THREE design-build contractor teams have been shortlisted to complete Maryland’s Purple Line, a 26.1km, 21-station light rail project that has been plagued with litigation. 

Halmar International, Maryland Transit Solutions (comprised of Dragados USA and OHL USA) and joint-venture Tutor-Perini/Lunda were selected from five contractors that submitted statements of qualifications last month to Purple Line Transit Partners (PLTP), Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), and Maryland Transit Administration (MTA).  

PLTP will issue a request for proposals in mid-March. Selection is planned for mid-June followed by a financial agreement in September. 

The move follows a $US 250m settlement reached on November 24 between MDOT and the three companies connected with PLTP, which holds the public-private partnership (PPP) agreement with MDOT and MTA to design, build, finance and operate the project that will run from Bethesda to New Carrollton.  

The conflict centred on delays and $US 800m in cost overruns. The Board of Public Works approved the settlement on December 16, which kicked off work to procure a replacement for lead constructor Fluor, which is no longer associated with PLTP. Meridiam and Star America remain with PLTP as developers and equity partners. 

PLTP chairman, Ms Jane Garvey, called the selection process “an important step” toward delivering the Purple Line. “Collaborating closely with our MDOT and MTA partners, we look forward to rapidly bringing on a new contractor and resuming full-scale construction,” she says. 

“MDOT is committed to successfully delivering this important transit project for the citizens of Maryland, and we appreciate PLTP’s continued partnership to make this a reality,” says MDOT secretary, Mr Greg Slater. 

The Purple Line project broke ground in 2017, after a federal judge dismissed environmental claims in a lawsuit that had blocked project advancement. 

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