WMATA sets Silver Line opening date

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) announced  it will launch Silver Line service on July 26.

In recent weeks, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA), which oversaw the project’s construction, has been working with its Silver Line contractor to resolve open work items. Several details still need to be ironed out — such as obtaining certificates of occupancy — but project officials say they will be addressed prior to opening day.

The Silver Line’s five-station first phase will run from the Wiehle-Reston East station to Largo Town Center. Work already has begun on the project’s second phase, which will connect Metrorail with Herndon, Washington Dulles International Airport and points in Loudoun County, Va.

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) plans to increase the number of eight-car trains on the Blue Line in preparation for the July 26 opening of the Silver Line.

The additional cars will provide capacity for riders on the Blue Line, where two trains per hour will be converted from Blue to Yellow trains to accommodate the Silver Line, WMATA officials said in a press release.

Starting July 21, Blue Line trains will run every 12 minutes. Currently during rush hour, one Blue Line trainset is scheduled to be eight cars long.  With the opening of the Silver Line, WMATA’s plan calls for up to six of 12 Blue Line trainsets to feature eight cars.

The Silver Line’s five-station first phase will run from the Wiehle-Reston East station to Largo Town Center. Work already has begun on the project’s second phase, which will connect Metrorail with Herndon, Washington Dulles International Airport and points in Loudoun County, Va.

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority last week issued a notice of recommended award to Hensel Phelps Construction Co. to design and build a rail yard and maintenance facility at Dulles International Airport as part of the second phase of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail project, or Silver Line.

Hensel Phelps now is formally identified as the “apparent successful offeror” for the contract, but a final contract award has not been issued, authority officials said in a press release. The next step involves requesting additional documentation from the contractor.

The notice of recommended award resulted from the authority’s review of Hensel Phelps’ $253 million proposal, which was determined to meet all necessary requirements and was the lowest of four submissions received by the authority following its request for qualifications.

The design-build contract for the rail yard and maintenance facility is the second and final major contract for the Silver Line’s second phase.

In May, the Silver Line’s first phase — which connects to the Orange Line in Falls Church, Va., and runs to Wiehle Avenue in Reston, Va. — was turned over to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, which has set an anticipated opening date of July 26. Early construction has started on the second phase, which will run from Wiehle Avenue to Washington Dulles International Airport and beyond into Loudoun County, Va.
 

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