Reston Spring

Reston Spring
Reston Spring

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Dulles Rail opening delayed by a year, Washington Examiner, March 16, 2011

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority originally projected that the so-called Silver Line would begin carrying passengers to the airport by 2016.  But the authority's latest plans for the completion of the 23-mile Dulles Rail project show that construction won't be complete until as late as the summer of 2017.
A committee of board members was supposed to make a recommendation for building the station either above or below ground, but deferred that decision after a debate about costs. While an underground station would be 600 feet closer to the airport terminal, it would cost between $240 million and $350 million more than an aboveground station.

Either way, the completion dates were moved back by as much as a year by the airports authority Wednesday. . . ."

Comment:   As the Virginia House Transportation Committee rightly noted in its hearing last week, there are way too many scheduling and cost unknowns on Phase II this late in the planning game.  The continuing delays in deciding where to put the Dulles Metro station, the prospect of higher costs and unwillingness of local governments to pay for them, and the extended process of competitive bidding will almost certainly see this schedule delayed further--and costs for any specific Dulles station location decision may go up as well.   My guess is the line will be completed in 2018 if we're lucky, which means at least five years of commuters trying to park and board Metro at Wiehle--a true traffic nightmare. 

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