While there is still no firm opening date for Metro’s Silver Line, Wednesday’s declaration of substantial completion by Dulles Transit Partners moves the rail line one step closer to its first riders.
DTP submitted the project for approval yesterday, avoiding a deadline in which fines of $25,000 a day were about to begin. The contractor, part of Reston-based Bechtel Corporation, said it has reached “substantial completion” on the $2.7 billion Phase 1 of the project, which will bring rail from East Falls Church to Reston’s Wiehle Avenue.
This was the second time DTP said it had reached substantial completion, which states that the contractor’s construction portion is finished. It previously filed on Feb. 7, but during Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority’s review MWAA found issues in 7 of 12 areas, ranging from leaks to problems with the automatic train control system. Among the work done to make repairs in last few weeks: Speakers in all five stations had to be reinstalled and cables fixed in the Tysons tunnel.
MWAA will now begin another 15-day review period.
“We have been working closely with DTP as they have addressed remaining outstanding items, and we will continue to work closely with them during this review and while they work on a variety of additional required tasks,” MWAA said in a statement.
“Substantial completion is an important step in the process of turning the project over to WMATA [Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority]. Another step will be ‘operational readiness,’ which WMATA will declare before starting their own testing and other processes. No date has been set for turning the project over to WMATA, and WMATA has not set an opening date for service.
If MWAA deems the problems are not repaired, then DTP would another indefinite repair period. However, the contractor has emphasized its intention that this week’s completion declaration would be final and correct.
If the project moves on to WMATA (Metro), there will be a maximum of 90 days for its own testing. Metro officials have previously said they hope it won’t need the full 90s days.
Officials had hoped to finish testing last September for a possible December opening. But delays were announced last summer, then again in November as DTP worked to fix the automatic tracking system. The latest issues pushed the opening back another eight weeks.
An optimistic prediction for first riders would now be June or July.
Reston development-watch group Reston 2020 is skeptical that the work is suddenly at “substantial completion” on the same day as the penalties would start.
“If ‘completed when it needs to be’ is the criterion, then Phase 1 was “substantially complete” when it was first scheduled to be last September,” Reston 2020 co-chair Terry Maynard wrote in a blog post. “What kind of overlapping, dysfunctional, disorganized engineering process is this? … The problem now for the MWAA Silver Line Project Management team is that it is being squeezed on both sides–the contractor who wants to avoid fines that begin April 9 and MWAA’s Board which wants to avoid the perception MWAA has managed this project poorly.”
Walking on Strawberry Lane in the Mosaic District (staff photo by Angela Woolsey) Local Task Force Deployed to Turkey — “Members of Virginia Task Force 1 in Fairfax County are…
Cinnaholic plans to open in Herndon this year (courtesy Jessica Papa) Cinnamon roll lovers can soon get their fix, as a new gourmet shop opens in Herndon. Cinnaholic plans to…
Reston Association (file photo) Reston Association has announced a full slate of candidates for the upcoming Board of Directors’ election. Voting begins at 5 p.m. on March 1, with many…
People gather at Fairfax City’s Old Town Square for a Chocolate Lovers’ Festival event (staff photo by Angela Woolsey) Daring Deer Dashes Across I-66 — Fairfax County police officers “were…
The Ravel Dance Studio will re-open for fall classes 2020. The school will offer in person and virtual online instruction. With over 5000 sq. ft. to social distance the school has added air ionization filtration systems, ballet barres, acrylic dividers, hands free bathrooms, strict monitoring and more.
The Ravel Dance Studio will produce a Nutcracker Ballet Hollywood style video through the Reston Community CenterStage. REGISTRATION online begins August 17.
Chris Green is one of the DMV’s finest fitness instructors. A Lululemon and South Block ambassador, he is a coach and mentor to so many. He embodies grace, positivity and motivation in ways that no one else can. If we could all learn a thing or two from him, the world would be a much better place. He does so much for others, and does so with a smile on his face 99% of the time.
He recently ruptured his Achilles and has an incredibly long and tough journey ahead. As if COVID hadn’t impacted fitness professionals enough, throw this in the mix and it’s a double, even triple whammy. CG is no longer able to work and do what he loves for the time being because of this and we’d love your support.