Construction begins on the Purple Line

Construction begins on the Purple Line ... with destruction. (ABC7)

It’s a green light for the Purple Line.

Governor Larry Hogan took the driver’s seat to tear down an old building and make way for what’s to come, a 16-mile light rail system from Bethesda to New Carrollton that runs inside the Beltway.

Governor Hogan acknowledged it’s been a fight.

“We finally got the court case out of the way and we were able to move forward and get this thing signed,” said Gov. Hogan.

The governor signed the federal grant agreement alongside Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao. That commits $900 million in federal dollars.

“We are still in the court of appeals.”

Ajay Bhatt is the president of Friends of the Capital Crescent Trail.

He says the Purple Line is not a done deal and nothing irreversible can happen until the Court of Appeals issues a ruling.

“They would clear cut this entire trail. All of these trees would be gone,” said Bhatt.

Bhatt says not many people know about the changes that would happen to the trail.

“If somebody even isn’t using it on a daily basis, they’re going to benefit from the project by the benefits that it generates for the economy,” said Jeff Ensor, Chief of Staff, the Purple Line.

Six thousand jobs are involved in the construction.

“Tearing down the building now marks the start of construction. The area off Veterans parkway in Hyattsville will now serve as the operations center for the Purple Line.”

“It will help out a lot of people in this area to connect from here to Montgomery County,” said Ernie Jones, a supporter.

Showing his excitement, the governor says riders are expected on the Purple Line in 2022.

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