Metro Update: On Track for 2020

Loudoun supervisors got an update on Metro’s progress extending the Silver Line during their May 2 meeting, with all signs pointing to passenger service starting in the first quarter of 2020.

Construction of the last section of the Silver Line, which will open three stops in Loudoun, is nearly halfway done, according to the county staff. Three stations are under construction: the Loudoun Gateway station, on the northern reach of Dulles Airport property at the intersection of the Dulles Greenway and Old Ox Road; and the Ashburn station, on the Greenway and between Loudoun County Parkway and Mooreview Parkway; and the third near Dulles Airport terminal.

The Loudoun Gateway station is expected to be complete October 2018, with the Ashburn station wrapping up construction in February 2019. Stations and garages are beginning to take shape, with steel and precast concrete being assembled.

Loudoun will also eventually be home to the Metro’s Dulles Yard, which will be the largest rail yard in the system when it opens.

“I was going to make a snarky comment about the metro presentation we had—does that mean we can’t give it back?” Supervisor Matthew F. Letourneau (R-Dulles) later commented. “Because we have people coming to us routinely suggesting that we somehow undo that deal as if all that stuff that’s there at the Greenway and beyond is not actually there.”

Construction workers in an underground tunnel cut through Loudoun’s famously hard diabase rock inch by inch with jackhammers. [Capital Rail Constructors]

3 thoughts on “Metro Update: On Track for 2020

  • 2017-05-09 at 4:44 pm

    You don’t give it back. You can:

    1) You chalk it up as a loss and write it off. Here is the math. Loudoun’s original capital cost of Metro is $360M. Original estimate for operations is $20M/year. For the first decade, that’s $360M+$200M=$560M. Highest new estimates are $360M capital cost and $80M/year. That’s $360M+$800M=$1.16B for a difference of $600M over budget for the first decade (and since the operational expenses just keep going, Loudoun will be out billions over the next several decades). If you cut bait after construction, you’ve lost $360M but you aren’t going to pay the $800M over the first decade and the $80M+ in perpetuity. And, worse yet, nobody knows how the Metro system will end up being financed and, even worse, it might not get financed at all and the system collapses.

    2) Finish the construction but don’t pay the $80M/year Metro wants from Loudoun now. Best option.
    Stick with the original $20M. Fight with Metro. Sue them. Have them sue us to get the $$$.

    3) Roll over and stick it to the taxpayer. This is most likely and is the worse option. It is so frustrating to see a supposedly smart and educated County like Loudoun get taken for a ride like every other local-yocal government that falls for a big infrastructure project and gets stuck with the bill.

  • 2017-05-09 at 5:44 pm

    Metro is cutting service and raising fares, and it can’t understand why it’s ridership has dropped, yet it still wants more money, more money, more money.

    Still waiting for someone to show me a public transit system which pays for its self.

  • 2017-05-10 at 10:52 am

    Chris, for DC Metro to pay for itself, the fares would have to go up 4x. At $20 for a 1-way ticket into DC, it becomes abundantly clear how badly out of whack the cost of the service is.

    In some shape or form, taxpayers subsidize 75% of the system. And Metro wants even more!!!!

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