MWAA: Substantial completion met on Silver Line

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Thursday, MWAA announced its decision regarding their contractor's submission of "substantial completion" and its agreement with Metro, which could mean the Silver Line will open sometime this summer.

According to a Metro press release: "Under the agreement, Metro will allow the Airports Authority additional time to complete certain items after the project is turned over to Metro, but prior to the start of passenger service. Without the agreement, the Airports Authority would have been required to complete all items before Metro takes control, meaning an opening date that would be later in the year."

MWAA will have to address "priority items" before turning the project over to Metro, say officials, including:

"Resolving items identified during system performance demonstrations, such as loss of speed readouts (a signal problem that affects reliability) Installation of capacitors to resolve interlocking "bobbing" track circuits Improve the reliability of traction power circuit breakers Completion of all work that requires significant track access or single tracking."


Richard Sarles, Metro General Manager and Chief Executive Officer, said in a written statement, "We expect that the Airports Authority will complete the remaining items in a timely fashion, thereby allowing us to open the line this summer."

Also Thursday, MWAA announced its decision regarding their contractor's submission of "substantial completion" -- a milestone between the authority and the contractor -- of Phase 1 of the Silver Line project. MWAA has agreed that Dulles Transit Partners has satisfied the contract requirements applicable to the project's major functional elements. The determination follows a 15-day period during which MWAA staff reviewed documentation and test results on the work performed by Dulles Transit Partners

"Achieving substantial completion is a significant milestone," said Airports Authority President and CEO Jack Potter in a written statement. "We have conducted a thorough review of the contractor's submission and are satisfied that Phase 1 has met the contractual requirements that will allow the project to now move to the next steps in the process to begin passenger service. We appreciate the close cooperation among WMATA and our partners in moving this large and complex project forward."

Some work will continue beyond the substantial completion date, according to agreements with WMATA and Dulles Transit Partners, say MWAA officials. That work relates to train and track communications systems, power equipment, tunnel handrails and cables, elevator, and leak and drainage issues.

Metro will get the project on the "Operational Readiness Date" (ORD), which could come in late May, Sarles said. Metro would have up to 90 days for testing, employee training and emergency drills before the Silver Line opens to riders. The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Transit Administration and the regional Tri-State Oversight Committee will review the work.

The Metro Board of Directors will set the Silver Line's opening date.

The Silver Line is a 23-mile addition to the Metrorail system. Phase 1 is an 11.7-mile segment of it with five stations serving McLean, Tysons Corner and Reston in Northern Virginia. Phase 1 of the Silver Line connects to Metrorail's Orange Line in Falls Church, Va., and runs to the eastern edge of Reston, Va., with four stops in Tysons Corner.

Work also has begun on Phase 2 of the project, which will connect the Metrorail system with Dulles International Airport and points in Loudoun County, Va.

The Silver Line construction is funded by a combination of toll-road revenues, airport contributions and federal, state and local government appropriations, according to MWAA.

Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe released the following statement regarding the Silver Line project:

"This morning I spoke with MWAA President and CEO Jack Potter, who informed me that his organization views Phase 1 of the Silver Line as 'substantially complete' and is working with WMATA to move the project closer to passenger readiness. After receiving a thorough briefing from Jack and his team earlier this week, I am confident that this project is moving forward in a safe and fiscally responsible way. Going forward, I plan to continue to work with the officials responsible for the Silver Line to see that it is completed quickly and safely so that Virginia commuters and our economy can begin receiving the benefit of this important project for our Commonwealth."


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