Within the next two weeks, a section of Campus Drive — between the Paint Branch Trail and River Road — in the city of College Park will be closed due to ongoing construction of the Purple Line.
The closure will begin on or around April 19 and last for about 15 weeks, according to the Maryland Transit Administration’s website.
While the coronavirus pandemic has caused a number of changes in the city, the Purple Line project is one thing that hasn’t changed, said Prince George’s County Councilwoman Dannielle Glaros at a virtual College Park City Council work session Tuesday.
“The Purple Line construction is still proceeding,” Glaros said. “It’s actually now moving a little ahead of schedule.”
When finished, the line will have over 20 stops, with five located on or around the University of Maryland’s campus.
[Read more: UMD asked VeoRide to suspend services on campus due to COVID-19]
“I think all of us are aware of how transformative the Purple Line will be to our county and our city,” said District 3 Councilman John Rigg during Tuesday’s virtual work session.
But with the project possibly bringing opportunities for new developments, businesses and residents, Rigg said it was important to make sure that in the aftermath of the project’s construction, the price and quality of the surrounding area will still be attainable for all city residents.
Glaros — along with members of the Purple Line Corridor Coalition Housing Action Team — spoke to the council about the importance of preserving affordable housing in the area around where the Purple Line will be built.
“I think that there’s a real role to play in making sure folks get the housing counseling and support they need to make sure they can stay in College Park,” said Maryann Dillon, an executive director for Housing Initiative Partnership, Inc., and a member of the Housing Action Team.
[Read more: College Park shuts down city parks and playgrounds to combat coronavirus spread]
The team created an action plan devoted not only to maintaining affordability of current properties, but revonating any existing properties that need repair and possibly constructing new, affordable housing developments as well, Dillon said.
As construction for the Purple Line moves forward, College Park Mayor Patrick Wojahn assured her that the council is committed to making sure the city maintains and expands its affordable housing options.
“You have a partner here in College Park,” Wojahn said to members of the action team. “We are very eager to help.”