Purple Line at least a year behind schedule, reports show


Mike Miller with state Sen. Nancy King after his announcement on the floor of the Senate. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)

Sen. Paul Pinsky (obscured) gives Sen. Miller a pat on the back as the morning session comes to a close. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)

Mike Miller addresses the Senate as his chief of staff Yaakov “Jake” Weissmann stands by. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller speaks in the state Senate chamber in Annapolis, Md., Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019, the first day of the state’s 2019 legislative session. The session begins with 60 new members to take up issues involving health care, education and the minimum wage. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Senate President Thomas “Mike” Miller in 2018. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)

Senate President Mike Miller with Gov. Larry Hogan at a bill signing in 2017. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)

Senate President Mike Miller at a bill signing in 2017. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)

Maryland Senate President Mike Miller is pictured. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)

Mike Miller checks the board that shows the vote tally in the Senate chamber during the Thursday session. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)

WASHINGTON – Newly obtained reports show the Purple Line is at least a year behind schedule.

The Bethesda-to-New Carrollton rail line was supposed to open in early 2022, but it’s been delayed by a lawsuit, environmental reviews, property acquisitions and coordination with utilities and CSX.

Maryland transit leaders insist a late 2022 opening is still possible.

But in reports obtained by The Washington Post, the companies building the line have said it won’t begin carrying passengers until at least 2023 – and that’s if construction is accelerated.

If not, it could open two years late, in 2024.

State agencies believe the companies can do more to speed up construction. The delays have added more than $200 million to the light-rail line’s cost.