Airports Authority Focusing on Safety and Quality as Contractors Fall Behind Schedule
Questions are flowing into the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project office regarding the possible completion and opening date of Phase 2 of the Silver Line.
Both contractors missed their scheduled completion dates called for in their separate contracts to build the $2.6 billion project. Capitol Rail Constructors, led by Clark Construction, is building the main system—the track, stations, substations, etc. The contracted date for completions was Aug. 7 2019.
Hensel-Phelps, the contractor building the 90-acre railyard on 90 acres of land at Dulles Airport was supposed to be finished in December of 2018.
As of late February, neither contractor had submitted an acceptable schedule for completion to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, owners of the rail line.
Meanwhile, the Airports Authority continues to work with both contractors to determine when each one plans to be done. Most importantly, the Airports Authority at this point is not focusing on a completion date or a date for turning the project over to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), which will operate the new extension.
Instead, officials say, their main focus is on safety, quality, dependability and durability. When the construction is completed, the rail line must have a 100-year life span, pass a host of tests and meet all contract requirements, an authority spokesperson said.
At the same time, WMATA and that organization’s office of inspector general has raised a dozen issues that they say need to be resolved. Some of those have already resolved and solutions are anticipated soon on certain track problems, issues concrete panels in the walls of five stations and delays in the completion of a windscreen at Dulles Airport.
Charles Stark, the project director, recently briefed members of the Airport’s Authority on resolved and outstanding issues.
WMATA, not the Airports Authority, will set the dates for the start of passenger service after the project is completed to that agency’s satisfaction. At press time, no date had been set.
View overlooking the future Reston Town Center Metrorail Station’s platform which will one day be buzzing with commuter activity. On either side, travelers move along the Dulles International Airport Access Highway and the Dulles Toll Road. (Courtesy of Chuck Samuelson, Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project)
Outside looking toward the Reston Town Center Metrorail Station pavilion. The stations may appear complete, but they are not yet open to the public. (Courtesy of Chuck Samuelson, Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project)
Photo taken at the intersection of Old Meadow Road and Route 123 looking out at the Capital One building. (Courtesy of Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project)