Purple Line settlement reached; Fluor out of P3

Nov. 25, 2020
The $250 million agreement between the Maryland, Meridiam, Star America and Fluor will be put before the Board of Public Works in December for review and approval.

The state of Maryland and the Purple Line Transit Partners have reached a $250-million agreement that provides a path forward to deliver the beleaguered 16-mile light-rail project.  

The agreement between Maryland, Meridiam, Star America and Fluor marks the end to the current round of litigation between Purple Line project parties and will be presented to the Board of Public Works (BPW) in December for review and approval.

In addition to the financial settlement, Fluor will not be part of the public-private partnership moving forward with the Purple Line Transit Partners P3 Agreement proceeding with Meridiam and Start America as developers and equity partners.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan called the agreement a major step toward completing “a transformative project.”

“Today is a great day for everyone with a stake in the Purple Line's success but most especially for the people of Maryland. On behalf of my colleagues at Meridiam and our partner, Star America, we express our thanks for the resilient partnership we share with Gov. Hogan, with Secretary [Gregory] Slater and the MTA," said Jane Garvey, chairman, Meridiam North America and chairman of the Purple Line Transit Partners Board.

Christophe Petit, president of Star America Infrastructure Partners, added, “We look forward to working together to select a new design builder, reducing the risks to that completing contractor and rebuilding our operations and maintenance team so as to ensure the successful completion of construction and the long term operation of this important piece of the transportation system in Maryland."

Earlier this year, Purple Line Transit Constructors, the lead contractor responsible for the design-build portion the project, walked away from the project citing increased costs due to third-party lawsuits, delayed right-of-way acquisition and changes to regulations and third-party agreements after the project was underway. The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) assumed control of the project while the parties continued to work on an agreement.

MDOT and the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) will continue to provide oversight to the contracts and purchase orders of the Purple Line project until the agreement is approved by BPW. Once approved, Meridiam and Star America will initiate a solicitation for a new design-build contractor in coordination with MDOT and MTA.

Purple Line work currently underway includes: light-rail car manufacturing, bridge work, stormwater drainage, paving, utility and pump station construction. The state says MDOT and MTA will continue work while also focusing on reducing risks in the upcoming solicitation by completing design, acquiring permits and advancing utility work along the Purple Line corridor.

“When you are trying to solve complex issues, collaboration is the key. In big projects like this, there are challenges you will encounter, and it takes a good partnership to work together productively on solutions," said Transportation Secretary Gregory Slater.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Editor in Chief

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the magazine’s editorial direction and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.

Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration
Rebar is laid in September 2019 as support for the Purple Line light-rail project. The team responsible for the project's construction, Purple Line Transit Constructors has decided to pull out of the project.