William F. Yurasko: http://www.flickr.com/photos/55676959@N00/8563510770/
The Silver Line is taking its next steps toward completion.
A question that has been dying for an answer since late last year is: When will the Silver Line open?
The contractor building the Silver Line, Bechtel, says it expects to submit the project for approval within the next few days, possibly Wednesday. Then the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority will determine in a two-week review period whether the Silver Line is "substantially complete" —meaning all its problems have been rectified.
Although the start of passenger service is months away, reaching substantial completion is a critical step in the process. Two previous attempts to reach this milestone came up short because of mistakes by the contractor, among other issues. Metro cannot accept the Silver Line to conduct final testing until the airports authority signs off on the contractor's work.
At 6:30 p.m. Tuesday evening, Bechtel released the following statement:
Bechtel announced today that Dulles Transit Partners, the Bechtel-led team building Phase 1 of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, has made significant progress on all major work and plans to submit the project to MWAA for substantial completion designation soon, possibly as early as tomorrow. Substantial completion is an important milestone that signifies major work is finished and the final phase of testing of the system can begin.