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Purple Line NOW News - October 23, 2019

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

  • A Recap of the Silver Spring Community Advisory Team Meeting
  • October Community Advisory Team Meetings
  • Important Appeal: Purple Line NOW Needs Your Financial Help!

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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.

If you haven't already done so, please take a moment to become a sponsor - your name will appear at all events and on all promotional materials for a year following your donation. The benefits of sponsorship are listed on our website and donating is easy - just follow this link: I'd like to become a sponsor! There are several levels of sponsorship - and we appreciate them all! 



As we have done in the past, we will be doing a highlight reel from some of the area Community Advisory Team (CAT) meetings occurring this fall. We hope these short summaries, attended by Purple Line NOW Board members, provide information and context for those not able to attend. Today, we’ll start with the Silver Spring CAT meeting on October 10, and in future newsletters, we will cover the University Boulevard meeting (which occurred on October 15) and Tuesday night’s Long Branch meeting before focusing on upcoming CATs still to come on the schedule. (See below for all of the upcoming meetings on the docket right now.)

As always, you can see the complete presentations at the MTA/MDOT website: Community Advisory Teams.

Silver Spring Community Advisory Team Meeting

Gary Witherspoon (MDOT MTA Public Outreach & Communications, Deputy Project Director), Carla Julian (PLTC Senior Manager for Public Affairs/Community Outreach), and Chris McRobbie (PLTC Area 1 Lead Structural Engineer) led the presentation with the announcement that Mike Madden had retired from his role as Purple Line Project Director after 48 years of public service (36 of which had been with MTA). Gary Witherspoon was named the new Deputy Project Director. You may have previously seen Gary at Purple Line Now Forums where he was among the MTA attendees in his public information role, which included the great website relaunch earlier this year.

Construction along the entire line is 20% complete, and 12 of the 16.2 miles are under active construction, with over 850 craft men and women working on the project.

Photo Courtesy of PLTP & MTA MDOT

In the past six months, crews have undertaken work to relocate utilities on East Bonifant Street, installed erosion and sediment controls and storm water management facilities for construction, and tree clearing for utility relocation along Wayne Avenue and Sligo Creek. Survey work and overhead/underground utility work continues. As we reported a few newsletters ago, Phase 1 of the retaining wall installation at Silver Spring International Middle School has been completed as has been the demolition of a portion of the Falkland Apartments and pier construction for the LRV bridge over WMATA’s Red Line.

Photo Courtesy of PLTP & MTA MDOT

Looking ahead to the next six months, clearing and grubbing will occur along 16th Street from Spring Street to Colesville Road, and utility relocation work will continue all along the corridor. The demolition and restoration of the Falkland Apartments will be completed. The CCT bridge abutment construction will begin and the LRV abutment construction will continue.

For those interested in how those two aspects will affect traffic, during installation of both bridges a staging area with a mobile crane will be placed in the center of Colesville Road. Two lanes in each direction will be maintained weekdays from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. with the full closure of Colesville Road occurring during three weekends to install the CCT bridge portion in early winter 2020. Overnight closure of Colesville Road will be required for the erection of the LRV bridge happening at the same time (winter 2020).

Along Bonifant Street, new long-term traffic patterns will be implemented including the closure of Bonifant Street (West) occurring late November 2019 and the closure of the eastern portion occurring a few months later in winter 2020. There will be pedestrian walkways with safety fencing to separate work zones from pedestrians and, the best news is that local access to businesses will be maintained. Once reopened, Bonifant Street will permanently be a one-way westbound street. A 30-day notice will be provided via the notification system and local access will be maintained for pedestrian and vehicles needing to access the parking garages and surrounding buildings.

Photo Courtesy of PLTP & MTA MDOT

On Wayne Avenue and Fenton Street to Manchester, overhead utility relocations will occur, as well as storm drainage installation. And, at Silver Spring International Middle School, the parking lot construction is continuing, along with the retaining wall, and a 6” storm drain outfall at Sligo Cabin Park. During Phase 1 (winter 2020), traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction and shifted to the south side of Wayne Avenue. During this time, there will be no left turn from eastbound Wayne Avenue onto Sligo Creek Parkway. Drainage work at Sligo Creek will be performed at night during this phase so trail access will not be impacted.

Important: the presentation included detailed slides of many of the Zone Details, so if construction delays and pain points in this area affect your commute, please click here to view the full presentation: Silver Spring Community Advisory Team

In closing, Carla Julian mentioned that the concessionaire is partnering with schools in the community by having female engineers work with STEM students. Awesome!



  • Next Purple Line NOW Forum: Stay tuned for an announcement of the next Purple Line NOW forum happening late winter 2020!
  • Upcoming CATs:
    • October 29: Bethesda
      7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
      North Chevy Chase Elementary School
      3700 Jones Bridge Road (All-Purpose Room)
      Bethesda, MD 20815
    • November 5: Riverdale & Glenridge/New Carrollton
      6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
      Purple Line Project Office
      6811 Kenilworth Avenue, 1st Floor Training Room
      Riverdale, MD 20737
    • November 12: Greater Lyttonsville/Woodside
      7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
      Rosemary Hills Elementary School
      2111 Porter Road (All Purpose Room)
      Silver Spring, MD 20910




Can You Help Purple Line NOW Continue Its Work?

If you haven't already given this year, would you consider a donation to Purple Line NOW? We have reprinted the appeal here as it contains all the bits you might want to know about what we do with your donations - those dollars work hard!

As we reported earlier this year, we here at Purple Line NOW have shifted our energy from our prior focus of advocating for funding and approval of the project to the daunting task of keeping communities along the Purple Line corridor up-to-speed regarding breaking news, construction woes, and exciting new developments being built around the new line.

Purple Line NOW operates on a very small budget and, as you know, we don’t hold special event fundraisers. Instead, we rely on an email outreach to our most dedicated supporters to help us meet our bottom line each year during our fall appeal campaign.

To that end, we ask for your financial support so that we may continue our work. Donating is easy via our secure link or by sending a check through the mail – all the information to do so can be found on our website.

Below, you will read what it is we do each year with your generous donations. As always, we are happy to answer any additional questions you may have. Just shoot us an email or give us a ring.

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.

How Will Purple Line NOW Use My Donation?

As we said, Purple Line NOW exists on a very slender budget. Our work is done by a dedicated and hardworking group of volunteers, as well as one quarter-time employee. We pay for our website maintenance and for the resources needed to reach the community through email blasts, literature, and supplies. We also cover any expenses associated with hosting our popular educational forums – as you know, these events are always free and open to the public (we don’t charge you to attend!)

Purple Line NOW News

With your support, Purple Line NOW has published a bi-weekly, information-packed newsletter with the latest in construction news, photos, and insider information to keep you on top of what is going on in the field. We have a large following and we are often surprised that readers come from all over the country, from Baltimore to California! Thanks to the many volunteer contributors who help us write and release the newsletter every other week. It’s a big undertaking and we appreciate your support in making it happen! Did you know you can view all of our previous newsletters on our website?!

Envisioning the Purple Line Series

We continue the very popular Envisioning the Purple Line series of forums hosted in a variety of communities along the corridor in both Prince George’s and Montgomery counties. Just last month, we held an update in Chevy Chase, focused on Completing the Capital Crescent Trail where we brought in the CEO of the Purple Line Transit Partners (the builders), Montgomery County councilmembers, bicycle and trail advocates, and others to offer lots of information to the 70+ folks who attended. We try to do at least two events each year around the Purple Line Corridor. Previous events have been held in Silver Spring, Bethesda, Riverdale Park, University of Maryland, College Park, and more. We are currently working hard on organizing the next forum, so stay tuned!

Connecting People

Behind the scenes, Purple Line NOW serves as an unofficial clearing house of sorts for calls from residents and businesses who are looking for answers to issues they are experiencing while the project is under construction. We don’t always have all the answers, but we do try to connect folks with the proper resources.

Sharing Information

Purple Line NOW board members have a long tradition of attending hearings, testifying on behalf of the project, being a part of Purple Line-oriented neighborhood groups, and connecting to elected officials on behalf of the Line. Our volunteer board leadership continues to meet every single month in person, as they have done for over a decade, to share information gathered and exchange ideas to keep the project on track. We attend meetings, provide updates, and take notes! Many of our members stay on top of transit news through their membership and support of other local and regional transit organizations and many are also very active on the neighborhood Community Advisory Teams.

Maintaining a Presence

Finally, Purple Line NOW maintains a strong social media presence, staying connected to thousands via Facebook and Twitter and through our website, Purple Line NOW. If you haven’t signed up for those, do so today. You’ll get the latest news and be able to participate in discussions happening on those platforms.

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.

We are grateful for your consideration of our request and for your support, financial and otherwise. We wish you a happy and healthy fall season.

Get Connected!

Make sure you are signed up for timely alerts from Purple Line NOW via our Twitter and Facebook pages, and at our website Purple Line NOW.

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