Silver Line Construction: By The Numbers

Online discussion about Phase 2 on Friday.

You may have lost track of the big picture of the Silver Line subway construction from Falls Church through McLean and Tyson's Corner to  Dulles Airport because it has disrupted traffic and changed the landscape forever.

Two new subway stations are located in McLean on Dolley Madison Boulevard and another directly opposite Tysons Corner Mall main entrance. Two other stations are located along Route 7 between Route 123 and the Dulles Access and Toll Roads.

Here's where the project stands by the numbers.

1. The Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project is a 23-mile extension of Metro’s Orange Line. When finished it will whisk riders from downtown Washington to Dulles Airport in one ride, no transfers.

2. It is under construction in two phases. Phase 1, from East Falls Church through Tysons Corner to Wiehle Avenue in Reston, is currently
under construction and is expected to open in late 2013.  Yes, next year. The second phase will extend westward into Loudoun County and provide a one-seat, no-transfer ride from Dulles Airport to downtown Washington.

3. Officials say the final phase of a project to extend Metrorail to Dulles International Airport and Loudoun County will cost $2.7 billion. The new estimate is slightly lower than preliminary estimates agreed to by officials.

Drivers who use the Dulles Toll Road will pay for most of it through higher tolls. When the Silver line leaves Tysons Corner it goes down the middle of the Dulles Toll Road. Now that the funding is finally resolved, here's what's involved;

  • Phase 2 is 11.4 miles long and begins at the Wiehle Avenue Metrorail Station (where phase one ends), move westward serving Washington Dulles International Airport and will end near Route 772 in eastern Loudoun County.
  • The second phase has  6 stations: Reston Parkway, Herndon-Monroe, Route 28, Dulles International Airport, Route 606, Route 772

All stations, except for Dulles Airport, are in the median of the Dulles Airport Access Highway/Dulles Toll Road Corridor in Fairfax County or the Dulles Greenway in Loudoun County. The Dulles International Airport Station is across the parking bowl from the airport
terminal. All stations are above ground. The Dulles International Airport station will be the only aerial station.

4.  Who is Building Dulles Rail? The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, the folks who run Dulles and Reagan National Airport are managing and building both Phase 1 and Phase 2. Project partners include the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), the Commonwealth of Virginia and Fairfax and Loudoun Counties.

When each phase is completed, it will be turned over to WMATA (aka Metro Board)  to own and operate like the rest of the Metro area's subway system.

5. Phase One includes no parking garages. Phase 2 includes five parking garages  containing a total of 8,900 parking spaces. Commuter parking will be available at the Herndon-Monroe, Route 28, Route 606 and Route 772 stations. There is no commuter parking planned at Reston Parkway or Dulles Airport. Support facilities are also needed and these include:
along the Phase 2 alignment including: 10 traction power substations, 6 tie breaker stations, stormwater management facilities.

Online Chat. Join Mark Canale, Dulles Rail Project Manager, and Nick Perfili, Dulles Rail Project Planner, with Fairfax County’s Department of Transportation Friday, March 9, 11 a.m. for an online discussion on Dulles Rail, Phase 2 project financing, cost, physical layout and the process for selecting Silver Line station names.

Dulles Rail Phase 2 Project and Silver Line Station Naming Process: Submit Questions.

There are also four upcoming community meetings to get citizen input:

Monday, March 12, 6:30 p.m.: South County Center, 8350 Richmond Highway, Alexandria, Community Room 221A/B.  

Wednesday, March 14, 6:30 p.m.: Hutchison Elementary School cafeteria, 13209 Parcher Ave., Herndon.  

Thursday, March 15, 6:30 p.m.: Westgate Elementary School cafeteria, 7500 Magarity Rd., Falls Church.  

Monday, March 19, 7 p.m.: Fairfax County Government Center conference rooms 9/10, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax. (Transit via Fairfax Connector Routes 605, 621 and 623.)



Stuart Rakoff March 12, 2012 at 01:46 PM
In reality this was never about Dulles - those passengers will be a small percentage of the total Silver LIne ridership. Its about continuing the urbanization of Western Fairfax, Tysons and eastern Loudon to support job and population growth that we know is coming.
Rob Whitfield March 12, 2012 at 03:10 PM
The Washington Metro Area Transit Authority, the Federal Transit Administration and Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation have failed to make public current (not 2004 EIS data) analyses of facts and assumptions used in forecasting Tysons Corner/Dulles Corridor population and employment plus projected Silver Line ridership, operating revenues, expenses, reserves for replacement costs and taxpayer subsidies needed. Since 2001, Northern Virginia has benefited greatly from the expansion of federal procurement and spending, particularly for defense and homeland security. Dr. Steven Fuller of George Mason University's Center for Regional Analysis projects that $1 trillion in potential defense budget cutbacks will have a major impact on our local economy. Fuller projects that over 75% of the impact of DOD spending cutbacks in Virginia will be in Northern Virginia; he projects losses at 92,691 jobs, $5.467 billion in wages and $7.957 billion in gross regional product. As a charter member of the Military Manpower Roundtable and former Director of Manpower Planning and Analysis for the Office of the Secretary of Defense, Dr. Rakoff can perhaps provide us with informed estimates of the impact of pending defense spending cuts on the Northern Virginia economy, Tysons Corner and the Dulles Corridor in particular. Given Dr. Fuller's forecast, Dr. Rakoff please explain the likely sources of local job and population growth in the next two decades.
Gerrie Smith March 20, 2012 at 12:46 AM
Thanks for your reality check. Tolls, fees
Gerrie Smith March 20, 2012 at 12:51 AM
Agreed. It would appear that prospects for reversing this scenario are bleak indeed. Thanks for your informed, insightful post.
Gerrie Smith March 20, 2012 at 12:55 AM


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