Metro says it's ready for Saturday's opening of new Silver Line

The McLean station of Metro's Silver Line, on June 24, 2014, in McLean, Va. (AP photo)

McLEAN, Va. (WJLA/AP) - After decades of planning and years of construction, the Silver Line will open to passengers Saturday and Metro officials expressed confidence that all the preparations were going smoothly.

The commuter rail line linking Tysons Corner and Reston to the extensive D.C.-area subway system cost nearly $3 billion.

The transit agency's general manager, Richard Sarles, said Thursday that Metro now had the certificates of occupancy it needed in order to open its five new stations, most of which are in Tysons Corner.

He said Metro had also completed its final safety checks along the new line.

As opening day approaches, questions remain about how the Silver Line will impact the existing Blue Line.

"I would advise our customers who take the Blue Line to use our train departure information on the smart phone so they can time the arrival at the station with the arrival of the train and that reduces their standing times at the station," Sarles said.

By 2018, the Silver Line will extend west another 11 miles to Dulles International Airport at an additional cost of $2.7 billion.

The Silver Line project is one in a series of large-scale construction efforts aimed at easing congestion in a region known for traffic jams.

In the last decade, the region has untangled the Springfield Mixing Bowl, built a new Woodrow Wilson Bridge over the Potomac River, and added Express Lanes to the Capital Beltway.