Berliner: ‘Not Wild' About Purple Line Project Rollout

WASHINGTON — Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner told reporters Monday that he wants to see the Purple Line project move ahead, but repeated an earlier criticism of the construction process.

He said Maryland transportation officials needed to do a better job of informing the public on each step in the construction process.

While he has been a supporter of the project, Berliner said: “I’m one of those that has not been wild about the way this project was rolled out.”

Berliner cited the closure of the Georgetown Branch Trail, a link between Bethesda and Silver Spring.

Before its closure, Berliner said the pace of the project had been glacial.

“It went from glacier-speed to Mach-speed in a nanosecond,” he said. “All of us are trying to catch up.”

Berliner, who’s running for County Executive, said he’s eager to see the Purple Line completed but that there was no notice that the trail would close so suddenly after the groundbreaking on Aug. 28.

Maryland Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn took exception to complaints that the closure of the trail came as a surprise to anyone.

When questioned last week about the issue at a dedication ceremony of the InterCounty Connector, another project that had a protracted and contentious development process, Rahn told reporters: “Public notice has been given as to what was going to occur on the trail for over a year.”

Sandy Arnette, the Director of Media Relations at the Maryland Transit Authority explained that the Purple Line Transit Partners would be taking the lead on updating the public on how and when each phase of construction would begin and what impact each phase would have on the community.

Carla Julian, the Senior Manager for Public Affairs and Community Outreach with the Purple Line Transit Partners says the website is under construction, more up-to-date information will be available in the coming weeks. Julian says the public can sign up for updates online on their website.

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