Silver Line To Be Deemed Complete — But Handoff Won’t Happen Just Yet

by Karen Goff April 24, 2014 at 10:15 am 14 Comments

Testing the Silver Line near Tysons/File photo by MWAAThe Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority will rule the Silver Line is “substantially complete” today, sources say. But the handoff to Metro still will not happen for a while so there is still no projected opening date.

WAMU reports that  MWAA, which completed its own inspection of the project, will sign off on the project but the handoff will not come for about a month.

WMATA (Metro) will then have 90 days to conduct its own testing before Phase 1 of the Silver Line, which will run from East Falls Church to Reston’s Wiehle Avenue, would be open to the public.

Construction contractor Dulles Transit Partners  filed for “substantial completion” for Phase 1 on April 9. It was the second time the contractor, a division of Reston-based Bechtel, filed. DTP said its work was finished on Feb. 7, but MWAA’s review showed issues in many areas, including ongoing issue with the Automatic Train Control software.

“We have been looking at the test results from the train control system,” MWAA CEO Jack Potter said on Tuesday.

Last week, MWAA voted to award a $1.8 million contract to Alstom Signaling, the company that built the ATC system, for an upgrade. The system upgrade could take a year, but MWAA officials have said they hope to get the Silver Line operational without it. Extra personnel would be in place in the meantime.

Phase 1 of the $5.6 billion Silver Line is more than six months behind schedule, which is why Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe met with MWAA officials on Tuesday.

“We’re about seven months delayed,” McAuliffe told reporters. “I understand [that] things happen on a project of this scale, this magnitude. But I wanted to know why. I want to know how we’re spending our money. I want to know what’s going on.”

After the one-hour meeting with McAuliffe said he was satisfied with the answers he received.

File photo/MWAA

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