If you're on the edge of your seat with excitement for the completion of the second phase of the Silver Line development, expect to be further disappointed. Earlier this year, WMATA found cracks in some of the girders, or concrete supports, that are meant to support the tracks at Dulles International Airport. Unfortunately, it's still not clear if these cracks will delay the $5.8 billion project, but it's already 13 months behind schedule, and the newly installed girders may have to be torn out.
[UPDATE: Media Relations Manager of WMATA Christopher M. Paolino clarified that work on the project continued despite the halting of the girder installation and that only a small portion of the 11.4 mile of Phase 2 through Dulles International Airport is being built on aerial guideways requiring girders. Additionally, the halting of the girder installation did not impact the schedule of the project, according to Paolino.]
The Washington Post reported that the cause of the cracks is still unknown. The cracks were first discovered this past April, causing installation of the girders to halt at that time. Out of the 100 concrete girders cast, 60 had cracks. Only now are crews resuming work, but only with girders between 72 inches and 84 inches.
The second phase of the Silver Line project encompasses six stops, which will extend all the way to Loudoun County in Virginia. The first phase of the project opened last July with five stops.
The second phase isn't expected to open to the public until 2020.
· Crews resume some girder work on Silver Line, phase 2 [The Washington Post]