Purple Line Trail Costs Double

From the Washington Post (h/t Center Maryland):

The estimated cost to rebuild a popular running and bike trail along a proposed light-rail Purple Line between Bethesda and Silver Spring has almost doubled, to about $95 million, Montgomery County officials said Thursday.

The projected $45 million increase comes after Montgomery County officials have promised for years that a trail would remain, even after trains began running through what many now consider to be a wooded oasis in the heavily developed Maryland suburbs.

This is the latest in a string of increases for the Purple Line, which has doubled in price to over $2 billion.

Fortunately, both proponents and opponents of the Purple Line agree that past promises to include the running and bike trail alongside the trains must remain in the final plan, as do County officials:

Gary Erenrich, a special assistant to the director of Montgomery County’s Transportation Department, said County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) will update his six-year capital budget proposal to reflect the higher figures.

“We’re assuming the whole trail will be built,” Erenrich said.

Montgomery County Council member Roger Berliner (D-Potomac-Bethesda), whose district includes the trail, said its reconstruction remains “inseparable” from the Purple Line project.

“People have appreciated for some time that we have a deal here,” Berliner said.