After a variety of issues and delays, Silver Line’s Phase Two is now aiming for completion in spring 2021.
Updates on the second phase of the Silver Line were briefly mentioned due to time constraints during the Transportation Committee yesterday. Phase Two will connect six new stations to the Wiehle-Reston East, bringing Metro riders out to Ashburn.
Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn said that he briefly talked to Paul Wiedefeld, the general manager and CEO of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, last week.
“He assured me that — at least as of early last week — the Phase Two opening is still on track for next spring,” Alcorn said. “I’m sure there are probably a dozen ways that that can change, but for now, at least it is moving forward, according to that schedule.”
Phase Two is 98% complete overall, according to the presentation for Martha Elena Coello with the Fairfax County Department of Transportation.
- concrete panel deficiencies
- concrete ties/cross level deficiencies
- fouled ballast
- automatic train control
- insulated joints replacement
Work is expected to finish on the new rail, systems, stations and yard later this year or early 2021.
Recently, “substantial work” wrapped up on the garage at the Innovation Center Metro station, according to the presentation. The garage, which costs roughly $52 million, is 98% complete and awaiting its official occupancy permit, according to the presentation.
Bus loop work is expected to be done at the Herndon station garage this month.
The presentation also provided an update on the bus service plan for Phase Two. Currently, Fairfax County is seeking public input on the plan.
More from Fairfax Connector:
Welcome to the Reston-Herndon Area Bus Service Review final round of public input!… Fairfax Connector is considering a variety of options to improve bus service to, from, and around the new stations in Fairfax County.
Our previous round of outreach proposed three bus transit service alternatives, each with their own set of unique characteristics. We ranked the alternatives based on coverage, average travel times between key origin-destination pairs, and ridership potential (see right). We also listened to what Connector riders and nonriders had to say through several public meetings and an online survey. Based on feedback received, the preferred alternative presented today is cost-neutral, and includes the best elements of the three originally proposed scenarios and existing service.
The Fairfax County Department of Transportation has selected its preferred bus service plan for the Fairfax Connector in Reston and Herndon.
County planners say the plan “aims to improve on-time performance and streamline service to meet the needs of the community and commuters.”
Here’s more from FCDOT on what’s being considered:
Some of the key improvements to the bus service in the area include new and more direct connections and routes; new connections to Chantilly, Centreville and the Dulles Corridor; service to Northern Virginia Community College (Loudoun Campus); and routes travelling from Sterling to Herndon. The plan, which also uses elements from all three of the proposed alternatives, shortens travel time, increases access for transit dependent populations, and maintains bus stop coverage at most locations.
The implementation of the proposed service changes will coincide with the start of the new Metrorail Silver Line service and will provide connections to the Reston Town Center Station, Herndon Station, Innovation Center Station, Dulles Airport Station, Loudoun Gateway Station and Ashburn Station.
The plan will include three new routes: Chantilly to the Dulles Corridor, Northern Virginia Community College’s Loudoun campus, and Sterling too Herndon. Planners say the proposal shortens travel time and creates more direct connections.
The average travel time could be reduced from 57.3 minutes to 49.4 minutes. The updated plan would also improve service to more households, especially those that are low-income.
More information about the proposal is available online.
The county is seeking feedback via an online survey and via email at [email protected]. Residents can also call the county at 703-877-5600, extension 711, or mail comments to 4050 Legato Road, Suite 400.
The county is also hosting a virtual public meeting on the plan with Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn and Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust on Wednesday, July 8 from 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Staff photo by Jay Westcott
Reston Association Resumes Youth Swimming Lessons — The association is resting swimming lessons for children between the ages of three and 12. Registration is $80 for RA members and $95 for all others. [Reston Association]
Measuring the Impact of the Silver Line — “The Silver Line has caused some riders to change their routes and others to leave Metrorail entirely. Not every Silver Line rider is a new Metrorail customer. Once it opened, some Orange Line riders who frequented the Vienna, Dunn Loring, and West Falls Church stations switched to using the Silver Line for convenience.” [Greater Greater Washington]
Town of Herndon Resumes Inspections — After offering a brief grace period, town officials are resuming the enforcement of motor vehicle safety inspections. The state’s executive order does not apply to local municipalities within the state. [Herndon Police Department]
Around Town: Fairfax County Teachers Revolt — “A day after one of the nation’s largest school systems announced its proposal for fall learning, teachers within Fairfax County Public Schools rose in revolt and refused to teach in-person, as the plan demands, until officials revise their strategy.” [Washington Post]
Photo by Marjorie Copson
Herndon Man Arrested no Charge of Sexual Battery — Police arrested Javier Enrique on, 56, for misdemeanor sexual battery. According to the Herndon Police Department, Palma groped a woman who was walking on the Washington & Old Dominion Trail overpass in the 300 block of Herndon Parkway. Police are asking residents with information about other incidents to call 703-435-6846. [Herndon Police Department]
School Board Approves FY2021 Budget — “The Fairfax County School Board has approved the revised Fiscal Year 2021 (FY 21) budget. The budget, revised due to the COVID-19 pandemic, reduced the previously recommended transfer increase from Fairfax County from $85.5 million to $7.3 million and includes a reduction of $4.8 million from the state. Along with other budget cuts, the total amount of the FY 21 budget was reduced by $67.0 million.” [Fairfax County Public Schools]
New Crime Show Features Reston-based Company — “A Northern Virginia tech company that combines advanced DNA analysis with old fashioned genealogy to help police departments solve crimes is seeing its work go to the small screen. ‘The Genetic Detective’ debuts on Tuesday night on ABC. It stars CeCe Moore, a genealogist who works with Reston, Virginia-based Parabon NanoLabs to help police departments solve cold cases.” [WTOP]
Silver Line Service Officially Suspended — “Metro has suspended Silver Line service and closed nine stations in Northern Virginia from Memorial Day to fall, hoping to accelerate construction plans during the agency’s summer shutdown. WMATA already planned to close Vienna, Dunn Loring and East Falls Church stations this summer to reconstruct platforms.” [NBC4]
Photo by Beth Allgaier
Silver Line Summer Shutdown Town Hall is Today — Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik and Hunter Mill District Supervisor Walter Alcorn will hold a town hall today (Thursday) from 6:30-7:30 p.m. via Webex. Representatives from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority and the Fairfax County Department of Transportation will also attend the virtual meeting. [Webex]
Summer Camps Cancelled — The Fairfax County Park Authority has canceled all of its summer camps due to guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health officials. [FCPA]
Local Junior Collects Cards for Senior Living Home Residents — “South Lakes High junior Mary started a campaign in her community to collect letters and cards for residents in a senior living home. She posted her request on social media and collected the letters in a bin outside on her front porch. Since the residents aren’t permitted visitors, she thought they might appreciate the mail.” [Fairfax County Public Schools]
Next Reston Comprehensive Plan Task Force Meeting Announced — The task force will continue its second virtual meeting on Tuesday, May 26 from 7-9 p.m. Items on the agenda include the history of planning in Reston and elements of comprehensive planning. [Fairfax County Government]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
LifeFuels CEO Focused on Fitness — “Not only is his company providing free online fitness classes, he’s also hiring fitness instructors and trainers who may have lost their jobs due to the pandemic to run those classes.” [Reston Patch]
Skipping the Silver Line — “It’s too early to tell if Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) will launch a Seattle-style shuttle service for its HQ2 employees, but the company has connected its Herndon and Arlington offices via shuttle, a spokesperson told the Washington Business Journal.” [Washington Business Journal]
How’s the Local Hospital Doing? — “Several hospitals in Virginia and Washington, D.C., received top grades for safety, while others didn’t quite measure up, according to new spring 2020 ratings released by the Leapfrog Group recently.” The Reston Hospital Center received an “A” grade. [Herndon Patch]
Photo via vantage hill/Flickr
The construction of a series of stormwater ponds to collect and treat runoff from phase two of the Silver Line is underway.
A spokesperson for the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project says that four of the 15 stormwater management facilities along the extension project have been completed.
The largest facility is wetlands constructed near the county’s garage south of Herndon Station.
The extension project implements new stormwater management standards to treat runoff and remove pollutions, according to Stephen Barna, the project’s engineering director.
“The project elected to adopt the new standards for the benefit of the public,” he said.
Here’s more from the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project on the projects:
They have varying features from dry swales with specialized filters to manmade wetlands that contain multiple bioretention pools to treat stormwater flow.
While the stormwater management facilities in Phase 1 were designed primarily to prevent flooding, the ones that were built in Phase 2 were designed to also remove pollutants while retaining runoff.
Special grasses and plants are planted within the Phase 2 ponds, while locally appropriate trees.
Photo via Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project
Metro is taking advantage of low ridership and traffic-free highways to speed up work on the Silver Line.
A summer shutdown for the Silver Line will begin on Saturday, May 23 and continue through the fall. Metro is working on connecting the new stations in phase two of the Silver Line extension project, which is being built by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.
“This is about two things: working smarter and working safer,” said Metro General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Paul Wiedefeld. “Closing the stations to get the work done while ridership is historically low allows us to limit the exposure of our frontline staff and contractors, mitigate delays to our capital program, and minimize inconvenience to the public.”
All trains will begin and end service in Ballston and Orange Line service will run from Ballston to New Carrollton.
Free express and local shuttle bus service will be available for essential workers only. Shuttles will run every day and operate during the same hours as Metro (5 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends).
Ridership has dipped to roughly 1,200 customers per weekday at stations west of Ballston due to the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Photo by Jay Westcott
The Fairfax County Department of Transportation is seeking input on future bus service to and from phase two of the Silver Line.
Residents can provide feedback at two meetings: Hutchinson Elementary School on Sat., March 21 from 10 a.m. to noon and South Lakes High School on Wed., March 25 from 7-9 p.m. Feedback will also be accepted online from March 16 through April 16.
Service will begin once the Metro stations are Reston Town Center, Herndon, Innovation Center, Dulles Airport, Loudoun Gateway and Ashburn are open.
In December, FCDOT officials backed the most transformative of three options to change service levels. This approach would impact a greater coverage area and was endorsed by the county’s Multimodal Advisory Committee. Other options include incremental changes to service plans or streamlining of existing routes.
More information about the proposals is available online.
Staff photo by Jay Westcott
More Delays for Phase Two of the Silver Line — Yes, you read that right. Originally expected to open in 2016, the extension of Metro’s Silver Line likely won’t open until the spring of 2021, according to general manager Paul Wiedefeld. [WJLA]
Reston Association Phone Service Down Later Today — If you’re trying to reach RA offices later today, you might want to try again. Phone service will be down between 5:30-6:30 p.m. today (Friday) and on Tuesday (Feb. 25) from 5:30-8:30 p.m. The organization is moving to Verizon. [Reston Association]
County Schools to Host Free Sessions on Digital Learning — “Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) students, families, and community members are invited to attend any of five upcoming digital learning and digital citizenship events. All sessions are being held free of charge.” [Fairfax County Public Schools]
Staff photo by Jay Westcott
Metro users should plan ahead for a major shutdown at the Orange and Silver Line in Arlington.
The service will not run from Rosslyn to East Falls Church on Saturday (Jan. 11) and Sunday (Jan. 12). There will also be no Silver Line service between Largo Town Center and Rosslyn this weekend.
Trains are scheduled to run every 12 to 15 minutes between East Falls Church and Vienna and between East Falls Church and Wiehle-Reston East.
Free shuttle buses will replace trains between East Falls Church and Rosslyn on the Orange Line. The Ballston, Virginia Square, Clarendon and Court House stations will be closed.
Metro riders traveling through the work zone will be charged for a single, continuous trip.
More information on weekend service changes is available online.
Photo via Dario Piparo/Flickr
Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) unveiled its proposed fiscal year 2021-25 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) last week.
In November, Fairfax County voters approved a $360 million school bond referendum that includes $2 million in planning funds for a new “Silver Line elementary school,” along with other construction and renovation projects.
“Funds approved in the 2019 School Bond Referendum and previous referenda will address approximately $500 million of the five-year requirement, leaving a balance of approximately $573 million unfunded,” according to FCPS.
For the new Silver Line elementary school, permitting would happen in FY 2022, with permitting in FY 2023 and construction from FY 2024-2026, according to the CIP draft.
The revised budget estimates the Silver Line elementary school will cost $39.5 million.
“Anticipation of the completion of the Silver Line Metro has already spurred higher density residential growth along that corridor which may result in an increase in students within FCPS,” according to the CIP draft.
Along with the Silver Line school, the proposal addresses a new elementary school in the northwest area of the county to address current overcrowding in the McNair Elementary school area, with a projected budget of $34.8 million.
In addition to the Silver Line school, the CIP also includes information on a new high school that would provide relief to high schools in Centreville, Chantilly, Herndon, Oakton, South Lakes, and Westfield areas.
The new high school is projected to cost $157 million.
A public hearing will be held on the CIP on Jan. 7 at 6 p.m. at Jackson Middle School (3020 Gallows Road), followed by a school board work session on it on Jan. 13. A vote on the CIP is scheduled to take place on Jan. 23.
Fairfax Connector Offers Limited Service Today — As day two of a worker strike continues, several routes will only run on Sunday service and some routes will not run at all. [Fairfax County Government]
Metro Releases Concepts to Improve Service — Metro “released several preliminary concepts to improve reliability, meet future ridership demand, and better serve customers on the Blue, Orange, and Silver lines. The concepts, part of the two-year Blue/Orange/Silver Capacity and Reliability Study (BOS Study), include a range of infrastructure improvements and service alternatives to address both short- and long-term needs.” [Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority]
Wiehle-Reston East Station Closed This Weekend — “Crews are gearing up to try and finish construction of Phase Two of the Silver Line extension in time for a September opening, and it’s going to mean some continuous inconveniences for weekend Metro riders. Just like the past few weekends, the Wiehle-Reston East Station will close again order as crews work on the expansion project. The work (and the closures) will continue most weekends through February 2020, per Metro. Free shuttle buses will be available between the Spring Hill and Wiehle-Reston East stations.” [DCIST]
Photo via vantagehill/Flickr
County Seeks Help Reporting Streetlight Outages — Residents can report streetlight outages through the county’s interactive map online. [Fairfax County Government]
Meeting on Silver Line Phase Two Set for Today — The Dulles Corridor Advisory Committee meets today. The committee will receive an update on phase two of the project, as well as funding needs. [Dulles Corridor Advisory Committee]
Reminder about Reston Association Board Elections — Members interested in running for a seat in 2020should submit applications by Jan. 24. [Reston Association]
Staff photo by Jay Westcott
Commuters can expect more changes to service at the Wiehle-Reston East Metro Station through the end of the year.
The station, which was closed this week, will be closed on the following weekends:
- Nov. 30 to Dec. 1
- Dec. 7 to Dec. 8
- Dec. 14 to Dec. 15
- Dec. 21 to Dec. 22
- Dec. 28 to Dec. 29
The closers are required to continue Silver Line tie-in work. More information on closures planned through the end of the year is available online.