News and notes from Reston (tm).

Friday, March 21, 2014

Shocker: Apparently No One Has a Clue When the Silver Line Will Open

Oh noes
Confidential Restonian Operative "Chris" set the Twitters ON FIRE with this photo of the Wiehle Avenue Metro station from an earlier, more innocent -- dare we say, more optimistic -- time. Ah, sweet schoolgirl memories.

Of course, we learned this week that no one has a clue when the Silver Line will actually open. While headlines saying the opening has been delayed "indefinitely" are probably a reach, this doesn't exactly instill confidence:

The revelations Wednesday at the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority’s monthly board of director’s meeting prompted former congressman Thomas M. Davis III, chairman of the panel’s Dulles Corridor Committee, to dub the ongoing saga “a soap opera” and request that the authority begin exploring its legal options.

“How close are we to substantial completion?” an exasperated Davis demanded at one point.

Project officials had no good answers.

“We’re going down the list, and we’re checking it twice,’’ said Pat Nowakowski, executive director of the Silver Line project. “I can’t give you a time because I don’t have one.”

Added MWAA’s president and chief executive, John E. Potter: “You can’t call a date right now. There’s just too much in flux.”
Among the new revelations: the fact that "hundreds of speakers at the five stations will have to be torn out and replaced because they don’t meet fire code. And cable that allows radio communication inside a tunnel in Tysons Corner will have to be replaced because it also does not meet code requirements." Hey, why sweat the small stuff, right?

On top of all that, we've now learned that the original banner had a typo. Here's how it was supposed to read:

Oh noes
So we're doing pretty good, actually.


  1. Recall all the fuss that was made over having union labor contracts? Remember the warnings about labor "unrest", higher costs and delays? What hooey!
    Look where we are now. This private-public "partnership" called the Silver Line has failed miserably in terms of time, costs and accountability. Soap opera, indeed!

    1. I say let's _entirely_ outsource the next phase to the Chinese. If they start by the end of March it will be done in time for July 4th. Then the Silver Line can start running between Ashburn and Reston West. :)

      If we pay upfront they may even throw in a bonus run all the way to Leesburg. ;)

    2. How long did it take for these guys to build a 300+ mile high-speed rail? In Iraq... In the dessert...

  2. In all seriousness, would you ride the Silver Line (or any of the metro for that matter) if it was opened at this point?

    1. Not A Fan Of MetroMarch 21, 2014 at 10:13 PM

      Of course not. We have no assurances that any of the work can be completed to required specs on any reasonable schedule, thanks to the ineptitude of the contractor and its subs. What was that I heard about the superiority of the private sector? Bah humbug. The entire contracting process needs to be overhauled and the public and private sector executives in charge of this fiasco disciplined. But fat chance of that ever happening...

    2. Well I do take the Metro regularly from Vienna to downtown, and I am really looking forward to taking the Silver Line instead. So if it was opened (having passed inspections etc), then yes, absolutely. But much as I want this done, I want it done right, since I do plan to be riding it daily.

  3. Peasant From Less Sought After South RestonMarch 21, 2014 at 10:55 PM

    I took the Fairfax Connector yesterday from Wiehle to West Falls Church and was looking at the Silver Line along the way. While the tracks themselves seemed finished , it looked like a lot of work was still going on along the Toll Road with what I take are power substations for the Silver Line. The West Falls Metro yards adjacent to the bus bays looked like a full-blown construction site.

  4. 2031? Are you still using those rose-colored spectacles Restonian?

    Think "2103." and I just can't wait to be riding the rails!


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