Metro's Silver Line suffers further delays

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Anticipation for the Silver Line grows as sunlight glimmers off a metro train at the Greensboro station in Tysons. However it's just a mirage because Metro Rail isn't here yet, nor is it coming anytime soon.

Rail stations are locked, escalators are still and a worker waits for an assignment.

The Silver Line through Tysons and to Reston was supposed to be up and running last year. Now the wait could be pushed into the summer or longer.

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority announced Monday that the contractor, Dulles Transit Partners, led by construction giant Bechtel, has not completed its work on the first phase of the $5.6 billion project.

MWAA, which is overseeing construction, made the announcement Monday which was the end of a 15-day review period after DTP had said the project was complete and MWAA said it was not. After a review, MWAA said the DTP has "not yet met the contract requirements."

MWAA Project Director Pat Nowakowski said seven of 12 problem areas were found to be deficient. He said the issues are not safety related but about reliance and predictability. They include performance issues with the automatic train control system, elevator and escalator problems, water leaks in buildings and track gage problems.

Dranesville Supervisor John Foust says he's disappointed in the delay and believes the problems should have been addressed and completed during the "normal construction process."

An MWAA statement said the "Airports Authority has instructed DTP to provide a plan and date of conclusion for addressing the outstanding items as quickly as possible."

No exact time frame was given and an MWAA spokesperson said the delay does not trigger any fines for the contractor.

When MWAA and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority finally designates the Silver Line project is finally "complete" it will be turned over to WMATA which has up to 90 days to conduct train testing and a date for service will be set. That could be in early spring or late summer.

Written by Peggy Fox.


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