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Silver Line Eyes Summer Opening


After a beleaguered approval and construction process, it looks as though Washington, D.C.’s newest Metro branch, the Silver Line, will finally start services in its first phase stations this summer. Although an official date is not yet known, speculation is currently circling around a mid-July opening.

Over the weekend of May 31, emergency crews started a wave of security and safety tests, which are the last stages of inspection before riders are allowed on the trains. According to local news outlets, the tests went very well and the company is confident that line will pass all rounds of inspection.

In its first phase of construction, the Silver Line will feature 11.7 miles of rail and five new stations extending from Tysons Corner to Wiehle Avenue in Reston. The line will also share tracks with the Orange Line from East Falls Church to Rosslyn and the Blue Line from Stadium Armory to the Largo Town Center station. The new metro stops, in order, are:

  • McLean - North and south side of Route 123, with a pedestrian bridge crossing Route 123.
  • Tysons Corner - The station is located on Route 123 on the same side as Tysons Galleria, and provides access via pedestrian bridge to Tysons Corner Center across the street.
  • Greensboro - The closest station to the original Tysons Corner at the intersection of Route 7 and Route 123,
  • Spring Hill - Rt 7 and Spring Hill Rd. Near Tysons’ largest residential community.
  • Wiehle-Reston East - North and south side of the Dulles Toll Road at Wiehle Ave.

The second phase of the project, which is slated to be completed in 2018, will continue the extension from Wiehle Avenue all the way to Dulles International Airport and into eastern Loudoun County.

Originally the first phase of the Silver Line was to be completed for revenue service in 2013, however initial construction was not completed until February 2014 and complications with code specifications delayed the project even further. On May 27, Metro took control of the line from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, with a promise that all security, safety and code regulations would be met and the line would be open for service within 90 days.

The final cost of the first phase of the project is estimated to be about $2.9 billion, which is roughly $150 million more than originally planned. When construction is completed on both phases, the cost of the expansion is expected to ring in at about $5.6 billion.

Silver Line condos

Expect to see more condos in the near future as the developers take advantage of the high density zoning codes. Numerous existing condos in McLean, Vienna/Tysons,  and Reston are sure to benefit from the new transportation line. Property values have already increased based on expectations and will continue to increase once the service finally starts to operate. 

Washington, D.C. Area Riders to Benefit Greatly

Despite the immense cost of the project, Washington, D.C. area officials are happy to bring the service to underserved regions in the metropolitan area. Metro expects that the line will serve about 50,000 people each weekday and that 33,000 of these passengers will be new riders.

Each weekday, the Metro logs about 750,000 rail-passenger trips making it the second busiest subway system behind New York City’s subway. As the line nears completion, security and safety are paramount to the success of the line.

“The Federal Transit Administration’s number one priority is the safety of the riding public,” Therese McMillan, deputy federal transit administrator, said to the Washington Post. “We will do our due diligence to ensure that the Silver Line has met all safety and readiness requirements before beginning service, and we will continue to work closely with the Tri-State Oversight Committee to ensure the line is ready for safe and secure operations.”

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