The Purple Line project in Maryland is not getting any more ugly, but the state is taking a hit or two. Maryland will pay the companies handling the Purple Line project $100 million by Dec. 31 in a settlement, and another $150 million will be coming from the state at a later date.
The settlement, however, did not provide a time when the private concessionaire must replace the construction contractor, which would push the project back into high gear.
At least two members of the Maryland Board of Public Works must approve the settlement as required for changes to major state contracts. The approval is expected because it will be difficult to create another public-private partnership. Experts believe it would take more than a year, and the Purple Line project already is facing lengthy delays. Officials do not know when the line will be put into operation.
Companies claimed the delays totaled $800 million in extra costs. Maryland said the $250 million would come from the state’s transportation trust fund.
“The governor looks forward to taking this next step toward completing the Purple Line,” spokesman Michael Ricci said. “These were tough negotiations, but we were able to save taxpayers $550 million from the original claims.”
The state, however, might still have to pay more to get the project finished, but as of right now officials say that figure is not clear. It all depends on how much the new contractor charges to take on the project.