MWAA: Silver Line Not Ready For Turnover To Metro

Wiehle Reston East Metro

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority said on Monday that the Silver Line is not ready to turn over to Metro for final testing.

After a two-week review period in which MWAA checked the work of its contractor, Dulles Transit Authority Partners, MWAA said 7 of 12 areas were deemed deficient.

From MWAA:

Examples of problem areas include:

  • Failure to deliver certificates of occupancy for almost 20 wayside buildings, including stations, power substations and the tunnel;
  • Performance issues with the Automatic Train Control System that prevent WMATA from beginning Operational Readiness Testing;
  •  Failure to fully correct defects that impact operations, including track gage problems;
  • Elevator and escalator problems, and water leaks in buildings;
  • Incomplete documentation for testing requirements and safety/security verifications.

This could mean more delays as DTP goes back and makes the corrections. DTP had announced in early February it had reached “substantial” completion of the Silver Line.

An exact opening date for the Metrorail extension was never announced, leaving leeway for problems such as this. It is not known how long it will take DTP to make the corrections.

Phase 1 of the Silver Line, which will run from East Falls Church to Reston’s Wiehle Avenue, was originally estimated for turnover in August for a December 2013 opening. Last spring, that was moved to a November turnover. In January, the project was delayed further while problems with the Automatic Train Control System were addressed.

After the turnover to Metro, the rail line has an additional 90 days to do more testing.

The Airports Authority says it has instructed DTP to provide a plan and date of conclusion for addressing the outstanding items as quickly as possible.

“We will work closely with DTP, WMATA and our other partners to monitor progress and assure that all contractual obligations are satisfied,” a MWAA spokesman said.

During the 90-day period, the Tri-State Oversight Committee and the Federal Transit Administration will conduct reviews, says MWAA.

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