Fluor, Lane Construction team exits role on $3.3bn light rail project

A team of North American companies working on Washington, DC’s Purple Line has left the project, citing delays, costs and third-party lawsuits as the reason for quitting.

The Purple Line Transit Constructors (PLTC) is made up of Fluor, Lane Construction, Traylor Bros and Atkins. The $3.3bn contract it won in March 2016 was for a 26km light rail system with 21 stations, and a commission to  operate the line for 36 years.

PLTC are leaving the design-and-build contract, citing a clause that permits it to walk away if delays exceed 365 days.

PLTC said it had spent almost three years negotiating with the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) over the terms of its involvement.

The group commented that costs and delays had occurred as a result of events that were beyond its control, and that the MDOT and the MTA did not allow it the additional time and money it needed to complete the development.

PLTC also cited other reasons for leaving, including delayed right-of-way acquisition, changes to regulations and third-party agreements and a lack of resolution for the costs of third-party lawsuits.

Scott Risley, the consortium’s project director, said: "PLTC still firmly believes in the goals and mission of the Purple Line Project and the important benefits it will deliver to Maryland.

"Unfortunately, due to circumstances outside of PLTC’s control, there were multiple delays on the project and PLTC was unable to obtain the time and cost relief to which it is entitled from MDOT/MTA. Regretfully, PLTC simply cannot complete the project under these circumstances."

Despite PLTC’s departure from the project, Purple Line Transit Partners, which contains Fluor as one of three concessionaires, is still involved in the project.

PLTC says the termination process will take between 60 and 90 days to carry out.

Images via The Purple Line’s Facebook page

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  1. This is what happens when a Client goes ahead with a project prematurely. Rights of way should have been resolved before the Contractors commenced. It is also a situation where the Client typically expects the Contractors to take all the risks, instead of balancing the risks for those that are able to control them. The idea was fine but the management failed. Nothing new in this situation, it has happened far too many times. Now the Client will be up for many more difficult expenses and extended delays. Far better for the parties to have worked together to resolve the issues rather than end up in protracted Court cases.

  2. This is example how NOT to manage Project Program and Project Management.
    It is also example of luck of Professional body of knowledge to appoint proper professional and qualified people to manage the Risk Management Process in Project Management.

  3. Ottawa, Canada. Had the same situation with LRT and a sink hole. All contractors stayed committed to the plan and the city received an extremely over budget system and it breaks down daily. BUT, the contractors made money and the city will now pay for the next 25 years.

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