The consortium building Maryland’s Purple line light rail project has said it is to exercise an exit clause in its contract in a dispute over unpaid compensation related to delays, saying it cannot complete the project in the planned timescale.
Purple Line Transit Constructors (PLTC) Project Director Scott Risly said that delays caused by a lawsuit, land acquisition, design changes and difficulties in obtaining state environmental approvals had added two-and-half years and USD519m to the project.
The 26km (16.2-mile) line between New Carrollton and Bethesda is being built for Maryland Department of Transportation and Maryland Transit Administration under a 36-year USD5.6bn public-private partnership (PPP) agreed in spring 2016.
In a statement released on 1 May, Mr Risly said: “Due to circumstances outside of PLTC’s control, there were multiple delays on the project and PLTC was unable to obtain the time and cost relief to which it is entitled… Regretfully, PLTC simply cannot complete the project under these circumstances.”
PLTC says it is working with MDOT and MTA on an ‘efficient and orderly transition’, expected to take between 60 and 90 days.
In its own statement, the MDOT MTA said litigation has delayed the project since construction started in 2016 and that discussions continue.