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Airports Authority Announces Delay in Silver Line Completion

Delay due to safety testing concerns and is expected to take several weeks.

MWAA has announced a delay in the Silver Line, due to the need for additional testing.
MWAA has announced a delay in the Silver Line, due to the need for additional testing.

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority announced this week that additional tests are needed on Phase One of the Silver Line before the project can be turned over to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

Recent testing of the Silver Line has identified needed software modifications to the Automatic Train Control System. 

The contractor is in the process of making the changes to ensure the proper performance of the system. Once complete, the contractor will produce a summary of the changes made for review and approval by WMATA and the Airports Authority. 

This will be followed by re-testing to make sure the system is functioning properly and meets performance specifications.

The Airports Authority is awaiting a definitive schedule from the contractor for the additional activity. 

It's expected to take several weeks to complete. Substantial completion of the project will be determined as results from the testing are obtained.

"This is why we test," said Pat Nowakowski, executive director of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project, in a statement. "Our guiding principle throughout this process has been ‘safety first’ and we remain committed to that principal. We will not do anything that might compromise safety or create unsafe conditions for the traveling public."

At the November meeting of the Airports Authority board of directors, Nowakowski reported that final testing was underway on Phase One of the Silver Line. 

Based on information available at that time, the expectation was that the contractor would declare substantial completion before the end of the month. 

But Nowakowski also pointed out that any problems identified during the testing could potentially delay that schedule.

The Silver Line is being built in partnership with Loudoun and Fairfax counties and the commonwealth of Virginia, and will be transferred to WMATA for operation upon completion.

Phase One consists of four stations in Tysons Corner, as well as one at Wiehle Avenue and the Dulles Toll Road. 

Phase Two will continue west along the toll road through Dulles Airport before terminating in Ashburn. 

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