WAMU 88.5 : News

Who Will Pay For The Silver Line's Delays?

Play associated audio
It's not yet clear who will pick up the tab for additional repair work on the Silver Line.
William F. Yurasko: http://www.flickr.com/photos/55676959@N00/8563510770/
It's not yet clear who will pick up the tab for additional repair work on the Silver Line.

The Silver Line Metrorail project may be inching closer to completion, but the question of who is going to pay for the delays remains unanswered.

In public, project leaders at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority refuse to point fingers, either at Metro, which is preparing to take over the Silver Line, or the contractor, Bechtel, which has been fixing the problems that have held up completion.

"The people are very interested in this. They want service to begin. So do we. We are going to do everything we can to make that happen as quickly as possible," says airports authority spokesman Christopher Paolino.

As far as who pays for the repair work now—MWAA or the contractor—Paolino said Bechtel covers the expenses at first, but who will ultimately pay will be sorted our later. "The contractor undertakes the work, such as replacing the speakers, and then there are processes within the contract that lay out how the cost is allocated afterwards," Paolino says.

This is the closest Paolino came to saying someone else may have to pay for the Silver Line's delays: "Obviously there will be a time after the project is complete to look back and address any needs such as addressing additional costs."

So far the airports authority has spent close to $2.7 billion on the Silver Line to Reston. The forecast at completion is $2.9 billion. There is only $21 million left in a contingency fund. The public is paying attention to these figures because the Silver Line largely is being financed by the tolls drivers pay to use the Dulles Toll Road.

Bechtel and its subcontractors had to replace hundreds of speakers in the rail stations, and will have to replace track side computers over the next year, just to name two among dozens of fixes necessary to open the Silver Line. Who will ultimately pay for all this remains to be seen. Bechtel did not respond to requests for comment.


From A Weirdo Nerd To A Guy Who Plays One On TV

NPR's Ari Shapiro talks with the actor Rainn Wilson about his new memoir, The Bassoon King: My Life in Art, Faith, and Idiocy.

How Long Can Florida's Citrus Industry Survive?

The USDA recently stunned growers when it projected the smallest orange harvest for Florida in more than 50 years. The culprit: A tiny insect that's killing off the state's trees — and industry.

Snapshots 2016: Trump's Message Resonates With A Master Cabinet Maker

From time to time during this election season we'll be introducing you to ordinary people that our reporters meet out on the campaign trail. Today: a snapshot from a Donald Trump rally in New Hampshire.

Someday A Helicopter Drone May Fly Over Mars And Help A Rover

NASA is building a 2-pound helicopter drone that would help guide the vehicle on the Red Planet's surface. That way, the rover wouldn't need to wander as much to find its way around.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.