The State of Maryland and its partners – Meridiam, Star America and Fluor – reached a $250 million agreement that settles all outstanding financial claims and terminates the current litigation between the parties regarding the Purple Line light-rail project on the outskirts of Washington D.C. As part of the settlement agreement, Purple Line Transit Partners P3 Agreement will proceed with just Meridiam and Star America as P3 developers and equity partners. A formal settlement agreement will go before the Board of Public Works (BPW) in December for review and approval. With this progress in the negotiations, the parties have agreed to put all pending claims and litigation on hold pending BPW review of the settlement agreement.
“This agreement is a major step toward completing the Purple Line, a transformative project for our state and the region," said Governor Larry Hogan. “I would like to thank Greg Slater and our partners at Meridiam and Star America for coming together to find a path forward that will lead to a new contractor. We continue to make progress on all of the highest priority transportation projects across Maryland."
If approved by BPW, Meridiam and Star America would solicit for a new design-build contractor in coordination with the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and Maryland Transit Administration (MTA). In the interim, MDOT and MTA will retain oversight of hundreds of contracts and purchase orders to continue delivery of the Purple Line. Purple Line work currently underway includes: light rail car manufacturing, bridge work, stormwater drainage, paving, utility and pump station construction. 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.
“The months of challenging but always good faith negotiations, led by Secretary Slater, have paved the way for an agreement that will allow the project to move ahead," said Jane Garvey, Chairman, Meridiam North America and Chairman of the Purple Line Transit Partners Board. “We look forward to our continued partnership with Governor Hogan's team and with Secretary Slater in delivering what is a critical project for the citizens of Maryland."
“Star America is proud to have worked alongside our partners, Meridiam and the State of Maryland, to find the path to continue our partnership," said Christophe Petit, President of Star America Infrastructure Partners. “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."
“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. “Even in the most challenging parts of the negotiations, Chairman Garvey and I spoke every day focused on coming together to deliver this project for the citizens of Maryland."