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Five Things to Know About Silver Line’s Next Phase

by Karen Goff — July 29, 2014 at 11:00 am 1,665 8 Comments

Wiehle-Reston East opening day/Credit: Jennifer Heffner, Vita ImagesThe red ribbon has been cut and Phase I of Metro’s long-awaited Silver Line is now open.

Residents can now look forward to the completion of Phase II, which will take them all the way to Dulles International Airport and into Loudoun County. The expected completion date is in 2018.

Here are some things to know about the next next 11-mile phase, which is expected to cost $2.9 billion.

1. There will be six stops.

Silver Line Phase II will stop at Reston Town Center, Herndon, Innovation Center, Dulles International Airport, and Routes 606 and 772 in Loudoun County.

The Reston Parkway station, located on the Dulles Toll Road, will be a few blocks from Reston Town Center. However, future planned development for the area between the station and the existing toll road will practically bring the gateway to the town center to meet the station.

2. Phase II money problems are not completely solved. 

When Metro’s Silver Line project received approval for $1.9 billion in federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loans in May, it seemed as though Phase II’s money woes were solved and tolls would remain steady for the next five years. While Phase I received $900 million in federal funding, Phase 2 did not, which put the project in a precarious position the last several years.

The project has been approved for $1.9 billion in federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loans, but the U.S. Department of Transportation recently notified all states that restrictions will be placed on their federal highway funds starting Aug. 1 because the Highway Trust Fund, which funds the TIFIA loans, is bordering on bankruptcy.

3. Preliminary design work is underway.

Capital Rail Constructors, a joint venture of Clark Construction Group and Kiewit Infrastructure South, are building Phase II. However, a year ago, the contractors predicting starting construction work in Spring 2014. That has not happened. Like Phase I, there will probably only be an “estimated” completion date for quite a while.

4. You will still need your walking shoes at Dulles.

There was a big battle three years ago about whether to make the airport stop an expensive underground tunnel or a more cost-effective above-ground station across the parking lot from the main terminal. The above-ground station won. Passengers will have to pass through a pedestrian tunnel with a moving sidewalk to get to the terminal. In the meantime, the Silver Line Express will carry airport-goers to Wiehle-Reston East to Dulles (and vice versa) for $5 trip.

5. You will be able to access the Reston Parkway station from both sides of the Dulles Toll Road. Here is what else is planned for Reston Parkway: Pedestrian bridge crossing; bus drop-off and Kiss-and-Ride at both entrances; 28 bicycle racks, 6 lockers on North side and 10 racks and five lockers on South side.

Photo by Jennifer Heffner, Vita Images

  • LOL

    If you think Phase II will be complete by 2018, I have a new bridge over the Toll Road to sell you. We’ll be lucky if they have started by 2018.

    • vdiv

      They have started. There were ground survey teams and drills taking earth samples around the DTR/VA-28 intersection all Spring long. Using the first phase as an example a year long delay in completion of the second phase may be quite likely. No tunnels to drill, but there are more stations to build.

      • LOL

        (rolls eyes) well, if that counts as “starting” in your world, I wish you the enjoyment of your fantasy that it will be open in 2018.

        • xtr657

          They have started. One of their first orders of business, as with any project like this is to work with the utility companies to relocate facilities so that they will not be in conflict with their project. That is a process that is lost on most people and one in which, especially for Design-Build projects, can add significant costs that may not be known when the contract is bid. I work for one of these utilities and our first meeting with the contractor was shortly after the contract was awarded.

  • Well lets see the unions pressured congressman Frank Wolf into having the “Right to Work” laws thrown away for this project because the the Union spokes people promised to deliever this project ” on time or ahead of time, and under budget. ” Well you see what you get with that bunch of ticks. What I find very poor is that there was better mass tranisit in the area in 1910 and 1950 that the tax payer never had to fund with our tax revenues. Now the political powers are all “Slap me Five Johnny 5ing ” about how great this is. I like mass transit and what the benifits are, however the governments should not be the funding source.

    • #!

      …and why is that exactly?

      • Private will make it work and we the tax payer do not have the buren.

        • Nick Poliskey

          Why should the “magical private market” provide funding for a public work? Further, in 1910 the Washington region had less than 1/10 of the current population.

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