The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority has finally set a projected opening day for phase two of the Silver Line project.
WTOP reports that the authority hopes to open the six-station second phase from Wiehle-Reston East to Loudoun Gateway and Ashburn on July 16, 2020. Authority officials stressed the opening date was tentative and dependent on numerous factors.
Here’s more from WTOP:
“The current date to open the system to the public is July 16, 2020. That is our goal at this point, and we’re working very hard to meet it,” said Charles Stark, airports authority senior vice president for the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project.
“It could be a few days earlier or a few days later. Nothing in the construction world is that exact, but you gotta have a goal, and that’s ours,” Stark said in an interview.
July 16, 2020, is a Thursday, so it is more likely that if construction sticks to the new schedule projections based on a statistical analysis and discussions with the contractors and Metro, the line would open the weekend before or after that.
Thus far, the opening of phase two has been delayed several times.
Metro will take roughly two months for final testing and employee training before it assumes ownership of the rail line from the authority.
The authority is currently in negotiations with contractors to determine the details of precise safety testing checklists for new stations, tracks and rail yards. The authority hopes to allow certain tests to be done simultaneously instead of sequentially in order to shave a significant amount of time off the schedule, according to the report.
Rail yard testing is expected to begin by the end of this year.