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Purple Line A Go As Project Gets Federal Approval

August 28th, 2017 by WCBC Radio

Following a ceremonial signing with U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao for the federal government’s $900 million Full-Funding Grant Agreement, Governor Larry Hogan started demolition to make way for the new Purple Line Operations Center and begin construction on the long-awaited Purple Line. Governor Hogan and Secretary Chao were joined by Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) Secretary Pete K. Rahn, MDOT Maryland Transit Administrator Kevin Quinn, Purple Line Transit Partners officials, Senator Chris Van Hollen, Congressman Anthony Brown, Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, and Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, as well as other state and local elected officials and Purple Line advocates. The Purple Line light rail project will run from New Carrollton in Prince George’s County to Bethesda in Montgomery County.

"The Purple Line project will be an important economic driver for Maryland,​"​ said Governor Hogan​. ​"It will integrate seamlessly with our current transit systems, combining Metro and Amtrak, to provide more transit options across the region. Just the construction alone will mean thousands of new jobs for Marylanders.

"This multi-billion dollar infrastructure project is a big win for the State of Maryland, and will be a major benefit to the National Capital Region. It is a shining example of what can be accomplished when our federal, state, county, and private sector partners work together."

“The Purple Line is a great example of what can be achieved when federal, state, and private partners work together,” said Secretary Chao.

The Maryland Department of Transportation officials signed the $5.6 billion P3 contract in April 2016 with the Purple Line Transit Partners to design, build, finance, operate, and maintain the 16-mile light rail system from Bethesda to New Carrollton. The Purple Line will run east-west inside the Capital Beltway, with 21 stations connecting to: Metrorail’s Orange, Green, and Red lines; the MARC Brunswick, Camden, and Penn lines; and Amtrak at New Carrollton. Since April 2016, MDOT has secured all non-federal financing, continued designing the project, acquired real estate, and secured permits.  

“Without the leadership of Governor Hogan, we would not be standing here today making the Purple Line a reality,” said Secretary Rahn. “The Purple Line will be Governor Hogan’s legacy project that generations to come will use to connect them to life’s opportunities throughout the National Capital Region.”

"We are pleased to join with Governor Hogan and the leaders of the State of Maryland to provide an innovative transportation solution to deliver this long-planned link between Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties," said Jane Garvey, Chairman, Purple Line Transit Partners. "Our partnership will deliver critical transportation infrastructure that will spur economic growth and expand access for residents throughout the corridor."

To complement state funding and federal funding for the project, Prince George’s and Montgomery counties have pledged a combined $330 million in cash and non-cash contributions for the project. The Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration is overseeing the Purple Line construction project. For more information on the Purple Line, please visit www.purplelinemd.com

Today, Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05) and U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), along with U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Congressmen John Sarbanes (MD-03), John K. Delaney (MD-06), Anthony G. Brown (MD-04), and Jamie Raskin (MD-08) praised action by the Federal Transit Administration to sign the Full Funding Grant Agreement (FFGA) with the Maryland Transit Administration for the Maryland National Capital Purple Line project.

“I am very pleased that the Federal Transit Administration has finally signed the Full Funding Grant Agreement with the Maryland Transit Administration, officially committing federal funds to this critically important project,” said Congressman Hoyer. “The Purple Line will be a boon for our local economy and better connect communities throughout Prince George’s County and the greater Washington region. Furthermore, I am even more confident that with the addition of this new transit link, Prince George’s County will be even better suited for the new consolidated FBI headquarters relocation project. Now that the FFGA has been signed, I am hopeful that this project will proceed without any further delays.”

“Job creation and economic development rely on critical infrastructure, particularly public transit,” said Senator Cardin. “Finalizing robust federal investment in the Purple Line is good for our economy and good for our environment. It’s great news for thousands of Marylanders who are currently wasting time, money and gas in gridlock, as well as the communities in Prince George’s County and Montgomery County along the new route. The lack of affordable, convenient transportation choices connecting Maryland communities, along with Metro, MARC and Amtrak, has been frustrating for individuals and businesses throughout our region. But that’s about to change.”

“From day one, we have been fighting to bring the Purple Line to Maryland – it will strengthen our economy, help combat traffic congestion and air pollution, and improve the lives of families in our state," said Senator Van Hollen. “We have worked with both the Obama and Trump administrations to secure federal funding for this critical transportation project, and we will fight to make sure it is successfully completed in a way that best serves Maryland and protects the hiker-biker trail and all of the communities along the route.”

“The Purple Line is an extremely important regional transportation project, and I am extremely pleased to see that the Full Funding Grant Agreement was signed today,” said Congressman Delaney. “Infrastructure investments like the Purple Line create jobs, strengthen our economy, and improve the lives of our constituents.  We should celebrate this victory today, but must also continue to push for a robust, large-scale infrastructure investment program across the country, like the bipartisan legislation I've introduced."

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