The Purple Line restart is starting to gain some traction, as the list of design-build contractors has been shortened.
Purple Line Transit Partners (PLTP), the private investor of the project, says the choice for the new contractor is now down to three: Halmar International, Maryland Transit Solutions (Dragados USA Inc. and OHL USA Inc.) and Tutor-Perini/Lunda.
The list was originally five contractors, and the request for proposals for the finalists will be issued in the coming weeks. The winner is expected to be selected in June, with a financial agreement completed in September.
Meanwhile, work is still being done on designs, obtaining permits and utility relocations.
“PLTP short-listing three qualified firms represents the next step in moving the Purple Line forward,” Maryland Department of Transportation Greg Slater said in a statement. “[The Maryland DOT] 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.”
Montgomery County wants the Purple Line to run on just one line of track inside the Bethesda station. The move would permit the county to rebuild the Capital Crescent Trail. The Maryland Transit Administration is being asked to explore the request.
If approved the design change would save millions, but if the MBTA rejects it Montgomery County would have to postpone the construction of a new tunnel for the trail until at least 2027. Currently the Purple Line is being built in an existing tunnel at Bethesda station, and the new trail tunnel would run adjacent to the transit line.