Press Releases

Wexton, Beyer, Connolly Send Letter to MWAA Requesting Update on Issues Impeding Silver Line Phase 2 Operational Readiness and Urging Accountability for Delays

Today, U.S. Representatives Jennifer Wexton (D-VA), Don Beyer (D-VA), and Gerry Connolly (D-VA) wrote to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) emphasizing their concerns over delays of the completion of the Silver Line Phase 2 extension and requesting an update on outstanding issues that are impeding the declaration of operational readiness.

“We understand that several punch list items remain for both the rail line and rail yard projects that must be resolved before operational readiness can be declared. Many of these items have been known about for months, and we therefore urge you to work diligently to address them in a timely manner and to ensure that there is accountability for any unnecessary delays. To that end, we request that you share with us what expectations for timely resolution of these items you have conveyed to your contractors and how those expectations are being enforced,” wrote the Members.

During a March 24, 2022 board meeting, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) General Manager and CEO Paul Wiedefeld revealed that operational readiness would not be achieved before the end of Metro’s fiscal year, as was the previously declared goal, due to several unresolved punch list items. The letter requests that MWAA share what actions are being taken to ensure these pending issues are addressed in a timely fashion.

The Members underscored the importance of the Silver Line extension to the Northern Virginia region’s economy and the benefit to constituents, including improved access to Dulles International Airport.

The full text of the letter can be found here and below:

 

March 29, 2022

 

John E. Potter                                                      William E. Sudow
President and Chief Executive Officer                Chairperson, Board of Directors
Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority      Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority
1 Aviation Circle                                                  1 Aviation Circle
Washington, DC 20001                                       Washington, DC 20001


Dear Mr. Potter and Chairman Sudow,


We write to you today concerning the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority’s (MWAA) progress on the construction of Phase 2 of the Silver Line for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). As you know, this project is of great importance to our region and its economy and will provide immediate and significant benefits to our constituents, including improved access to Dulles International Airport.

We were pleased by your announcements in November and December of last year of substantial completion of the Silver Line extension and the accompanying rail yard. However, we were disappointed to hear WMATA General Manager and CEO Paul Wiedefeld’s update to the WMATA Board of Directors on March 24, 2022 that, based on WMATA’s tracking of MWAA’s delivery schedule, the Phase 2 extension will not reach operational readiness by the end of this month. During recent testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, Mr. Wiedefeld stated that his goal was to begin revenue service on Phase 2 before the end of Metro’s fiscal year and Mr. Wiedefeld’s retirement on June 30, 2022, but, with this update, that goal is unfortunately no longer attainable.

We understand that several punch list items remain for both the rail line and rail yard projects that must be resolved before operational readiness can be declared. Many of these items have been known about for months, and we therefore urge you to work diligently to address them in a timely manner and to ensure that there is accountability for any unnecessary delays. To that end, we request that you share with us what expectations for timely resolution of these items you have conveyed to your contractors and how those expectations are being enforced.

Phase 2 of the Silver Line presents a major opportunity for the continued growth and development of our region, and we look forward to the swift completion of a system that is safe, reliable, and built to last. We look forward to hearing from you.


Sincerely,