The first phase of the Silver Line Metrorail project, which will run from Falls Church to Reston’s Wiehle Avenue, was originally slated to be completed in December.
That target softened a bit last summer when MWAA officials said “a few more weeks” were needed to firm up a handful of safety and performance issues.
Well, December became January, which turned into February, which extended to March, which may eventually lead to a summer without Metrorail service in western Fairfax.
To call this a missed opportunity for Metro is akin to calling Mount Everest a good-sized mountain. Given the many problems the beleaguered transit authority has dealt with in recent years, a smooth, timely launch of the Silver Line would have provided a much-needed public relations boost.
Instead, would-be Metro riders are being told that Dulles Transit Partners, the Silver Line’s lead contractor, was deficient in seven of 12 areas required by MWAA to meet “substantial completion,” the point at which MWAA can begin to turn over the Silver Line to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, which will operate the rail line as part of the Metro system.
Reaching that milestone may take awhile. In addition to missing safety certificates and problems with the automatic train control system, project inspectors discovered problematic elevators and escalators, water leaks in buildings and a handful of other issues that will require time and money to resolve. . . .Click here for the rest of this critical editorial.