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Purple Line NOW News - June 15, 2022

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

  • What's Happening at PLN?
    • Deadline Approaching!
    • Are You a Purple Line NOW Donor?
  • Purple Line in the News
  • Happening Along the Purple Line Corridor
    • Community Advisory Team Meeting Schedule
  • Construction News & Project Features
    • Highlights from the CATS
    • Photos from Around the Corridor

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What' Happening


We Want to Hear from YOU!

We have just TWO issues left before our 100th issue of Purple Line NOW News! Thank you to those who have sent blurbs of memories from the early days (specifically, the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s!) We need more! Pictures are particularly fun -- and if someone is rocking those muttonchop sideburns while advocating for what was (eventually) to become the Purple Line, all the better!

*** All Submissions Must Reach Us By JUNE 30!***

If you didn't catch it in our previous newsletters, we are planning a commemorative issue and want to take a stroll down memory lane -- back to the beginning of the project, when the idea of a Purple Line was just a hope and a dream. If you were around these parts back then and have photos, an anecdote or two, or even a memory of the work that went into imagining an east-west light rail train, finding support from elected officials, applying for federal funding, or any other hurdle (or achievement), PLEASE send them our way!

Here are four questions we would LOVE for you to answer -- cut and paste into an email or just send a free-form blurb -- whatever works for you. We will include as many as we can in the issue, but time is running out. Send to Christine Scott, Executive Director at [email protected]. Thank you! 

1) What are you most looking forward to when the Purple Line opens (besides the end of construction!)?

2) If you were around during the early years, do you have a specific memory of advocating for the project or a hurdle that the project overcame?

3) What positive changes do you expect to see in our communities once the Purple Line opens?

4) Once the Purple Line opens for passengers, which station(s) do you anticipate using most?

Are You A Purple Line NOW Donor?

Each month, we rotate onto our Donors List those who have made a financial contribution to Purple Line NOW in the previous month. If that includes you, your name will stay on that list for a full year following your contribution. Thank you, thank you!

**If you do not see your name on our Donors List, we hope you will consider helping us continue our work!** 

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.

Thank you so much for your consideration! Unless you tell us otherwise, your name will be listed on our website and in publications for a year following your donation.

Christine Scott, Executive Director

PL in the News


Wilson, B. "Maryland’s Purple Line project is getting ready to make more noise." Railway Track and Structures, 1 Jun 2022.

Shaver, K. “Unions protest lack of labor agreement on Purple Line construction. Washington Post, 25 May 2022.

Features and Highlights


Upcoming Community Advisory Team Meetings

Below are the dates for the remaining Community Advisory Team (CAT) meetings. Please note: these meetings will be in-person at the locations noted below.

  • College Park
    June 16, 6:30 to 8 p.m.
    Purple Line Project Office
    6811 Kenilworth Avenue (1st floor)
    Riverdale, MD 20737
  • Silver Spring
    June 21, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.
    Silver Spring International Middle School
    313 Wayne Avenue
    Silver Spring, MD 20910
  • University Boulevard
    June 23, 6:30 to 8 p.m.
    Purple Line Project Office
    6811 Kenilworth Avenue (1st floor)
    Riverdale, MD 20737
  • Long Branch
    June 28, 6:30 to 8 p.m.
    Oak View Elementary School
    400 East Wayne Avenue
    Silver Spring, MD 20901
Construction Updates


Highlights from the First Two Community Advisory Team Meetings

Now that the Community Advisory Teams (CATs) are in full swing, we bring you highlights from the first two CATs with a promise to cover the rest of them in coming newsletters. As always, we encourage you to scan through the entire presentation, as well, especially if you live in or near one of the communities along the corridor. Additionally, once answers to questions that were raised during the CAT meetings are posted, we will let you know.

The first two CATs of this summer season were held last week in Bethesda/Chevy Chase on June 7 and in Riverdale/New Carrollton on June 9.

Bethesda/Chevy Chase CAT

Presenting this CAT: Anita Rodgers, Deputy Project Director, Contracting Officer; David Abrams, Director of Communications; James Mitchell, Program Manager; Scott Glass, Area 1 Manager; and Carla Julian, Stakeholder Manager.

CAT members also had a chance to meet representatives from the new builder team, Maryland Transit Solutions (MTS). Members from our organization were able to attend both meetings, as well.

You’ll remember at the end of last year, the Board of Public Works approved the new builder as the project’s design build contractor. With financial close occurring earlier this year, we are pleased to know MTS has begun due diligence inspections of structures and site conditions along the alignment.

The Purple Line team gave an overview of what MDOT MTA has been able to advance over the past 18 months while we awaited the selection and announcement of the new builder:

  • 77% of underground utility relocations
  • 17 walls
  • Eastern Portal of the Plymouth Tunnel and Kenwood House parking lot above the Western Portal
  • Startup and commissioning of the Glenridge Operations and Maintenance Facility

For those of you wondering where the new light rail vehicles are in production, they also provided an update on their status:

  • Assembly of 22 out of 26 light rail vehicles with 16 of those ready to ship
  • Delivery to begin Fall 2023 to the Glenridge Operations and Maintenance Facility
  • 80 seats available, 400 standing room capacity
  • Low floor with wide doorways
  • Flexible space and folding seats to allow for eight wheelchairs and bicycle storage

If you are like us, you already have Fall 2026 marked in ink on your calendar for when passenger service is scheduled to begin!

Looking six months ahead, the team expects to complete the Sleaford Underpass by the end of the summer, as well as completing the trail connection from East-West Highway to Kentbury Drive. The construction of stairs to the future Capital Crescent Trail will begin, lighting in the underpass will be installed, and the final landscaping around the stormwater management facility will also occur.

Bethesda Shaft

We often bring you photos of that deep Bethesda Shaft and the team gave an update specific to that portion of the project:

  • Continue pre-construction investigation activities
  • Mobilize office trailers and equipment to the site
  • Begin site preparation for new crane and support
  • Construction of enclosed temporary structure over the shaft
  • Resume excavation and blasting operations (fall 2022)

Important to note, there will be public notification given prior to blasting operations.

Georgetown Branch Trail

  • Resume construction of retaining walls
  • Resume stormwater drainage installation
  • Begin Lynn Drive culvert construction

Connecticut Avenue

  • Begin construction of deck for Purple Line bridge over Connecticut Avenue
  • Begin construction of pedestrian bridge for future Capital Crescent Trail

Chevy Chase Lake Drive

  • Begin utility relocations
  • Begin construction of stormwater management drainage and facilities
  • Begin construction of noise walls from Connecticut Avenue to Jones Mill Road

Coquelin Run

  • Begin construction of the culvert under the Purple Line alignment
  • Begin construction of the pedestrian underpass

Jones Mill Road

  • Complete remaining utility relocations
  • Begin construction of the noise walls along the former Georgetown Branch Trail from Connecticut Avenue
  • Resume construction of the Jones Mill underpass beginning with retaining walls

Please note: The current Maintenance of Traffic (MOT) pattern will remain in place through completion of Phase I.

Riverdale/New Carrollton CAT

Presenting this CAT meeting: David Abrams, Director of Communications; James Mitchell, Program Manager; Jeanine Ferris, Area 3 Manager; Dwain Sanders, Operations Manager; and Carla Julian, Stakeholder Manager.

Stations in this segment:

  • Riverdale Park-Kenilworth
  • Beacon Heights-East Pines
  • Glenridge
  • New Carrollton Metro

As with the previous CAT meeting, the presenting team reviewed some of the work that has been completed over the past six months including alignment-wide maintenance and upkeep, pothole/roadway resurfacing on Ellin Road and River Road, erosion and sediment control and mowing/site cleanup.

Specific to the areas along this part of the alignment, crews have continued relocating underground and overhead utilities along Kenilworth Avenue and Riverdale Road.

At the Glenridge Operations and Maintenance Facility (OMF), as you have seen in the many photos we have published over the past year or so, crews have continued the site grading and drainage, continued work on the parking lot, sidewalk, and curb, and completed connections to power, water, gas, and sewer to the building. Along Veterans Parkway, they have continued the WSSC waterline relocation.

Looking ahead to the next six months, by area:

Kenilworth Avenue to Riverdale Road

  • Completion of underground utility relocations – water and sewer Glenridge Operations and Maintenance Facility (OMF) work continues
  • Site grading and drainage
  • Parking lot, sidewalk, curb, and gutter work
  • Testing of the train wash and paint booth

Veterans Parkway

  • Completion of the WSSC waterline relocation by late fall 2022
  • Continue utility relocations
  • Begin storm drain installation
  • Begin traffic signal work

Riverdale Park-Kenilworth Station

  • Begin aerial station deck work

Baltimore-Washington Parkway

  • Resume construction of retaining walls and embankments
  • Begin storm drain installation

Riverdale Road

  • Continue utility relocations
  • Begin storm drain installation
  • Reconstruct sidewalk, curb, and gutters

Veterans Parkway

  • Begin stormwater management facility construction
  • Begin installation of the Traction Power Substation

Glenridge Operations and Maintenance Facility (OMF)

  • Complete storm drain systems
  • Install light rail vehicle tracks
  • Begin installation of the Traction Power Substation

Ellin Road

  • Resume storm drain installation

New Carrollton Station

  • Begin Phase 1 of parking lot reconstruction with installation of lighting
  • Continue utility relocations
  • Begin installation of the Traction Power Substation

We look forward to bringing you highlights from the coming CATs and answers to questions that were raised during each meeting, respectively.

Photos from Around the Corridor

Thank you to MDOT MTA for the following photos! Do you have a snap from around the corridor you'd like to share? Send them along to [email protected]. Photos must be your original. 

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