Six months after the Silver Line was supposed to be up and running, the Metro line is still a no go.
The tracks have been laid and the stations are built, but Phase 1 of the Silver Line is not ready for riders. After a series of delays, there is still no official timeline for when it will open.
At each of the new stations between East Falls Church and Reston, about a hundred speakers need to be replaced because they don't meet code. It is just one example of issues that seemed to have stopped Phase 1 of the project in its tracks.
Potential riders are frustrated along with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority's Board of Directors.
The head of the Authority’s Dulles Rail project, Pat Nowakowski, explained to them that he has no timeline for when Phase 1 will be complete.
In addition to the speakers, several other systems and pieces of equipment installed by the contractor, DTP, were found non-compliant with fire code, including a leaky cable that is essentially used as an antenna for the employees’ handheld radio system.
We asked Nowakowski if the contractor dropped the ball on the Silver Line.
“It doesn’t do me any good to try and point fingers at anybody for this,” he said. “What I will say is that we work very closely with the contractor and WMATA and it’s all our goal to get this project done as quickly as possible.”
He said he does not believe the delay will lead to a need for any additional funding, but the Silver Line is expected to bring in $2 to $3 million a month in revenue for Metro. Each month lost puts strain on Metro's budget.
If the Silver Line is not complete by mid-April, the contractor could start facing some stiff fines.
It is important to note once the system is handed over to Metro, they still have up to 90 days to inspect, test operations and train their staff.