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Metro to announce ‘operational readiness’ of Silver Line Phase 2 soon

Still waiting for Silver Line phase two… (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

(Updated at 4:30 p.m.) Officials say it’s just a matter of weeks before the long-anticipated opening date of phase two of the Silver Line will be known.

At a Fairfax County transportation committee meeting yesterday (Tuesday), Fairfax County Executive Bryan Hill said he expects to find out about a date for operational readiness within two weeks.

“If we don’t hear back as a board and as a region that operational readiness is not completed or available no more than two weeks from now, I would be very surprised,” Hill said at the meeting.

Still, it’s unclear exactly when that could be. Interim Metro Head Andy Off has previously stated that Metro expects to declare operational readiness within the “next several weeks.”

The 11.4-mile extension, which would bring six stations through Loudoun County, has been besieged with delays for years. The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority has remained tight-lipped about an expected opening date, which would be determined once operational readiness is formally declared.

Metro’s board will establish a service date after identified deficiencies are resolved to meet acceptance standards.

Martha Coello, who works with the Fairfax County Department of Transportation’s special projects division, said that the county’s portion of the punch list is 99% complete. The county just faces a small hang-up with a contractor that “won’t impact operational readiness or opening.”

Coello said discussions with stakeholders on opening days are ongoing. FCDOT is also seeking the board’s suggestions on how to best proceed with launch-day festivities. The project was substantially completed in November.

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