Even as we wait with bated breath for airport authority officials to deem the incomplete Silver Line project "substantially complete," Metro has announced a deal that will allow it to take over the project even as the authority works with contractors to fix all the substantially incomplete problems still dogging the substantially complete project. While we've been skeptical, the upshot of all this is that the Silver Line just might still open by summer, after all (keep clapping!), but the definition of "summer" might be about as fluid as the definition of "substantially complete." After all, late November is often called
Indian Native American summer, right?
Give us some good blockquote, Washington Post:
Metro General Manager Richard Sarles said the transit authority and MWAA have hashed out a plan to resolve several outstanding issues, including a timetable for the installation of hundreds of speakers in the rail line’s five stations that had to be ripped out and reinstalled because they did not meet fire code. The agreement is a significant step forward for the $5.6 billion rail line, which is already seven months overdue and $150 million over budget.Bigger problems with the automatic train control system will take a year to fix, but Metro has, as they say in the movies, a plan: they'll just
“While there are still outstanding items for the Airports Authority 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 Metro’s control,” Sarles said. “We expect that the Airports Authority will complete the remaining items in a timely fashion, thereby allowing us to open the line this summer.”
Our BFFs at Reston 2020 have a few modest questions, including these last four:
What are the specific terms of the various "side deals" that are needed to arrive at this Rube Goldberg "substantial completion" arrangement?Silly rabbits, there's a website for that!
What will be the impact of this near-bogus acceptance inspection process of MWAA's application for TIFIA financing, financing that could save toll road users as much as a third in huge future toll growth?
Who will pay for the extra costs created by having people monitor the Silver Line trains rather than RTUs for the next year or so? If not DTP, why?
And, oh yes, when will the Silver Line to Reston be open for business????
All we know is that we'll look forward to celebrating the Substantially Complete Summer opening of the Wiehle Avenue station in our gloves and parkas, the end.
Some Action McNews coverage, if you're into such things: