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WMATA, airports authority pact moves Silver Line closer to summer opening

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) and Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority have reached an agreement that gives the airports authority more time to complete certain items on the Silver Line subway project after it turns the line over to WMATA.

Without the agreement, the airports authority — which is overseeing the line's construction — would have had to complete all items before WMATA takes control, meaning an opening date would be postponed until later this year, according to a WMATA press release.

The airports authority still is required to address priority items that affect reliability or require significant track access before handing the project off to WMATA. Some examples include:
• resolving items identified during system performance demonstrations, such as loss of speed readouts;
• installing capacitors to resolve interlocking "bobbing" track circuits;
• improving the reliability of traction power circuit breakers; and
• completing all work that requires significant track access or single tracking.

"We expect that the airports authority will complete the remaining items in a timely fashion, thereby allowing us to open the line this summer," said Metro General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Richard Sarles.

The Silver Line — also known as the Dulles Corridor Metrorail project — will extend WMATA rail service to Dulles International Airport.

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More News from 4/25/2014