Dive summary: A three-judge federal appeals court panel will soon decide whether the arguments of local activists have enough merit to stop the Maryland’s 16-mile-long trapped Purple Line project from moving forward, according to the Washington Post. Crescent Trail Friends and two people allege that the US Army Corps of Engineers violated the Clean Water Act when it issued permits allowing the Maryland Transit Administration Line to discharge and fill dredged material into local wetlands and other bodies of water. The FCCT also claims that the Army Corps has not considered less harmful alternatives to the project, including the group’s proposal to replace the light rail project with bus service. Lawyers for the Army Corps said the light rail option was the most environmentally sound and that the government made no mistake in issuing the permit, an argument that a federal judge in Maryland agreed upon when he ruled in favor of the Army Corps in April. 2020. Dive Insight: This is the FCCT’s third lawsuit. The organization lost two previous challenges against the Purple Line, which was the most expensive government contract in Maryland’s history and one of the largest public-private partnerships in the U.S. The first lawsuit delayed construction for nearly a year, when U.S. District Court Judge Richard Lyons revoked the project’s federal and state approvals about Passenger issues. The FCCT confirmed that project officials used old metro passenger numbers to drop line passengers, a factor included in the project’s pre-approval evaluation. In July 2017, a federal judge re-approved the project and allowed construction to begin, but that wasn’t the end of the Purple Line’s woes. In June, P3 state partner, Purple Line Transit Partners, gave Maryland transportation officials a 60-day notice that he would exit the project after they were unable to resolve the nearly $ 800 million in change orders that the PLTP said were owed to them. . This followed an announcement in May by the Purple Line Transit Connectors joint design and construction company, made up of Fluor and Lane Construction Corp. The Traylor Bros. Inc. , That it will leave Purple Line P3 due to “lack of a meaningful decision regarding the effects of third-party lawsuits, delayed acquisition of right-of-way, changes in regulations and third-party agreements”. The state reached a settlement with contractors and its partner P3 in November, which resulted in Fluor withdrawing from P3 and leaving Meridiam and Star America to continue. PLTP announced this month that it has identified three design and construction contractors as a possible alternative to PLTC. They are: Halmar International; Maryland Transit Solutions (Dragados USA and OHL USA); And Tutor-Perini / Lunda Construction. PLTP expects to issue a request for proposals to the three this month.