Maryland members of Congress are putting the full court press on Gov. Larry Hogan regarding the Purple Line project, which appears to be at a near standstill after Purple Line Transit Partners gave notice it was leaving the jobsite.
Sens. Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin along with Reps. Steny Hoyer, Dutch Ruppersberger, John Sarbanes, Kweisi Mfume, Anthony Brown, Jamie Raskin and David Trone signed a joint letter to Hogan urging him to find a way to complete the Purple Line.
“We are writing today to express our deep concern about the future of the Purple Line project … Now that it is clear that the Purple Line Transit Partners (PLTP) intend to leave the project and began to demobilize and secure the construction sites … our concerns about the fate of the project have grown exponentially,” said the letter.
PLTP is packing up due to delays that have resulted in $800 million in cost overruns. Maryland has taken control of a few of the Purple Line subcontractors, but has not announced how the project will be executed moving forward. The lawmakers want to know how many contracts the state has taken over, their dollar amount and whether or not the state has the ability to manage the contracts effectively.
The Maryland Transit Administration says it is still looking over ways to handle the project. The state could take over completely or another private investor or contractor could assume the responsibility.
“Any additional delay in the completion of the project will only exacerbate the burdens being experienced by both residential communities and commercial enterprises situated in close proximity to the construction sites,” the letter said.
The lawmakers also are worried that if the Purple Line project collapses the relationship with the Federal Transit Administration would have to be mended.
A spokesperson for Hogan says the concerned members of Congress are not fully up to speed on where things stand with the project, and that positive progress is being made.