Pat Nowakowski, executive director of the Dulles Corridor Rail Project, will step down to take a position with another transit agency, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority announced on Wednesday.
Nowakowski has been the face of the Silver Line project as it proceeded from idea to the brink of opening.
Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority CEO Jack Potter says MWAA will conduct a nationwide search for Nowakowski’s replacement.
MWAA is currently in a two-week review period after which it hopes to turn over the $2.8 billion Phase 1 of the rail line to Metro. Phase 1 will run from East Falls Church to Reston’s Wiehle Avenue.
While an opening date was never officially announced, riders were at first expected to be on the rail by December 2013. However, several construction issues — including problems with the Automatic Tracking Control System — have delayed the rail opening by several months.
MWAA on Wednesday approved the request of its Dulles Corridor Committee to pay $1.8 million to Alstom Signaling of New York to upgrade the ATC system.
Construction contractor Dulles Transit Partners on April 9 submitted the project for “substantial completion.” That was a redo of its Feb. 7 submission. MWAA found issues in 7 of 12 areas. Those issues have now been fixed, MWAA officials said.
Once the Silver Line Phase 1 is open, work will begin on Phase 2, which will run from Wiehle Avenue to Reston Parkway, Herndon and several stops in Loudoun County, including Dulles International Airport. The second phase is slated to open in 2018.
Nowakowski joined MWAA in January 2009 after a nearly 30-year career at the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority.
Photo of Pat Nowakowski via Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance.