UPDATE: Dec. 14: The state of Maryland will pay $100 million to the firms managing the construction of the Purple Line light-rail system by Dec. 31, as part of the $250 million settlement agreed to last month.
No other details were released about the agreement, which is on the agenda for the state’s Board of Public Works Dec. 16 meeting. 16. At least two members of the three-member board must approve the agreement.
Their approval is expected, according to The Washington Post, because a settlement prevents the state from having to procure another highly complex financial partnership, which experts say would take more than a year.
- After months of negotiations, the Maryland Department of Transportation yesterday said it reached a $250 million settlement with the contractors building the stalled Purple Line light-rail system in the state’s Washington, D.C., suburbs.
- The agreement with Meridiam, Star America and Fluor settles all outstanding financial claims and terminates litigation between the parties, according to a press release. As part of the settlement, the state said Fluor will drop out of the Purple Line Transit Partners public-private partnership agreement and the project will proceed with just Meridiam and Star America as P3 developers and equity partners.
- If approved by the Board of Public Works next month, Meridiam and Star America will initiate solicitation for a new design-build contractor, in coordination with MDOT and the Maryland Transit Administration.
The agreement is the result of months of negotiations between the state and PLTP. The $5.6 billion deal fell apart in September over an estimated $800 million in cost overruns and multiple lawsuits, leaving behind dozens of unfinished work sites. MDOT and the MTA took over day-to-day management of PLTP’s contracts two months ago in an effort to keep the project from stagnating.
“This agreement is a major step toward completing the Purple Line, a transformative project for our state and the region,” said Gov. Larry Hogan in a news release.
In the interim period, MDOT and MTA will retain oversight of hundreds of contracts and purchase orders. Purple Line work underway includes:
- Light-rail car manufacturing.
- Bridge work.
- Stormwater drainage.
- Utility and pump station construction.
MDOT and MTA said they will also focus on reducing risks in the upcoming solicitation by completing design, acquiring permits and advancing utility work along the Purple Line corridor, the statement said.
Fluor was part of many aspects of the project, including Purple Line Transit Operators, which is slated to run the system once it is complete. Fluor's role in all Purple Line endeavors has been discontinued, according to Erin Henson, MDOT director of public affairs.