Major construction would resume after the companies reach a final agreement on a contract, which is scheduled for September, PLTP said. It can take up to several months to mobilize workers and heavy equipment on such a large project.
The three bidders are Halmar International; a team of Dragados USA and OHL USA; and a joint venture of Tutor Perini and Lunda Construction Co. They were narrowed down from five teams that had expressed interest in the project, PLTP said.
The chosen contractor will replace a joint venture of three companies that quit last fall over years-long cost disputes with the Maryland Department of Transportation. That contracting team — composed of Fluor, Lane Construction Corp. and Traylor Bros. — said costs had soared by $800 million due to more than 2½ years of delays. The state agreed to pay a $250 million legal settlement to resolve the claims late last year.
The Purple Line was initially scheduled to carry passengers between Bethesda in Montgomery County and New Carrollton in Prince George’s County starting in March 2022.
Project officials have said a new opening schedule will be determined as part of the new construction contract.
PLTP Chairman Jane Garvey called the shortlisting of bidders “an important step” in completing the Purple Line as soon as possible.
“Collaborating closely with our [state] partners, we look forward to rapidly bringing on a new contractor and resuming full-scale construction,” Garvey said in a statement.
Maryland Transportation Secretary Gregory Slater called it “the next step in moving the Purple Line forward,” adding that “MDOT is committed to successfully delivering this important transit project.”
MDOT has taken over subcontracts to continue some work, such as moving utility lines and manufacturing the light-rail vehicles, but most major construction stopped in September. The contract dispute left behind a 16-mile swath of abandoned construction sites through Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.