Washington DC Silver Line opens to Dulles Airport and Ashburn | So Good News


The WASHINGTON Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) opened the 11.2-mile extension of the Silver Line from Wiehle-Reston East to Dulles International Airport and Ashburn in Loudon County, Virginia, on November 15.

Built at a cost of $3 billion, the expansion adds six new stations to the Washington DC metro network, at Reston Town Center, Herndon, Innovation, Dulles International Airport, Loudoun Gateway and Ashburn.

The line is primarily built in the median of Dulles International Airport Access Highway and Dulles Toll Road, and all stations are on the surface except for Dulles International Airport which is elevated.

The opening of Dulles International Airport and Ashburn marks the completion of Phase 2 of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail project, which has been undertaken by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA).

MWAA says a rail link between Dulles and downtown Washington DC has been planned since the airport opened in 1962.

Phase 1 of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail opened on July 26, 2014 and runs 11.7 miles (18.7 km) from East Falls Church to Wiehle-Reston East, serving four intermediate stations at McLean, Tysons Corner, Greensboro, and Spring Hill.

Dulles International Airport is the only elevated station in Phase 2. Photo credit: MWAA

Construction of Phase 2 began in 2014 under a design-build contract awarded to Capital Rail Constructors’ joint venture of Clark Construction Group and Kiewit Infrastructure South. The contract included systems, track and stations.

A rolling stock maintenance facility has been constructed on Dulles Airport property by Hensel Phelps under a US$253 million contract awarded by MWAA on August 4, 2014.

Construction of Phase 2 has been completed four years late and $250 million over budget, according to Washington Post.

The MWAA says it now looks forward to “ongoing positive economic impacts” along the length of the Dulles corridor, including further transit-oriented development that has taken place in Tysons and East Reston following the completion of Phase 1.

“The completion of the Silver Line means a better, greener and more affordable way to get to work, school, shopping, entertainment and events, as well as easy access to Washington Dulles International Airport, a gateway to the world,” said WMATA President and CEO , Mr Randy Clarke.

“As one of the largest construction projects in the United States, the Silver Line provides high-quality, high-capacity transit service.”

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