Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Governor Announces that Purple Line will Move Forward; Funding for Three Montgomery County Road Projects Also Included in State Transportation Funding Package

Last week, Governor Hogan announced that the Purple Line, the proposed 16-mile light rail line extending from Bethesda in Montgomery County to New Carrollton in Prince George's County, will go ahead if all conditions are met. These conditions include an additional contribution, which has not been specified, from each County, and possible additional financing from the successful concessionaire. The Maryland Department of Transportation has trimmed some project costs by reassessing the design. The announced changes include reduced service frequency, from every six minutes to every 7.5 minutes. This change would initially reduce the number of railcars needed and the need for a second railcar storage site.

The Governor also announced funding for three road projects in Montgomery County. Projects two and three below were funded in 2013:
  • $100 million for all phases of the I-270 Innovative Congestion Reduction Project that will reduce congestion along I-270 from the I-270 Y-Split to I-370.
  • $30 million to construct a new, two-lane MD 97 (Georgia Avenue) highway around central Brookeville. Construction is expected to begin in Summer 2016.
  • $150 million to construct an I-270 Interchange at Watkins Mill Road. Improvements along I-270 will extend from north of MD 124 to south of Middlebrook Road. Bicycle and pedestrian improvements along Watkins Mill Road will be included to the Metropolitan Grove MARC station. Construction should begin in late 2015/early 2016.
Read the Governor’s press release and County Executive Ike Leggett’s statement about the Purple Line decision.