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      Metro Silver Line: Phase I of Dulles Corridor Metrorail nears completion

      The proposed new map thins the lines and streamlines other elements. Courtesy: WMATA

      Four years ago, construction of Phase 1 of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project began. Today project construction is 89 percent complete.

      The Silver Line Phase I extension, which is expected to open by the end of 2013, will be an11-mile line with five stations, serving Tysons and Reston. It will provide a transfer-free ride to and from downtown D.C.

      Silver Line trains will operate between Wiehle Avenue Station in Reston and Largo Town Center in Largo, Md.

      It’s the first new line added to the Metro system since 1991, when the original Green Line opened between U Street and Anacostia. Since then, stations have been added to previously existing lines, but this is the first time in two decades that an entirely new color is being added to Metro's map.

      It means major revisions to the current spoke-and-wheel map. Proposed changes to the map include:

      * Thinner rail lines to allow room for the Silver, Orange and Blue Lines to run through downtown Washington
      * Adding thin extension lines to stations that are served by all three lines
      * The removal of cross streets from printed station names
      * Consistency in street abbreviations
      * A new legend

      Station structures are in place at the four stations in Tysons Corner and one at Wiehle Avenue in Reston. Track work is virtually complete. Tunnels to carry trains below the Route 7/123 intersection are done. Pedestrian bridges to carry passengers and pedestrians across Routes 7 and 123 and the Dulles Airport Highway Corridor have been installed.

      Metro held an open house Tuesday to share information with customers and residents about the Silver Line. Two more are scheduled:

      Thursday, March 14
      5 p.m. until 8 p.m.
      Reston Community Center Hunters Woods
      2310 Colts Neck Road
      Reston, VA

      Saturday, March 16
      11 a.m. until 4 p.m.
      Sheraton Crystal City Hotel
      1800 Jefferson Davis Highway
      Arlington, VA

      The public is welcome to submit comments about the Silver Line at the open houses, or online here.

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      Metro continues to solicit ideas to improve the map as well. You can submit comments here.