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Purple Line construction to close multiple streets

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Posted on: May 30, 2024

By LILLIAN GLAROS

Purple Line construction will close sections of a half dozen streets this summer, most of them on the University of Maryland (UMD) campus.

Off-campus, a part of Rivertech Court at River Road near College Park Academy will close from June 15 to Aug. 25 for track construction.

“Our main intention is to complete [two] tracks … between Presidential Drive and the curve of Adelphi Road,” Javier Devesa of Maryland Transit Solutions said. “So we intend to complete some tracks that are leading to the station and install the station works this summer.”

To that end, Campus Drive will close from Adelphi Road to Championship Lane, which is near the College Park Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, from May 30 to Aug. 20.

Purple Line representatives met with more than 30 College Park-area residents on May 16 to update them about the light rail construction. The virtual meeting was part of a series of hyperlocal updates for residents of cities in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties.

Construction on the above-ground light rail will lead to traffic detours and reroute pedestrians.

For example, a River Road detour would allow drivers to reach River Road by passing through Baltimore Avenue and Campus Drive. 

Workers will construct a driveway (east of Presidential Drive) to ensure access to University Baptist Church and University United Methodist Church during one of the partial Campus Drive closures.

Devesa said some of the foundations for the line’s electrical systems will also be constructed during the summer. He also noted that portions of a bike path and sidewalk between Alumni Drive and Campus Drive have been completed. 

Construction of tracks in multiple locations around the city also will begin this summer, and work on Purple Line stations, including the College Park-UMD station, are underway. Construction of the Adelphi Road-UMGC-UMD station will begin soon.

The Riverdale Park-North station is largely complete,  and workers are installing underground utilities.

“This time next year, you can expect to see the Purple Line light rail vehicles begin testing on a new test track located in Prince George’s County,” Ray Biggs II, senior project director for the Maryland Transit Administration, said in a video played at the presentation.

Meeting attendees expressed multiple concerns about the impact of construction and asked questions about scheduling and completion.

Devesa responded to a question about when the intersection at the M Circle on campus would be completed, citing dangers to pedestrians. 

The same attendee asked when Campus Drive, from the College Park Metro station to Baltimore Avenue, will be repaved, citing issues about drivers making unsafe moves to avoid potholes.

“We’re definitely going to try to do some action to try to minimize the effect of the bumps,” Devasa said.


Purple Line construction will shut down sections of a number of streets this summer in and around College Park, including the following:

  • Rivertech Court at River Road near College Park Academy, from June 15 to Aug. 25 
  • Rossborough Lane between Baltimore Avenue and Diamondback Drive, beginning June 11
  • Fieldhouse Drive near the Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center, from May 28 to Aug.20
  • Preinkert Drive from South Library Lane to Lot A, May 28 to June 30
  • Campus Drive between the Benjamin Building and Regents Drive, from May 23 to Aug. 20
  • Campus Drive from Adelphi Road to Championship Lane, near the College Park Marriott Hotel and Conference Center, from May 30 to Aug. 20.

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