The Washington DC Silver Line opens to Dulles Airport and Ashburn

The WASHINGTON Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) on November 15 opened the 18.2 km extension of the Silver Line from Wiehle-Reston East to Dulles International Airport and Ashburn in Loudon County, Virginia.

The $3 billion expansion will add six new stations to Washington DC’s subway system: Reston Town Center, Herndon, Innovation, Dulles International Airport, Loudoun Gateway and Ashburn.

The alignment was built primarily in the median of the Dulles International Airport Access Highway and Dulles Toll Road, and all stations are on the surface except for Dulles International Airport which is elevated.

The opening of Dulles International Airport and Ashburn marks the completion of Phase 2 of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail project undertaken by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA).

MWAA says a rail link between Dulles and central Washington DC has been planned since the airport opened in 1962.

Phase 1 of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail opened on July 26, 2014, running 18.7 km from East Falls Church to Wiehle-Reston East and serving four intermediate stations at McLean, Tysons Corner, Greensboro and Spring Hill.

Dulles International Airport is the only elevated station in Phase 2. Photo credit: MWAA

Construction of Phase 2 began in 2014 under a design-build contract awarded to Clark Construction Group’s joint venture Capital Rail Constructors and Kiewit Infrastructure South. The contract included systems, tracks and stations.

A rolling stock maintenance facility was built on the Dulles Airport property by Hensel Phelps in a $253 million contract awarded by MWAA on August 4, 2014.

Phase 2 construction was completed four years late and $250 million over budget, it said The Washington Post.

MWAA says it now looks forward to “continued positive economic impacts” along the Dulles Corridor, including further transit-focused development such as that which took place at Tysons and East Reston following the completion of Phase 1.

“The completion of the Silver Line means a better, greener and more affordable way to get to work, school, shopping, entertainment and events, as well as easy access to Washington Dulles International Airport, a gateway to the world,” said WMATA Executive Director and CEO, Mr Randy Clarke.

“As one of the largest construction projects in the United States, the Silver Line offers high-quality, high-capacity transit service.”

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