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Metro's Silver Line possibly delayed?

The construction of the first part of Metrorail's Silver Line into Northern Virginia has been unofficially delayed by three months but officials say their schedule is not falling off the tracks -- yet.

December 2013 has been the target date for when passengers would be able to ride Metro an additional 11.5 miles into Fairfax County, to Tysons Corner and the eastern edge of Reston.

The second phase of the Silver Line, slated for 2016, would extend to Dulles International Airport in Loudoun County and beyond.

The $3.27 billion first leg of the Silver Line, to Wiehle Avenue in the median of the Dulles Toll Road, is funded by a federal grant, a special tax district for commercial land owners in Tysons Corner, contributions from Fairfax County and revenue from fee increases on the Toll Road.

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which is overseeing the Silver Line construction, is now projecting Metro's doors will open March 4, 2014 -- a 90-day delay from the official start date in December 2013.

Marcia McAllister, an MWAA spokeswoman, said that official December date has not changed but that the projected date -- used internally for planning purposes -- has indeed been moved back, noting that "there is more than enough time to make up the difference and open in December."

"That's something that we don't need to worry about at this time," said Fairfax Supervisor John W. Foust (D-Dranesville), chairman of the Board of Supervisors' audit committee. "It's not a screaming whistle yet."

McAllister said the construction timeline is behind schedule primarily due to February's massive snowstorms, which "substantially impacted" the construction work being done by contractors.

Meeting the December deadline had also been thrown into jeopardy because of lingering issues between Metro and MWAA over the cost of rail cars, which are set for delivery in November 2013, a month before the subway's scheduled opening. The rail car purchase was negotiated in May.

By Derek Kravitz  |  July 20, 2010; 5:44 PM ET
Categories:  Derek Kravitz , Fairfax County  
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Comments

The story stated: "Meeting the December deadline had also been thrown into jeopardy because of lingering issues between Metro and MWAA over the cost of rail cars, which are set for delivery in November 2013, a month before the subway's scheduled opening."

What are the "lingering issues"? Please explain what they are.

Posted by: RockvilleBear | July 21, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

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