Silver Line Metro project faces another delay

February 24, 2014
New signs are in place at stations along the Silver Line. (Robert Thomson/The Washington Post) New signs are in place at stations along the Silver Line. (Robert Thomson/The Washington Post)

The announcement by Dulles Transit Partners that it had finished work on the first phase of the Silver Line rail project raised hopes that Metro could take control of the project this month. But it now appears that the transition will not happen in February.

According to two sources with direct knowledge of the review process, officials at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, have determined DTP, the contractor lead by construction giant Bechtel, has not completed its work on the first phase of the $5.6 billion project. MWAA, which is overseeing construction, is expected to make the announcement today — the end of its 15-day review period.

News of the new delay was first reported by WTOP.

The announcement means yet another delay for passengers anxious to ride on the new rail line that links Tysons Corner and Reston to the larger Metro system. Planners originally had hoped to begin passenger service in December 2013, but this combined with other earlier delays may push the start of service into the late spring or early summer, the individuals said.

The problems stem from a number of issues, but among the most stubborn is the automatic train control system — a key safety component. MWAA officials declined to comment on the latest reports.

DTP announced Feb. 7 that it had completed work on the rail line. MWAA had 15-days to review that claim. DTP will now be given time to complete whatever work MWAA thinks is not finished. Once DTP signals the work is completed and the proper paperwork has been submitted, the 15-day review period will begin again. The process will continue until MWAA certifies that DTP’s work is completed.

Once that declaration is made, MWAA must then work with Metro to determine whether the rail line is indeed ready to be handed over to Metro. Once Metro accepts ownership of the line, it has 90 days to complete its review and training. It will be up to Metro to determine when passenger service will begin.

 

 

Lori Aratani writes about how people live, work and play in the D.C. region for The Post’s Transportation and Development team.
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