Silver Line: Phase 1 major construction nears completion

Photo: Kris Van Cleave/WJLA

TYSONS, Va. (WJLA) -{ }Major construction on Phase 1 of Metro's Silver Line will be complete sometime next month, clearing the way for passengers to begin riding the new line early next year.

"We are about 96-percent to substantial completion and we are getting closer," says Chris{ }Paolino,{ }Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority spokesperson.

The Silver Line will branch off from the Orange Line between East Falls Church and West Falls Church. Four stations will cluster around Tysons Corner and{ }a fifth station will stretch to Wiehle Avenue in Reston.

The Spring Hill Metro station and its tracks tower over Tysons. Pedestrian bridges, which were pre-built and carefully{ }put in place,{ }will give riders and shoppers a safe way to cross above the busy traffic below.

Five stations were built simultaneously during Phase 1 of the Silver Line construction. Designers believe they have improved station design with power outlets in the shelters, easily-accessible public restrooms and energy-efficient lighting.

The project is running up to eight weeks behind schedule. Crews are now doing the necessary testing on the 11.7-mile Phase 1 of the Silver Line, with the goal of having it open to the public by early 2014, if not sooner.

"Right now we are making sure that it works, that safety, efficiency and effectiveness are where it should be, that we can assure everybody that it's going to be safe and it's going to do what we say it's going to do," Paolino says.

Phase 2 will serve Dulles International Airport and beyond.