Officials behind the Maryland’s Purple Line project are going to take even longer to have a new design-build contractor in the dirt.
Not long after saying one would be in place by the end of 2021, Maryland’s Board of Public Works on Sept. 15 approved a February 2022 deadline. The extension will give prospective bidders more time to complete due diligence activities on the project, which is about 50% complete. Maryland State Transportation Secretary Gregory Slater also said the additional time will allow the bidders to know exactly what needs to be done on the project moving forward and how future work will be tied into work already completed. The solicitation process was supposed to be complete at the end of September.
The Maryland Department of Transportation continues to monitor a small construction effort on the $2 billion project, which is now more than two years behind schedule.
The short list of bidders are Halmar International, Maryland Transit Solutions (a joint venture of Dragados USA Inc. and OHL USA), and a joint venture of Tutor Perini and Lunda Construction Co.
The Board also approved advancing Purple Line Transit Partners (PLTP), the state’s private concessionaire partner which has led the search for a new contractor, as much as $375 million to pay off an initial round of public activity bonds issued in 2016 to get construction underway. Slater said the bond payment money would not be added to the total cost of the project. It pays for completed work now than over the course of PLTP’s 30-year operations and maintenance concession.