Metro: Unfinished Work Remains as Silver Line Opening Day Looms

Metro SIlver Line Map/Credit: MetroMetro is still planning to open the Silver Line on July 26 even though work remains unfinished by Bechtel contractor Dulles Transit Partners.

Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said on Monday that several items DTP should have completed by now are not finished.

One area — the application of heat tape on the third rail — is to be done by the end of July according to the post-operational readiness agreement. Stessel says the heat tape work has not even started.

“It has been disappointing to us to see that the contractor has not been taking advantage of every available work window,” he said. “They could have done much more.”

Stessel said DTP has also not resolved water leaks at several stations. He said that the heat tape, which prevents freezing so it isn’t urgently needed in July, can be applied after opening.

“Our goal has been to get anything that required track access out of the way so it does not affect passenger service,” said Stessel. “Unless they step up their game, we will have them do that during non revenue hours.”

Meanwhile, the Tri-State Oversight Committee has completed its inspections and found no issues, Stessel said. Certificates of Occupancy should be in place next week.

The opening of the $2.9 billion, 11-mile Phase 1 of the Silver Line has been delayed by several months. Many of the delays this spring were due to unfinished items. MWAA (which oversaw construction of Silver Line Phase 1) and Metro reached a special agreement in April to allow the turnover of the project to Metro with unfinished items, provided DTP got the work done prior to passenger service.

As recently as June 9, Metro was expressing frustration at the slow pace of work.

In other Silver Line news:

Simulated Silver Line Service begins Sunday. Trains will run on the same schedule that they will operate after July 26. The trains will not be available for passengers. However, passengers can ride the trains from East Falls Church to Large Town Center as part of Orange Line service. Beginning Monday, July 21, trains at the far end of the Orange Line will run every six minutes during rush hour.

The Metro website has been updated. The online trip planner now includes updated schedule information to include the Silver Line fares and schedules.

Metro alerts have been updated for Silver Line users. If you get Metro Alerts, you can now pick Silver Line info (i.e., delays, issues) to be sent to you.

The first train on the Silver Line will leave Wiehle-Reston East at noon on July 26.

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