2020 | Transportation

State to pay Purple Line consortium $100 million by year’s end

Board of Public Works must vote on settlement next week

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The state would pay the consortium of contractors for the light rail Purple Line $100 million by the end of the year as part of a $250 million settlement reached between the parties last month.

The state announced on Nov. 24 that it had settled with the contractors for $250 million following months of disputes over delays and cost overruns.

In May, the contractors, Purple Line Transit Constructors (PLTC), notified the consortium, Purple Line Transit Partners (PLTP), that the contractors planned to walk off the job.

A temporary restraining order from the state was granted in August that kept the workers on the job through Sept. 14, but a Baltimore City Circuit Court judge ruled that the contractors could abandon the project after that date.

The Purple Line is a $2 billion public-private partnership with the state. When completed, the light rail line will stretch 16 miles, from Bethesda to New Carrollton in Prince George’s County.

The project originally was scheduled to be completed in 2022, but it has been delayed indefinitely.

The Board of Public Works is scheduled to meet on Dec. 16, and must approve the settlement in order for it to take effect. According to meeting documents, the first $100 million of the agreement would need to be paid on or before Dec. 31.

Of the contractors, Meridiam and Start America will remain involved with the project, but Fluor will not.

A new design-build contractor would be selected if the board approves the agreement next Wednesday.

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com