- The Fluor-led team of Purple Line Transit Partners has closed a public-private partnership (P3) deal with the Maryland Department of Transportation and the Maryland Transit Administration to finance, design, build, operate and maintain the $5.6 billion, 21-station, 16-mile Bethesda-area Purple Line light rail project, Fluor announced in a press release.
- Financing for the project includes an $874.6 million U.S. Department of Transportation loan and $313 million in "green bonds," which were sold, according to Fluor, "at the lowest interest rates ever achieved in the U.S. P3 market."
- The team will oversee the six-year, $2 billion design-build phase, which should be complete by 2022, as well as the 30-year maintenance component. It has already started initial design and survey work.
The rail segment will connect Montgomery and Prince George's counties, providing connections to other transit options and more economic opportunities for ridership. Additional project team members include The Lane Construction Corporation and Traylor Bros. Inc for the design-build phase and Alternate Concepts Inc. and CAF USA Inc. for the operation and maintenance phases.
The Purple Line is one of the biggest P3s in the country and is only the second to include a private financing component. In April, the Maryland Board of Public Works unanimously approved PLTP’s public-private partnership contract. The state will kick in $3.3 billion; the private companies in the P3 will finance $1 billion in exchange for a yearly maintenance fee — $149 million annually — and local counties and the federal government will fund the balance.
Other large-scale P3s have recently announced the finalization of their respective contracts and financing deals as well. In April, Long Beach, CA, officials said that all agreements and financing were in place for the P3 that will build and maintain the city’s new $513 million civic center. The Plenary Group-led team for that project will incorporate seismic-resilient and LEED design into the new complex, which will include a library, city hall and a hotel. Long Beach officials said the private aspect of the P3 made it possible to explore different financing options and to complete the deal with no "bond issues, tax measures or voter approvals."
Skanska USA also recently announced financial close for the $4 billion LaGuardia Airport terminal replacement, a New York City project that Skanska called its largest ever. The Skanska-led LaGuardia Gateway Partners will design, build, operate and maintain the new Terminal B under a P3 agreement with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Skanska reported a 70% share in the construction phase and a 33% stake in the maintenance and operational contract for the terminal, associated infrastructure work and central entrance hall.