Phase 1 of the Metrorail Silver Line project is expected to reach substantial completion in November, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority announced Wednesday in a presentation at its monthly Board of Directors meeting. The substantial completion date represents a reaffirmation of the extension announced in July, which included time for completion of necessary project work items and additional testing.
“We are looking forward to the day when passengers ride the Silver Line,” said Airports Authority President and CEO Jack Potter. “We are nearing the completion of Phase 1, but we will not sacrifice quality for speed. Safety and performance are always our top priorities.”
Upon achieving substantial completion, control of Phase 1 of the Silver Line will be transferred to WMATA. WMATA will continue to test the line, familiarize their employees with Silver Line facilities and simulate rail service. Once satisfied that the line is ready, WMATA will announce the revenue service date, the date the rail line begins carrying passengers.
Other items addressed during the Airports Authority’s Board of Directors meeting included reports on increasing numbers of domestic passengers at Reagan National Airport and international passenger growth at Dulles International. Together, the two airports served 3.9 million travelers in June and also in July – a 1.1 percent growth compared with the same period in 2012.
Dulles International Airport served more than 2 million passengers in June and nearly 2.1 million passengers in July – the busiest month for the airport so far this year. The airport saw international growth in both months, with June up 4.4 percent and July up 7.3 percent.
Reagan National served more than 1.8 million passengers in June and also in July. The airport’s passenger numbers were down slightly from its record-setting month in May, though passenger numbers year-to-date are still up 7.3 percent over 2012.
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority was established in 1987 by the governments of Virginia and the District of Columbia to manage and operate Washington’s Ronald Reagan National and Dulles International airports, which together serve more than 40 million passengers a year. The Airports Authority also operates and maintains the Dulles Airport Access Road and the Dulles Toll Road and manages construction of the Silver Line project, a 23-mile extension of the Washington region’s Metrorail system into Loudoun County, Va. No taxpayer money is used to operate the toll road, which is funded by toll revenues, or the airports, which are funded through aircraft landing fees, rents and revenues from concessions. The Silver Line construction is funded by a combination of toll-road revenues, airport contributions and federal, state and local government appropriations. The Airports Authority is led by a 17-member board of directors appointed by the governors of Virginia, Maryland, the mayor of Washington, D.C., and the president of the United States.