News & Politics

Silver Line to Dulles Delayed Until at Least 2019

You'll have to drive to the airport for a bit longer than originally expected.

Surprise! The second phase of Metro’s Silver Line—better known as the part that will finally connect Dulles International Airport to the rest of the rail network—is being delayed by 13 months, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority says in a press release. As a result, access to Dulles will remain roads-only until late 2019 or even 2020 instead of the former target opening date in 2018.

The delay, which was first reported by NBC4’s Adam Tuss, is the result of more than 150 design modifications to Phase 2 of the Silver Line, which also includes several non-airport stops in Loudoun County. (In a separate decision, Metro last week settled on the names of its Loudoun County stations.)

Phase 1 of the Silver Line, running 11.7 miles between East Falls Church and Reston, famously suffered several delays. Construction began in March 2009, nearly four years later than planners initially aimed for. Its entry into service, initially targeted for the end of 2013, did not happen until last July. In its announcment today, MWAA also says Phase 1 needs another $76 million worth of finishing touches, adding 2.6 percent to its $2.9 billion cost, though the additional figure is still within its federally approved budget. Phase 2, which will run 11.5 miles from Reston to Ashburn, is expected to cost $2.7 billion.

Staff Writer

Benjamin Freed joined Washingtonian in August 2013 and covers politics, business, and media. He was previously the editor of DCist and has also written for Washington City Paper, the New York Times, the New Republic, Slate, and BuzzFeed. He lives in Adams Morgan.