Property Owners Along Purple Line May be Forced Out

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Property owners along the future site of the Purple Line in Maryland are preparing to be kicked off their land in the near future.

    The light rail will eventually connect Bethesda to New Carrollton. Thursday, the project received a key federal environmental approval, the "Record of Decision" by the Federal Transit Administration.

    Ric Wasim owns property along the planned route, and says he has been contacted by the state about the possibility that his garage at a gas station may have to go. 

    "I guess we will just go along with what the state says, but I would rather stay here," Wasim said. "I have a lot of employees working here, they have families, everyone has kids and stuff. We would rather stay and make money and life goes on."

    President Obama pledged $100 million in his proposed budget for the Purple Line and Red Line last week, but that is subject to Congressional approval.

    The Purple Line would run 16 miles with 21 stations between Bethesda and New Carrollton in Montgomery and Prince George's counties. It would pass through Silver Spring, Takoma Park, Langley Park, College Park and Riverdale. Maryland officials have been working on developing the Purple Line for years to help address terrible traffic congestion in Maryland around the nation's capital.

    The estimated cost has risen from $2.15 billion to $2.37 billion, according to a federal report released Wednesday. The additions are attributed to increased real estate costs from a larger number of land parcels to be acquired and from increased cost of site preparation. About $126 million of the added expense is due to project financing costs.