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What is Dulles Metrorail

What is Dulles Metrorail

The Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project is a 23-mile extension of Washington’s existing Metrorail System. It is being built in two phases by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA).

Phase 1 of the new line opened on July 26, 2014, connecting East Falls Church with Tysons Corner and Reston, Virginia’s largest employment centers, with downtown Washington and Largo, Maryland. Known as the Silver Line, the extension is operated by the Metropolitan Washington Area Transit Authority (WMATA).

Preliminary construction for Phase 2 began in 2014. It will run from the eastern edge of Reston west to Washington Dulles International Airport and to Ashburn in eastern Loudoun County.

When both phases are complete, the line will provide a one-seat, no transfer ride from Dulles to downtown Washington creating long-sought after connectivity between the burgeoning Dulles corridor and the nation’s capital.  The extension includes 11 new stations.

Phase 1

Phase 1 includes five stations along 11.7 miles. Four are in Tysons Corner and the fifth, which serves as the temporary terminus, is on the eastern edge of Reston.

  • McLean Station is on the northwest side of Route 123 at Scotts Crossing/Colshire Drive (aerial).
  • Tysons Corner Station is on the north side of Route 123 at Tysons Boulevard (aerial).
  • Greensboro Station is in the median of Route 7, just west of the Route 123 overpass (half below ground, half at grade).
  • Spring Hill Station is in the median of Route 7 at Spring Hill Road (aerial).
  • Wiehle-Reston East Station  is in the median of the Dulles Toll Road/Dulles Airport Access Highway just west of the Wiehle Avenue overpass (at grade).

Phase 1 Contractor

In March 2008, MWAA and Dulles Transit Partners signed a $1.6 billion fixed-price construction contract to build Phase 1, keeping the anticipated costs of the project to $2.6 billion.

Phase 2

Phase 2 will include six stations along 11.4 miles from the Wiehle-Reston East Station to Ashburn. Locations are:

  • Reston Town Center Station is in the median of the Dulles Toll Road/Dulles Airport Access Highway just west of the Reston Parkway overpass (at grade).
  • Herndon Station is in the median of the Dulles Toll Road/Dulles Airport Access Highway near the existing Herndon-Monroe Park and Ride lot (at grade).
  • Innovation Station is in the median of the Dulles Toll Road/ Dulles Airport Access Highway east of Route 28 near the Center for Innovative Technology (at grade).
  • Dulles Airport Station is along Saarinen Circle across from the terminal (aerial).
  • Route 606 Station* is along Route 606 on the west side of Dulles Airport in the median of the Dulles Greenway (at grade).
  • Route 772 Station* is in the median of the Dulles Greenway at Route 772/Ashburn Village Boulevard (at grade).

*Temporary construction station names, final station names to be determined.

Phase 2 Contractors

On May 14, 2013, the Airports Authority awarded a design-built contract for the major portion of Phase 2 to Capital Rail Constructors, a joint venture of Clark Construction Group and Kiewit Infrastructure South. A notice to proceed was issued on July 9, 2013. The contract includes systems, tracks, and stations.

On August 4, 2014, the Airports Authority awarded a $253 million design-build contract to Hensel Phelps Construction Company for the rail yard and maintenance facility which is being built on Dulles Airport property as part of Phase 2. Construction will begin in 2015.

Construction of Phase 2 will take five years. A completion date has not been set.

Alignment

Most of the rail extension is in the median of the Dulles International Airport Access Highway and Dulles Toll Road, but the Silver Line alignment also serves Tysons Corner and Dulles Airport. The rail line leaves the Dulles Connector Road and travels along the northwest side of Route 123, through a tunnel at the intersection of Routes 7 and 123 and then westward in the median of Route 7 before rejoining the median of the Dulles Toll Road/Dulles Airport Access Highway.

The extension includes 11 Metrorail stations, a new rail yard on Dulles Airport property and improvements to an existing rail yard at the West Falls Church Station. This alignment was selected because it offers the highest ridership potential with the fewest impacts on residential areas and the natural environment.

Early Decisions – Environmental Impact Statements

Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the project was completed in June 2002. This Draft EIS evaluated several alternatives, including three Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) options, a combined BRT/Metrorail alternative and a full Metrorail extension. Public hearings on the Draft EIS were held in July 2002. Based on extensive public comments and input from local jurisdictions, the full extension of Metrorail was recommended as the preferred option or Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA).

The Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project was approved by the WMATA Board of Directors in November 2002 and Virginia's Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) in December 2002. The project was also endorsed by the Fairfax County, Loudoun County and MWAA Boards.

Following these approvals, a Final EIS was published in December 2004 and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) issued its Record of Decision approving the environmental process in March 2005.

To see a history/ timeline of the Project, click here

To see the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and related documents, click here.