The Silver Line is ready to get the lead out. After embarrassing delays, it appears the players striving to get the Metro extension to Dulles up and running are getting their act together. WTOP reported the Silver Line could be operating by July 4 after significant progress throughout the last few weeks.
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority continues to run tests on the tracks and the contractor building the Silver Line could get approval to turn the project over to Metro within the next two weeks. In fact, it’s more likely the Silver Line will be completed and certified before the end of the month than it being delayed into May.
Once MWAA certifies the project as complete, it would turn over the project to Metro. Metro has said it could be up to 90 days after that before trains open for passengers, but Metro board members hope to be able to open the line more quickly, perhaps taking only 60 days after getting control of the line for testing, since extra tests have been run during the project’s long delay.
Even if Metro takes the full 90 days, the Silver Line could open to passengers before the end of July.
That would be welcome news to retailers, home builders and developers in the Tysons area that have bet heavily on the Silver Line, configuring new shopping space, planning new homes, and promoting officer towers with virtually door to door mass transit service.
In February, the contractor building the line, Dulles Transit Partners, told MWAA that it had reached “substantial completion,” but the Airports Authority found several problems with the construction, including speakers that posed a fire hazard and problems with communications cables. Other problems were found with the automatic train control system, escalators, water leaks, and permits.