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Chao and Hogan sign Purple Line agreement

An image of a Purple Line Train from a 2015 Maryland Transit Administration brochure. (Maryland Transit Administration)

An image of a Purple Line Train from a 2015 Maryland Transit Administration brochure. (Maryland Transit Administration)

HYATTSVILLE — U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan have signed an agreement to build a 16-mile light rail project in the traffic-congested Maryland suburbs of the nation’s capital.

They held groundbreaking ceremony on Monday in Hyattsville.

Chao commended the fact that the project is a public-private partnership. She says the department is focused on making it easier for states to use a relatively new way of funding expensive infrastructure projects.

The agreement will free up $325 million in federal funds already appropriated and a total of $900 million.

The Purple Line will run through Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. It will provide rail transportation between the state’s two largest counties with a combined population of more than 1.8 million people.

The total construction cost is about $2 billion.