Construction on the Purple Line may be stalled, but design work is soldiering on.
At an event Wednesday night in Silver Spring, the Maryland Transit Administration and the private partner contracted to build the light-rail project, Purple Line Transit Partners, displayed new designs of Montgomery County’s 10 Purple Line stations. An additional 11 stations are planned in Prince George’s County.
The renderings were produced over the summer and fall by Purple Line Transit Partners, the team of construction and finance companies tasked with designing, building, operating and maintaining the 16.2- mile light-rail line that is planned to run from Bethesda to New Carrollton in Prince George’s County.
Construction was scheduled to begin on the project later this year, but is now unlikely to do so due to an ongoing lawsuit in federal court.
Mike Madden, Purple Line deputy project director, said Wednesday night the new designs didn’t differ significantly from earlier ones produced by MTA for the project. He added that they could change in the future, but probably would not change significantly.
The designs were displayed during a public event where community members had an opportunity to meet the approximately 90 artists who are competing to produce artwork for the Purple Line’s 21 stations. Madden said a selection committee will choose one artist per station after the artists’ proposals are submitted in January. Artists have been provided with a $3,500 stipend to develop their proposals. Once the finalists are selected—possibly as soon as February—additional public meetings will take place to reveal the proposed artwork for the stations, Madden said. The artists have been asked to develop works that would reflect the community surrounding the stations as well as reflect “the journey” of riding the light-rail line.
Community members who wish to weigh in on what art they’d like to see at stations can still do so by filling out an input card and sending it to the Maryland Transit Administration.
The designs for the 10 Montgomery County stations in the slides below have been arranged as if passengers were traveling eastward, starting at the Bethesda station on the light-rail line.
Bethesda Purple Line Station
The most westward station on the Purple Line, the Bethesda station is planned for underneath the Apex Building at the intersection of Wisconsin Avenue and Elm Street. Currently, the Capital Crescent Trail passes underneath the building in a concrete tunnel at the location. The developer Carr Properties is working on plans to redevelop the Apex Building site with three new residential and office towers that would also include creating a larger station underneath the project.
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