Thursday, December 12, 2013

Six teams vie for Purple Line LRT contract

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Maryland Department of Transportation officials said Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013, that six private-company teams have submitted a "Statement of Qualifications" for advancing the 16-mile Purple Line Light Rail Transit project.

The teams include: Plenary Group USA and Bechtel Development Co.; VINCI Concessions, Walsh Investors, InfraRed Capital Partners, Alstom Transport, and Keolis S.A.; John Laing Investments, Kiewit Development, and Edgemoor Infrastructure & Real Estate; CSCEC and United Labor Life Insurance; Meridiam Infrastructure Purple Line, Fluor Enterprises, and Star America Fund GP; and Macquarie Capital Group and Skanska Infrastructure Development.

DOT officials expect to cull the group to four teams, or fewer, as the New Year begins, then ask for the surviving teams to submit detailed proposals by next fall. Maryland hopes to begin construction of the line in early 2015.

Last month the state Board of Public Works approved plans to advance the project as a public-private partnership over a period of 35 to 40 years. The contract could be worth more than $6 billion. Gov. Martin O'Malley last July committed $280 million for design work and land acquisition for the Purple Line.

Maryland officials say the winning team is expected to contribute between $400 million and $900 million toward construction, as part of a design-build-operate-maintain (DBOM) plan. Such an approach has been used for other U.S. LRT startups, including New Jersey Transit' Hudson-Bergen Light Rail (HBLR) system along the Hudson River. br>

The Purple Line would serve two Maryland counties north of Washington, D.C, and act as a circumferential and feeder/distributor route to Washington's Metrorail system, offering transfers at four locations along the route.