Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Governor Martin O’Malley, Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III and other key officials, announced nearly $650 million in transportation investments for Montgomery County that will create jobs, reduce traffic congestion and revitalize communities. Central to the announcement was news of a public-private partnership (P3) to deliver the Purple Line. This is the State’s first transit P3 project. Maryland is investing an additional $400 million for construction of the $2.2 billion Purple Line project with the remainder to be paid for with a combination of federal grants, state and local financial contributions, and private investment.
“Robust investments in critical infrastructure, including Maryland roads and rails, are investments in job creation and economic development across the region,” said U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Transportation Infrastructure Subcommittee. “Marylanders, particularly federal employees, currently waste too much time, money and gas in gridlock. I’m proud that the federal government has been a partner with Maryland, Montgomery County and others throughout the state to modernize and add affordable, convenient transportation choices connecting Maryland communities to and from the National Capital Region. Each of these projects, especially the Purple Line, will improve the safety and efficiency of our region’s transportation options which is great news for individuals and businesses, our economy and our environment.”
“Together, with the support of our local partners like County Executives Ike Leggett and Rushern Baker, we made the better choices to invest in the future of Maryland’s transportation network, allowing us to create more than 57,200 jobs for our hardworking families and rebuild our State’s infrastructure,” said Governor O’Malley. “Today’s announcement creates more than 9,700 jobs for Montgomery County, reduces traffic congestion and revitalizes communities. Thanks to Lt. Governor Brown’s leadership, we can move ahead with the Purple Line and bring the best private sector practices and innovation needed to create the 21st century transportation network that a modern economy requires.”
“I fought hard to pass Maryland’s Public-Private Partnership law so that we could create jobs by moving ahead with important projects like the Purple Line,” said Lt. Governor Anthony Brown. “By working with the private sector to deliver the Purple Line, we’re making an investment to support our growing economy, create thousands of jobs and expand opportunities in our communities. Today’s Purple Line announcement marks the launch of the first P3 project under our new law, however I look forward to exploring the possibility of more public-private partnerships in the future. I want to thank Governor O’Malley for continuing his important work to grow our economy by making these job-creating investments here in Montgomery County.”
With the Transportation Infrastructure Investment Act of 2013, which allows Maryland to activate long-term strategies to invest in Maryland’s transportation systems, the State is putting people back to work in the transportation industry with $4.4 billion in new investments in the next six years. Maryland will create hundreds of millions of dollars in economic activity and provide Marylanders with the transportation infrastructure necessary to grow and prosper for decades to come.
Today’s announcement provides nearly $650 million in key projects for Montgomery County, including:
· $125 million to construct a new interchange along I-270 at Watkins Mill Road;
· $25 million to build a relocated MD 97 around the historic Town of Brookeville;
· $280 million to complete right-of-way acquisition and final design for the Maryland National Capital Purple Line (when combined with the new $400 million investment for Purple Line construction – a total of $680 million will be invested in the Purple Line);
· $100 million to complete right-of-way acquisition and final design for the Corridor Cities Transitway;
· $7 million in design funds to build two interchanges along U.S. 29, at Musgrove Road and Fairland Road, to replace existing intersections;
· $3 million in design funds to widen MD 124 from Midcounty Highway to south of Airpark Road;
· $3 million in planning funds for the MD 28 / MD 198 Corridor Transportation Improvement Study; and
· $85 million in operating assistance for the County’s Ride On Bus (FY 2014-2019).
“I want to thank Governor O’Malley for making a major investment in our transportation system that will ensure the economic vitality of the entire Washington region through new job creation and greater support for our business community,” said Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett. “For many years, I have vigorously advocated for a meaningful way to increase funding for transportation, and now for the first time in a generation, we are seeing the results with significant and long overdue transportation infrastructure investments for our priority projects.”
“Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties need this type of investment in order to reduce congestion, improve road conditions, expand our transportation options and create job opportunities,” said Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker. “On any given day, the people from Prince George’s County, and the Metropolitan Washington region, travel through two or more counties, cities or towns. The announcement of increased spending on roads and transportation, specifically, the public-private partnership announcement and investment in the Purple Line, will help connect communities and make our region more transit-oriented and sustainable. These are the elements that help improve the quality of life for our citizens and makes the State of Maryland more attractive to new residents and businesses.”
“The expansion of public private partnerships is another tool in our toolbox to leverage private investment in the State’s economy,” said Speaker Michael E. Busch. “Using innovative financing for large scale projects like the Purple Line will allow us to jumpstart these important transportation projects more quickly and more economically.”
Lt. Governor Brown led the Administration’s efforts to successfully pass P3 legislation this past session. The announcement to pursue a P3 for the Purple Line means that the State will seek a private partner to complete design, construct, operate, maintain and provide a portion of the financing for the planned east-west light rail line. This innovative project delivery method differs from a typical project in which the State separately bids for the design and construction of the transit line, and then operates the system, such as the Central Light Rail Line in Baltimore. This P3 approach is known as a Design-Build-Finance-Operate-Maintain (DBFOM). DBFOM is used extensively in Canada for rail projects and also for a rail transit project in Denver.
The Purple Line is a 16-mile light rail link between Bethesda in Montgomery County and New Carrollton in Prince George’s County. It will provide connections to Metrorail, MARC Train, Amtrak and local bus routes. As part of the regular planning process, in 2011, MTA began a preliminary investigation of potential delivery options available for the project and recently held a forum to seek ideas from potential private investors and industry experts. Responses from a heavily attended Purple Line Industry Forum held this past May indicated strong marketplace interest in a Purple Line P3.
“These public investments create private sector jobs in construction today and prepare Maryland’s infrastructure for the jobs of tomorrow,” said U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski. “These projects are among the most pressing in the region. Maryland can count on me to keep fighting for our state’s fair share of federal formula funding to help pay for improvements to our highways, byways and transit systems.”
U.S. Congressman John Delany added: “Today’s announcement is good news for the growing communities that I represent in Congress. I thank Governor O’Malley and Lt. Governor Brown for their commitment to investing in the infrastructure we need for the next century. Smart investments in infrastructure create jobs, improve our quality of life, and help businesses compete. In Maryland we have wonderful places to live, fantastic schools, and great employers; but these assets need to be better connected, so our residents can thrive. Maryland is making a commitment to infrastructure and I’m focused on making sure that Washington does the same.”
Over the summer months, the State will continue to review statewide transportation project needs and make investment decisions. The Maryland Department of Transportation’s draft six-year transportation budget will be published on September 3rd. This budget, known as the Consolidated Transportation Program, will provide a full list of the new projects funded by the Transportation Act. This budget will be posted on MDOT’s website at www.mdot.maryland.gov.
Additional Information on P3
The P3 approach is commonly used for highways, airports and seaports. In Maryland, a P3 agreement is in place to deliver infrastructure improvements at the Maryland Port Administration’s Seagirt Marine Terminal and is being used to redevelop the Maryland Transportation Authority’s Travel Plazas along I-95.
In return for operating, maintaining, and financing a portion of construction for the Purple Line, the State will pay the contractor annual payments throughout the 30-40 year contract period. Deductions are made from the payments if the contractor does not meet pre-determined performance targets, such as on-time performance, vehicle cleanliness and customer service. The State will continue to set fares and collect the fare revenue, and ensure that commitments made during the environmental approval process are fulfilled.
The State will use a competitive solicitation process to select a private partner. Following review of the process by the General Assembly and preliminary consent by the Board of Public Works, the Request for Qualifications (RFQ) will be issued this fall. The process and evaluation criteria will be published prior to the RFQ at www.purplelinemd.com. The final request for proposals will be released next spring with construction possible in 2015.