Maryland is taking steps to get construction on the Purple Line back on track.
State leaders tell News4 they have taken over construction management after a judge ruled in September that the contractor for the long-awaited rail project could walk off the job over cost disputes.
The Maryland Department of Transportation and Metropolitan Transportation Authority have assumed the Purple Line’s key contracts and hundreds of subcontracts, a spokesperson for MDOT said. The agencies officially took over management of construction on Sept. 28.
"With contracts in hand, Purple Line Executive Director Matthew Pollack led the first virtual meeting with the assumed subcontractors on September 30 to outline the next steps as work progresses," Spokeswoman Erin Henson said in a statement.
Over the next 30 days, MTA will work with subcontractors to continue construction on different components of the Purple Line.
"While the state is committed to on-going negotiations, we have to continue to deliver the Purple Line for the citizens of Maryland and protect the state’s interest, which includes ensuring construction continues," Transportation Secretary Greg Slater said in a statement.
The entire Montgomery County Council had the opportunity to ask state and Purple Line leaders about the future of the project during a virtual meeting in September.
Everyone associated with the Purple Line ensured leaders that the project would be completed — eventually. They did caution, however, that this setback is going to take time to resolve. It could be four to six months before a path to move forward is even laid out, officials said.