Silver Line 2 Contract Awarded, Construction Remains a Year Away

With the contractor selected, the first of several “milestones” begins for the Metro line creeping toward Ashburn.

The notion of riding Metro from a station in Ashburn to Reston Town Center, Tysons Corner or Washington, DC, moved another small step toward reality Wednesday when the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Board of Directors cemented its selection of Capital Rail Constructors to build Phase 2 of the Silver Line.

“This is the first of many milestones to come for the second phase of the Silver Line,” said Jack Potter, President and CEO.

Phase 1 of the 23-mile extension runs from East Falls Church to Wiehle Avenue and could begin carrying passengers by the end of the year. Passengers will be able to stay on Silver Line trains East of Falls Church because they will share the Orange Line track.

While the contract award for Phase 2 marks progress, residents won’t see any dirt turning for quite some time.

“You’re not going to see any heavy equipment for at least a year,” said Pat Nowakowski, executive director of MWAA, pointing out the it’s a “design-build” project.

For now, “very heavy design work” remains for Phase 2, he said, as well as fieldwork, such as performing surveys and collecting soil bore samples. Once the work begins, the clock starts ticking on the deadline.

“The contract has a 60-month completion clause, from the moment they proceed,” Nowakowski said, anticipating a completion date around July 2018.

The MWAA board had previously indicated its intent to select CRC, but the action Wednesday made it official.

The CRC group includes Clark Construction Group, Kiewit Infrastructure South Co., Parsons Transportation and Dewberry.

The contract calls for the construction of the bulk of Phase 2, leaving just three parking garages in Loudoun, the Route 28 station and parking garage. A separate project also calls for a new Metro rail yard at Dulles International Airport. If Fairfax County cannot find a way to build the Route 28 infrastructure and Loudoun cannot find a way to pay for its three garages (two at Route 772 and one at Route 606), those costs would be folded back into the project and require an additional contract award.

“They need to come back and tell us they’re unable to do that before we can move forward,” Nowakowski said of those garages and the Route 28 station. However, he said, both counties appeared to be on track to either build or find partners to build those projects.

The selected bid came in considerably lower at $1.18 billion than the amount estimated $1.4 billion to $1.6 billion.

The Silver Line project is being undertaken in partnership with Loudoun and Fairfax counties and the Commonwealth of Virginia, and will be transferred to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority for operation upon completion.

Bob Bruhns May 24, 2013 at 03:46 PM
Isn't it interesting how Tifia questions have changed the talking points. The claims that we won't see dirt turning for quite some time, and that we won't see any heavy equipment for at least a year, are dubious at best. Of course it can be claimed that this summer is 'quite some time' away, and it can be claimed that 'heavy equipment' only includes the very biggest construction gear that will be used. But the fact remains that we will not know for months after the ground is broken, whether we will receive any of the Tifia loan assistance that continues to be dangled in front of us. What we are seeing now, is a scramble to justify the very bad financial planning in this rail project. Don't believe me? Then read what the main Phase 2 construction company says: Clark selected to extend Metro to Dulles Airport and beyond Clark Construction, Monday, May 20, 2013 http://www.clarkconstruction.com/releases/entry/6160/ "Construction of Phase 2 will begin this summer and completion is anticipated in 2018." So, despite the carefully crafted statements that MWAA hands to the news media, it will be months after the ground is broken on this project, before we know if we will get any of the Tifia loan assistance that is supposed to be so important for this project. I think that people might want to start to realize the truth: this rail project has been a great big overpriced pack of lies since it went political back around 2002.


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