The opening of Maryland’s Purple Line is at least a year behind schedule, and delays have added at least $215 million to the light-rail line’s cost, according to project documents.
Purple Line Transit Partners (PLTP), a team of companies building the 16-mile line and helping to finance its construction, has told the state the line won’t begin carrying passengers until February 2023. That’s almost a year behind the March 2022 opening date in the project’s contract and four months behind the October 2022 date that Maryland transit officials insist is still possible, according to reports obtained by The Washington Post through public record requests.
A February 2023 opening date is possible only if work is accelerated, PLTP has told the state, according to the reports. Otherwise, the contractor said, it could open as late as June 2024.
Despite repeated assurances by Maryland officials that the project remains on schedule, the reports show the delays — and the potential for hundreds of millions in cost overruns — have been the subject of intense discussions between the state and PLTP for nearly two years, before construction even started. A state transportation spokesman said as recently as December that the opening date remains unchanged.