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Further delays in store for Silver Line

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority announced Monday afternoon that its contractor has not yet met the requirements needed to turn the Silver Line over to the Metro system.

In a statement, MWAA officials said the new rail line needs additional work and testing before Dulles Transit Partners has achieved “substantial completion.”

There are elevator and escalator problems, water leaks in buildings, and ongoing performance issues with the automated train control system, according to MWAA’s statement.

Substantial completion is a key milestone for the project, as it marks 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.

Originally slated to open by the end of 2013, the project has encountered multiple delays during the final testing phases, including problems with the train control system.

According to MWAA’s statement, the declaration of substantial completion was deficient in seven of 12 areas required by MWAA’s contract with Dulles Transit Partners.

The contractor has failed to deliver certificates of occupancy for 20 buildings, including stations and the tunnel portion of the rail line.

Some of the required documentation for testing and safety requirements was also incomplete, according to MWAA’s statement.

MWAA has asked Dulles Transit Partners to provide a plan and timeline “for addressing the outstanding items as quickly as possible,” according to the statement.

Once the work is complete and MWAA agrees that the contractor has satisfied the “substantial completion” milestone, WMATA will do its own testing, safety certification and employee training. WMATA has 90 days from when it determines that the line meets standards for “operational readiness” to complete the testing and set a date for the start of service on the Silver Line.

During that 90-day period, the Tri-State Oversight Committee and Federal Transit Administration will also conduct reviews of the new rail line.

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I don’t think the cost is ever supposed to decrease on the DTR, not in the near future anyway.  They tell us we are winners because there isn’t another increase next year. 

But who didn’t see this coming?  MWAA gave a no-bid contract to a company best known for the Boston “Big Dig”.  Now they are missing deadlines.  I’m shocked!  The fact they didn’t win Phase II probably has them milking this for all its worth.  With MWAA’s history of graft and poor management, I’m sure Betchel realizes they can take these guys for plenty.  Heck, WMATA’s “excellent” management isn’t even involved yet.  Just wait for that.

Maybe the Silver Line can co-brand itself with the Loudoun Hounds.  Just put up a permanent “Coming Soon” sign on both of them while some old guys in suits collect checks and keep telling the public it is just about to get over the hump. 

My guess is we’d be lucky to see customers on the Silver Line in 2014.

Does anyone know if the tolls on the 267 are set to decrease in the near future?  Currently $3.50 each way assuming you go through the Toll Plaza and do not use the Greenway.  I have not heard of any increases for 2015, but cannot confirm.

I’m not sure how much I will be using the
silver train. I am all for public transporation, but there are times I need to get into Chevy Chase/Bethesda and it is 1 hour drive if I leave after the AM rush hr. My estimate (correct me if I am wrong) from Reston Station to Friendship Heights Station would be at LEAST 1 hour including waiting for trains. That does not include the time to drive to Reston (30 mins).

Better to drive in the above example (time wise). Probably more expensive, but the peace and quiet inside my car is priceless. Sometimes I take the lady friend with me and drop her for shopping and meet up later for a bite to eat and head back home. Works out well since the carpool lanes can be utilized.

And meanwhile the extra cost is passed on to all the drivers that use the dulles toll road…....Basically, it’s a year behind schedule(it will be lucky to open by end of 2014).

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