Drawings for the Purple Line station at the Silver Spring Transit Center were recently made public by the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA).
The 16-mile light rail line will run from Bethesda to New Carrollton and is supposed to open in 2020. The Transit Center station will be the highest elevation station on the line, approximately 85 feet above ground, said Mike Madden, MTA's project manager for the Purple Line.
"It's basically a tube type of design, where we have not just a canopy for rain and things, but it also includes screening for wind because you're up so high," Madden said. "It's that high because we have to go up and over the railroad, based on their requirements, we have to be a certain height above them."
The Silver Spring Transit Center Purple Line station is one of three so-called aerial stations—meaning high in the air—but the other two similar stations, at Chevy Chase Lake and Riverdale Park, are only about 25 feet above ground, Madden explained.
There will be eight stations total in the Silver Spring area: Lyttonsville, Woodside/16th Street, Silver Spring Transit Center, Silver Spring Library, Dale Drive, Manchester Place, Long Branch, Piney Branch Road.
The $2.2 billion project is currently wrapping up preliminary engineering plans and a final envinronmental impact statement, Madden said, both of which should be complete this summer.
With proper funding, construction would begin in 2015 with the opening of the system in 2020. Currently, federal and state governments are splitting the cost of the Purple Line evenly, although Madden said that money from Montgomery and Prince George's Counties could be required in the future.