Silver Line deadline awaits with no fixes confirmed

DULLES, VA (WUSA9) -- The director of Metro's Silverline project Pat Nowakowski told the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority that improvements are being made but they are not ready to say Phase 1 of the Silver Line has been completed, nor can they say the fixes will be done by next Thursday's deadline.

So for now the project cannot be handed over to Metro. Metro says it needs 90 days to test the system. If the parties stick to the current timeline the Silver Line would be able to carry passengers starting in July.

Meanwhile, the builders of the project, Dulles Transit Partners, say they've completed work after MWAA rejected their filings in February.

WMATA needs to confirm fixes to hundreds of speakers, as well as escalators and elevators. The board also approved upgrading its Automatic Train Control Technology, which allows the system to reboot automatically and improve reliability.

WMATA has found the system not working properly and the train's control system has to be manually rebooted, which causes delays. Nowakowski says this is not a safety issue because Metro's central control can still see the train.

Phase 1 has been delayed for 6 months already.

Previously, the board had predicted a December 2013 start date. WMATA is quick to point out the delays are still ahead of the Department of Transportation's expected date of December 2014.

Nowakowski is leaving his post before Phase 1 is completed. He has been hired by another transit system but won't say where he's headed.

On another note, the MWAA board says tolls will not be increased for 5 years.


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