Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) have entered into an agreement that will move the Silver Line closer to an earlier opening day.
Under the agreement, WMATA will allow MWAA additional time to complete certain items after the project is turned over to WMATA, but prior to the start of passenger service. Without the agreement, MWAA would have been required to complete all items before WMATA takes control, meaning an opening date that would be later in the year.
MWAA is still required to address all priority items – those that affect reliability or require significant track access – prior to handing the project off to WMATA. Some examples include resolving items identified during system performance demonstrations, such as loss of speed readouts (a signal problem that affects reliability); installation of capacitors to resolve interlocking “bobbing” track circuits; improve the reliability of traction power circuit breakers and completion of all work that requires significant track access or single tracking.
“While there are still outstanding items for MWAA and their contractor to resolve, today’s agreement allows us to move this project closer to opening day for our customers by allowing certain tasks to be completed after the project is in WMATA’s control,” said Richard Sarles, WMATA General Manager and Chief Executive Officer. “We expect that MWAA will complete the remaining items in a timely fashion, thereby allowing us to open the line this summer.”
Silver Line’s opening date will be set by the WMATA Board of Directors after the project is in WMATA’s control.