -- we hold no special events; we simply ask for help when our bank balance is low -- you have always been generous in your response. That support has allowed us to do our work for over two decades and continue into the future until we are all able to take that first Purple Line ride!
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.
Some of you may not realize that we are a nearly all-volunteer organization, with one quarter-time employee. Our core leadership meets each and every month, now via Zoom, and our full board meets every quarter to discuss and share all that is going on along the corridor, and to determine where Purple Line NOW can best be of service.
We are extraordinarily grateful for all of our supporters -- we simply can't exist without you.
Chevy Chase Land Company
The Malloy and Sanders Family
ATU Local 689
Tina, Don, and Jessie Slater
Nancy and Rob Soreng
Bee and Brian Ditzler
Dr. Troy Jacobs and Dr. Kawsar Talaat
The Martin Architectural Group
Christine Scott and JohnR Llewellyn
Elizabeth Barbehenn, Gus Bauman, Steve Brigham, John Carroll, Jeff Cronin, John Fay, Jose Galdamez, Neil Greene, Ginanne Italiano, Gerrit Knaap, Jeffrey Lubbers, Daniel Marcin, Debbie and Ray Marquardt, Mark Mesiti-Miller, Anita Morrison, Gareth Rosenau, John Sletteback, Patrick Thornton, Ralph Watkins, College Park Mayor Patrick Wojahn
Cathy Carr, Margaret Chasson, Benjamin Englert, Patrick Flaherty, Morgan Gale, Bradley Green, Patricia Jackman, Susan Kannel, Nan Marks, Rodolfo Perez, Tom Pogue, Nathalie Peter, Frederick Schultz, Jerry Withers
We appreciate your kindness and generosity, both financially and otherwise. A great big thank you to our anonymous donor whose dedication to the project through this matching grant will make it easier for all our donors to have a significant positive impact on the work we do. Thank you!
CONSTRUCTION NEWS TO KNOW
Instead of a construction update today, we bring you our annual Top Ten Purple Line stories review!
A Look Back at 2020
While 2020 was far from what we had planned, it certainly has made its mark, both in challenges and progress, for the Purple Line project. It has proved to be a rollercoaster ride for all of us as we anxiously awaited news that the project was back on track.
As has become tradition here at Purple Line NOW News, we take a moment each January to look back at the previous year to see what the top Purple Line stories were and the progress the project has made.
While there likely will not be much suspense at what our favorite Purple Line news story was, as we combed through the past twelve months, we are amazed at how often the project made news. Admittedly, it was not always the news we wanted to hear, but certainly noteworthy for reflection.
This year, we bring the top ten most important and impactful Purple Line stories (in our opinion!) to you in chronological order:
In April, a milestone was reached when the third and final lawsuit, filed by opponents of the Purple Line, which argued that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had “improperly allowed construction crews to discharge dredge and fill into streams” was rejected by a federal judge in Maryland.
Back in May, the current group of firms building the line, the Purple Line Transit Constructors (PLTC), threatened to leave the project if they were not granted additional funding and time to accommodate external challenges. We outlined the situation and our response to it in our May 7 edition of Purple Line NOW News.
Since 1976, those using the main entrance to the University of Maryland were welcomed by an ‘M’ made of flowers in the middle of a traffic circle. The Purple Line serves the heart of the University via Campus Drive, which resulted in the University briefly having two ‘M’s to ensure that the landmark was always present, even during the transfer. When the Purple Line is complete, the University and surrounding College Park community will be served by five stops.
In August, a Baltimore judge ordered workers to stay on the job until mid-September, giving the state and the concessionaire more time to reach a settlement. We were cautiously optimistic that the extension might produce a resolution and crews could get back to work.
The project had reached 28% completion by spring of 2020, even as safety restrictions for the pandemic went into place. Our August 2020 online webinar forum included an update from project staff, as well as local elected officials and planners, who discussed how we can prepare for the economic benefits of the Purple Line. Additionally, the presenters answered related questions of how we can help make sure that existing residents and businesses can participate in this brighter future. The forum also went deeper into some of the private sector construction and development taking place around the Purple Line corridor, including at Chevy Chase Lake in Montgomery County and New Carrollton in Prince George’s County.
In briefings to both Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) introduced the team that would be managing the project going forward, even while the State and concessionaire continued negotiations: Greg Slater, Secretary, Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), Kevin Quinn, Administrator, Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT/MTA), and Matt Pollack, Purple Line Project Director, MDOT/MTA.
The team said that within four to six months, they would have a better idea of a path forward and what kind of package they will put together. Much of it will depend on how the litigation falls out, but Quinn said it is their intent that construction will continue during that time.
The good news to come out of these briefings was that the state would continue working on the project, completing utility relocations, and other aspects of construction.
Last autumn, during the Community Advisory Team meetings, it was announced that 18 of 22 Art-in-Transit contracts have been fully executed. Eight of those contracts are in Montgomery County and include the following stations: Connecticut Avenue, Lyttonsville Station (2 artists), Silver Spring Metro, Silver Spring Library, Dale Drive, Long Branch, and Piney Branch. Those in Prince George’s County include Takoma Langley, Riggs Road, Adelphi Road, Campus Drive, Baltimore Avenue/College Park/UMD, College Park Metro/UMD, Riverdale Park North/UMD, and New Carrollton
3. Hogan Commits to Building Purple Line
As the dispute between Maryland and the concessionaire dragged on, we eagerly awaited word from Maryland’s Governor to reaffirm his commitment to build the Purple Line, one way or another. The day after we asked your help in sending that message, Governor Hogan made a public statement, reaffirming his support and the need to swiftly get the project back on track.
We received the news the week of Thanksgiving 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.” What a way to kick off the holiday season! We were glad to see that this matter has been settled and that all parties involved could get back to building the Purple Line!
The last piece of the puzzle was the contract approval by the Board of Public Works which happened in mid-December, capping off a sometimes frustrating, sometimes joyful year in Purple Line news.
We hope you have enjoyed this recap of a busy year for the project! Want more Purple Line stories? You can find all of our newsletters on our website at the link.
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We are looking forward to a safer, more productive 2021 and wish everyone a happy and healthy new year!