New, $2.9bn US metrorail system opens

Line links Virgina communities of Tysons and Reston to Washington D.C.

Picture for illustrative purposes only.
Picture for illustrative purposes only.

A new, $2.9bn metrorail service on the 11.7 mile silver line that links the Virgina communities of Tysons and Reston to Washington D.C.

US Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe, and D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray led the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Dulles Metro amidst a gathering of other state and local dignitaries, as well as hundreds of train travellers.

The line was designed and built by Dulles Transit Partners - a consortium led by construction firm Bechtel. Phase 1 of the project has involved the building of five stations, six miles of elevated track, and a tunnel running under one of the busiest retail areas in the country and involved 2,000 people working on it.

The project had achieved substantial completion in April.

Delcan, a company acquired by Parsons in March 2014, provided quality assurance oversight services on the project.

Parsons will now serve as lead designer on the $2.7bn second phase, expected to open in 2018, which will extend the metrorail system from Wiehle Avenue in Fairfax Country, VA, another 11.4 miles through Washington Dulles International Airport to eastern Loudoun County. The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority is responsible for the management of both project phases.

Todd Wager, Parsons group president, said: “We look forward to our continued work in the second phase.”

Known as the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project, the extended rail line will decrease travel time between the corridor and downtown D.C., spurring economic development while providing a cleaner transportation option for improved air quality.

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority estimates that by July 2015, silver line ridership will total 50,000 trips on a typical weekday. WMATA also estimates that more than 33,000 of these trips will be by those who previously commuted by car. 

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