Reston Spring

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Reston Spring

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

. . . But WaPo says end of summer Silver Line operations deadline could be jeopardized

In our previous post, WAMU noted that the Silver Line could be open for operations by the end of July.  On the other hand, WaPo's take, by Paul Duggan and Lori Aratani, says it may not open by the end of summer.

WMATA doesn't really know and neither do we.  We would, however, expect that WMATA would like to meet at least the 90-day timeframe laid out for its testing and evaluation of the line.  That would put the start of operations by the end of August--a good time to start because ridership will be relatively low as potential riders are finishing up summer vacations before school starts in early September allowing WMATA to smooth out the rough edges of this major rail line launch.  But that all depends on Bechtel and MWAA getting their act together to finish the repairs and fix the errors in the Silver Line construction--and that is not a wager we believe would be wise to make after a year of construction delays on what was suppose to be a 4-year project.

Here's what the Post has to say:

Much-delayed Silver Line behind schedule again; Metro worried about summer opening

The builders of Metro’s Silver Line, under pressure to finish the project so that passenger service can begin just weeks from now, are behind schedule on many final work items, leaving transit officials worried about a potential delay of the rail line’s hoped-for summer opening, a top Metro manager said Monday.

Rob Troup, Metro’s chief of operations, noted that contractors working for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which is overseeing construction of the project, agreed in writing to complete 33 “punch list” items in time for riders to start using the Silver Line this summer. That memorandum of understanding was hailed in April as a big step toward finishing the current phase of the much-delayed project.
Read related:
“However,” Troup told reporters in a conference call Monday, “we do have concern that the airports authority and the contractor are behind schedule on approximately half of the items we have listed” in the memorandum. He said: “This is work that has to be completed before we start [passenger] service. We expected them to be further along at this point.”
The Silver Line contractors, led by construction giant Bechtel, are known collectively as Dulles Transit Partners. The project’s first phase is 11.7 miles of track with four new stations in Tysons Corner and one in Reston. That was originally scheduled to be done by late 2013, and its current estimated cost is $2.9 billion, about $150 million over budget.
To hasten the start of passenger service, Metro agreed to take control of the Silver Line before the contractors had completed their work. The transfer of control, on May 27, allowed Metro to begin 90 days of testing the line, with the understanding that Dulles Transit Partners would finish the project in that period. . . .
Click here to read the rest of the Post article

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