The Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) confirmed Tuesday it has received technical proposals from four teams competing to build the Purple Line.
The MTA received three of the technical proposals Monday and the last one came in Tuesday, according to Chuck Brown, an MTA spokesman. All four proposals are hundreds of pages. They are not being made public yet because the bid process remains closed, Brown said.
“Submission of these proposals marks an important milestone in moving forward on the Purple Line project,” MTA Administrator Paul Comfort said in a statement. “Our technical review committee now will perform their due diligence and thoroughly analyze each proposal.”
Teams are scheduled to submit their financial proposals on Dec. 8, Brown said. Both the finance and technical portions of the proposals will be evaluated by different teams of MTA employees and MTA will make a recommendation on which bid to choose. The recommended proposal will then be presented to the Board of Public Works, which will review the recommendation and decide whether to approve it.
If all goes as planned, Brown said the recommended proposal could be presented to the Board of Public Works in March 2016 and construction could begin in 2016 as well. He said the preferred proposal would be made public before it's reviewed by the Board of Public Works.
The four teams, which MTA refers to as “concessionaires,” are made up of developers, investment companies and engineering and construction firms.
The bid deadlines were previously delayed three times, as Gov. Larry Hogan debated the future of the project for about six months after taking office in January.
Hogan decided to move forward with the 16-mile light rail project in June after slashing about $215 million from the project, which is now estimated to cost about $2.2 billion. The state is expected to pay as much as $385 million for the project. Montgomery County is expected to pay about $160 million. The rest of the funds for the project come from the federal government—about $900 million—and from financing raised by the concessionaire that would later be repaid by the state through fare revenues and tax dollars.
Once completed, the rail line will connect Bethesda with New Carrollton in Prince George’s County through a network of 21 station stops.