Montgomery Co. Lawmakers: Purple Line Construction Will Be ‘nightmare'

WASHINGTON – Members of the Montgomery County Council used a Thursday meeting to warn residents living near the Purple Line construction that they are in for a rough road as the four- or five-year project moves ahead.

“This is going to be tough to live through,” Councilmember Nancy Floreen said. “Like any construction project, it’s going to be annoying and there are going to be problems.”

“It’s a nightmare, and that’s how it’s going to be,” she said.

The Council’s transportation committee discussed the matter with representatives from groups responsible for designing, building and operating the Purple Line, including the Maryland Transit Administration and Purple Line Transit Partners.

Council President Roger Berliner said he expects a similar discussion to be held at least every six months.

“People understand it will be disruptive,” said Berliner. “This is a terribly important project, but it will be so very difficult for so many people.”

The 16-mile light rail line will stretch from Bethesda to New Carrollton, providing connections to Metro’s Red, Green and Orange lines. It will also connect to MARC, Amtrak and local bus services.

Hans Riemer, the Council’s vice president, said the job of the Council is now “to help watchdog this project and hold the state and the partners accountable.”

In addition to the Purple Line construction, related projects include rebuilding portions of the Capital Crescent Trail, extending the Silver Spring Green Trail and adding a new entrance to the Bethesda Metro Station.

State officials created a website as a means of communicating what is happening and how it might impact residents.

Legal battles delayed the project significantly, but now it is moving forward in earnest.

Berliner promised that every step will be transparent and that the community will not be caught off guard.

“We spent so much time getting here,” he said. “Now, we need to make sure we’re all on the same page.”

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