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Construction On Purple Line Stops Amid Contractor Dispute

A rendering of a Purple Line train

Ongoing disputes over cost overruns on Maryland's Purple Line project came to a head this week, with contractors stopping work on the rail line. 

The project's construction contractor, Purple Line Transit Constructors, has stopped work and is now securing construction sites as it prepares to quit the project, the Washington Post reports.

The Purple Line is already more than two and a half years behind schedule, a delay that the project's manager, Purple Line Transit Partners, says has created $800M in cost overruns.

State officials say the departure could add one to two years of delays to the project, but they say they are still working to reach a settlement with the contractors and remain committed to delivering the project. Local officials in Montgomery County and Prince George's County have voiced frustration over the state's handling of the dispute and the idea of leaving partially completed construction sites throughout the suburbs. 

The 16-mile light-rail project, which broke ground in 2017, would connect the Maryland suburbs of Bethesda, Silver Spring, College Park and New Carrollton. The new transit line has already sparked a host of new development and office demand around the stations.