Phase 1 is the first 11.7 miles of a new 23-mile Metro route. Phase 1 will open with five stations serving McLean, Tysons Corner and Reston, with Phase 2 heading through Herndon to Dulles International Airport and Loudoun County.
Remaining work includes train and track communications systems, power equipment, tunnel handrails and cables, elevator, and leak and drainage issues, according to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which is overseeing the project.
Without the new agreement announced Thursday, the Airport Authority would have had to complete the remaining work before handing the line over to Metro. But Metro General Manager and CEO Richard Sarles noted in a statement that would have further delayed opening to passengers.
"We expect that the Airports Authority will complete the remaining items in a timely fashion, thereby allowing us to open the line this summer," Sarles said.
The Washington Post notes the agreement comes after seven months of delays and cost overruns on the $5.6 billion project.
Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-11) hailed the news that the project was moving forward.
“The opening of the 11.9 miles of the Silver Line from East Falls Church through Tysons to Reston should have an immediate impact on some of the traffic congestion in the Dulles corridor,” Connolly said. “And, there is no doubt that it will have a substantial impact on our region’s economy and quality of life.”