Brown addresses construction industry leaders on public-private partnerships -- Gazette.Net


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Just days after announcing his run for governor, Lt. Gov. Anothony G. Brown addressed more than 300 construction industry leaders at a forum about upcoming state transportation projects — including the Purple Line — and the state’s new Public-Private Partnership law.

The law was created to attract private investment to help build new infrastructure projects in Maryland. The P3 law allows the state to selected qualified and experienced proposers who can acquire, finance, construct and operate a new transportation facility or major rehabilitation/expansion of an existing project.

The law was signed April 9 and will go into effect July 1. It is estimated to contribute six to 10 percent of the state’s $3.1 billion annual capital budget and create about 4,000 jobs annually. It also allows for private companies to submit “unsolicited” concepts for their own ideas.

Brown said he hoped some of the private sector attendees at Wednesday’s Purple Line Industry Forum at the Sheraton Four Points at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport would take an interest in the Purple Line project.

“There are a lot of firms who are here today that have experience delivering large infrastructure projects around the country and, in some cases, around the world,” he said. “So we want to tap into that talent, that experience, so that if we solve our transportation challenges in Maryland and, in this case, a very large, mass transit project — the Purple Line — we want to benefit from that private sector ingenuity, experience and understanding.”

The Purple Line — a $2.2 billion proposed 16-mile, east-to-west, light rail that would link Bethesda and New Carrollton — is supposed to be funded evenly by the state and the federal government. The project would have 21 stops, with 10 in Prince George’s County.

The Purple Line project is expected to create 2,600 jobs during its six-year construction period, Maryland Transit Administration officials said Wednesday.

While there is no guarantee the Purple Line project will be a Public-Private Partnership project, MTA said it has set up at least 21 meetings with investment firms over the next weeks.

Brown said the feasibility for the Purple Line “looks better each and every day.”

A similar industry forum for Baltimore’s Red Line is scheduled for June 10 at the Baltimore Convention Center.

krose@gazette.net