Two of the firms, Meridiam and Star America, will continue to work on the Purple Line, but the joint venture’s managing partner, Fluor Enterprises, will no longer be associated with the project.  

The two remaining partners will now look for another contractor to replace Fluor. The agreement still needs to be approved by Maryland’s Board of Public Works.

MDOT and the Maryland Transportation Authority will continue to oversee hundreds of contracts and purchase orders, following the state’s takeover of management for the project in October.

Fluor, Meriam and Star America formed the Purple Line Transit Partners (PLTC) design-build joint venture, which was awarded the contract in March 2016 under a $US 5.6bn 36-year public-private partnership (PPP). Work on the project began in August 2017, with the line originally planned to open in early 2022.

However, the state and PLTC had been at odds for months, and the dispute led to the builders leaving the site on May 1. The conflict centred on time delays and $US 800m in cost overruns, with project manager, Mr Scott Risley, blaming a lawsuit, problems obtaining land, last-minute changes in design requirements and difficulties in obtaining state environmental approvals as the cause.

“This agreement is a major step toward completing the Purple Line, a transformative project for our state and the region,” says Maryland’s governor, Mr Larry Hogan.

Fluor was also part of the Purple Line Transit Operators (PLTO) joint venture alongside Alternate Concepts and CAF USA, which will take over the management and operation of the line following the completion of work.

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