Substantial completion reached on Metrorail Silver Line Phase 2

Nov. 9, 2021
The 11.5-mile extension will provide a direct connection between Louden County, Va., and Dulles Airport.

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) said the Metrorail Silver Line Phase 2 extension project has reached substantial completion. The construction milestone is required before operational readiness testing can be completed and the project turned over to Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA).

“This is a significant step toward completing the 11.5-mile extension that will provide rail service for residents in Reston, Herndon and eastern Loudoun County and give Metro riders direct access to Dulles Airport,” said Jack Potter, president and CEO of MWAA. “In addition to providing new public transportation options, the Silver Line is a major catalyst for jobs and economic development in the National Capital region.”

Phase 1 of the Silver Line opened in 2014, extending Metrorail service from East Falls Church to the eastern edge of Reston. Phase 2 added 11.5 miles of track from the Wiehle-Reston East Station to its Loudoun County terminus with six stations along the route.

MWAA, which managed the construction of the extension, explains the Silver Line’s goal is to help ease traffic congestion by providing alternative routes and easier commuting times, access to regional entertainment, shopping and Dulles Airport.

Phase 2 was built by Capital Rail Constructors, which is a Clark Construction and Kiewit joint venture. The project also includes a 90-acre rail maintenance yard at Dulles International Airport, which was built by Hensel Phelps and is also nearing completion under a separate contract.

“After successful Phase 1 and Phase 2 tie-in testing at Wiehle Avenue, MWAA has approved substantial completion of the Package A Silver Line Phase 2 project. The project will now move into Operational Readiness Testing, which will be completed by MWAA and WMATA,” said Keith Couch, project director at Capital Rail Constructors. “This significant milestone is a testament to the hard work, dedication and collaboration of the project team and stakeholders. The CRC team is proud to have been a part of this transformational piece of infrastructure for the region.”

Washington Metrorail Safety Commission (WMSC), which oversees and enforces safety on the Metrorail system, tweeted during its Oct. 26 meeting that it had 20 open items it was tracking as part of its pre-revenue service review Part 1 with all items having an agreed upon path toward resolution. WMATA is still determining an estimated revenue service date for the line.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.