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Purple Line NOW News - June 29, 2022

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

  • What's Happening at PLN?
    • Last Day to Enter Submissions for 100th
    • Donate to Purple Line NOW
  • Purple Line in the News
  • Happening Along the Purple Line Corridor
    • Community Advisory Team Meeting Schedule
  • Construction News & Project Features
    • Highlights from the CATS

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Please feel free to share this newsletter - no permission from us needed! You can always find a link to our newsletter on our Purple Line NOW website which makes it easy to share with your friends, neighbors, constituents, customers, and employees.

What' Happening


Last Day for 100th Issue Submissions is TOMORROW!

As you likely know by now, we are going to pause our next newsletter and instead bring you a commemorative 100th issue of Purple Line NOW News! We have had so many moving entries and there is still time (and room!) for more. The only hitch? We need to receive it by no later than COB tomorrow (Thursday, June 30). If you have been holding onto a fun photo, recent or distant memory, or document/map/literature from the beginning of this project, NOW is the time to send it in.

Thank you to those who have sent blurbs of memories from the early days (specifically, the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s!) We can't wait to share them all with YOU!

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

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. 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?

Would You Consider a Donation to Purple Line NOW?

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! Our budget is skinny and we do a whole lot with a little!

**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


Two news items caught our attention in the past few weeks, one we noted in our previous newsletter with regard to Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA) calling for a new project labor agreement, citing promises from the prior Maryland Transportation Secretary, Greg Slater. We understand the union and concessionaire are meeting and negotiations are ongoing. We hope to have more to report later this month.

The second items comes from an online publication, Washington Monthly, which recently published an article detailing some of the hurdles the project faced, with special attention to the conflict between the state and the previous builder. For regular Purple Line NOW News readers, many of the details of the conflict that led to the departure of the builder (but not the overall concessionaire) will be familiar.

Two new pieces of reporting stand out. First, that vendor concern regarding the lawsuit had led to the inclusion of the unusual clause that allowed the builder to exit with no-fault if the project was delayed by a year or more. Second, the article posits that then Maryland Secretary of Transportation, Pete Rahn (an appointee of Governor Larry Hogan), had reached a $175 million deal that would have prevented the walk-off of the previous builder. Maryland did not comment on the article so we do not know why that deal was ultimately rejected by the state.

Under the original contract, responsibility for costs from force majeure events (a provision in a contract that frees both parties from obligation if an extraordinary event, like the pandemic, directly prevents one or both parties from performing), would have been shared. The need to compete for a new vendor after sources of new external costs, like inflation, were priced into the offers received from vendors. Thankfully, the Purple Line is now at much lower risk thanks to the removal of the provision allowing for no fault departure as well as the addition of new mechanisms to aid in preventing or managing disputes.

Features and Highlights


Community Advisory Team Meetings Over for Summer

All Community Advisory Team meetings have been held for the summer. We will let you know when the next group of meetings are slated to occur. Check out the highlights below or the full presentation for your respective area.

Construction Updates


Highlights from the Community Advisory Team Meetings

Below, we bring you highlights from the next two Community Advisory Team (CAT) meetings, Greater Lyttonsville/Woodside held on June 14 and College Park on June 16. As always, we encourage you to view the entire presentation which will give a more complete view of the work completed and construction plans for the next few months.

The first portion of each of these CAT meetings is an overview of progress along the entire line, including where the project is in terms of railcar production and delivery, and timeline for beginning passenger service. You can find that overview in our previous newsletter.

Greater Lyttonsville/Woodside

The presenters for this CAT meeting were: Gary Witherspoon, Deputy Project Director - Public Outreach; James Mitchell, Program Manager; Kevin Oberheim, Construction Manager; Dwain Sanders, Operations Manager; Carla Julian, Stakeholder Manager.

We love a good rendering and several were presented during this CAT meeting, including what the Lyttonsville Station might look like when completed, as well as a rendering of a typical side platform station such as the one that will be located at 16th Street/Woodside.

Lyttonsville Rendering

Typical Side Load Station (Woodside)

Work completed in the Woodside area included:

  • Completed new waterline installation along Ballard Street
  • Waterline required prior to starting larger water transmission pipe relocation
  • Continued residential parking lot reconstruction

Looking ahead six months, crews will begin water and sewer relocation along the future site of the Capital Crescent Trail between the CSX tracks and 3rd Avenue. Note that notice will continue to be given to residents along Noyes Lane in advance of parking restrictions in support of the haul route.

The aforementioned residential parking lot reconstruction at Bradford Place is expected to be completed.

Construction of the Purple Line bridge deck at Rock Creek park will begin, as will the construction of a pedestrian bridge for the future Capital Crescent Trail Talbot Avenue Bridge.

Two interesting renderings of the Talbot Avenue Bridge were displayed, as well:

Talbot Ave Bridge Design

Talbot Ave Cross Section Rendering

College Park

The presenters for the June 16 Community Advisory Team meeting for College Park were: Gary Witherspoon, Deputy Project Director - Public Outreach; James Mitchell, Program Manager; Kevin Oberheim, Construction Manager; Dwain Sanders, Operations Manager; Carla Julian, Stakeholder Manager.

Over the past six months, quite a bit of work was done along and around Campus Drive, including:

  • Continued underground and overhead utility relocations (water, sewer, steam, electric)
  • Completed sidewalk reconstruction along Campus Drive (near Stamp Student Union)
  • Began sidewalk reconstruction
  • Completed Campus Drive pump station

The surfacing along River Road was completed, as well.

The College Park Bus Loop opened for service just a few weeks ago on Sunday, June 12. The permanent bus shelters will be constructed by WMATA.

Lots of photos of the work completed can be found on the presentation, too!

College Park Station Rendering

Looking ahead over the next six months, it looks like the remaining underground and overhead utility relocations (water, sewer, steam, and electric) will be completed at the University of Maryland Campus. The sidewalk reconstruction at the Campus Drive Underpass will be completed, as will the sidewalk restoration at the Bus Loop.

Please note that over the next six months, the crews will implement Phase II of the traffic shift to one lane in each direction from Rossborough Lane to River Road to allow the installation of the eastbound LRV tracks. According to the presentation, construction is expected to take one year. Pedestrian access will not be disrupted (yay!) and notification will be given prior to the implementation of the traffic shift.

Later this month, we will complete the wrap-up of CAT meetings with Silver Spring and University Boulevard, so stay tuned for that.

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