News and notes from Reston (tm).

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Metro Silver Line Could Still Open This Summer, But 'Summer' May Have The Same Fluid Meaning As 'Complete'

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.

“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.”
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 pay some guy to watch the trains zip around on a computer screen like a game of Tetris have someone monitoring the system full time, which sounds like a good idea to us anyway.

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?

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????
Silly rabbits, there's a website for that!

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:


  1. This is great news! I plan on calling my creditors and telling them my bill payments are 'substantially complete.' What could possibly go wrong?

  2. Hey, this could be catchy. I'm going to write the DRB that my home repairs are 'substantially complete' and, therefore, there's no need for them to put a lien on my property.

  3. Am pleased to inform fellow Socialists in People's Republic of Reston that my takeover of eastern Ukraine is also substantially complete, tovarishi. Now onto Baltics.

    Mad Mad Vlad Putin
    Russia's Greatest War Machine

  4. That is not what Restonian was saying just 5 short years ago. According to him the Silver Line will start running when he is Bob Simon's age. The evidence is here: ;)

  5. When will the Silver Line open? Let me answer it this way, my children: not in my lifetime.


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