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Metro's Richard Sarles: No promises on Silver Line

Tuesday - 4/8/2014, 9:13am  ET

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Metro General Manager Richard Sarles, shown in a recent appearance at WTOP, won't confirm an optimistic timeline for the Sliver Line. (WTOP)

What Metro riders have to say about the Silver Line

WTOP's Kristi King reports.

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WASHINGTON -- The Silver Line project could be turned over to Metro in a soon as two weeks, sources close to the project tell WTOP. But Metro General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Richard Sarles isn't ready to confirm that.

Right now, the contractor building Phase One of the Metro line is waiting for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority to sign off a list of necessary work before its work is complete. Once MWAA finishes testing and signs off on the work, the project will be turned over to WMATA.

"WMATA staff are continually working with MWAA to advance toward a point where they can turn it over to us," Sarles said when asked about a possible early July start for the Silver Line.

Some of the issues included speakers that posed a fire hazard and problems with communications cable. Missing permits, leaking buildings and escalator problems also were found.

The sources also say Metro is hopeful that trains can be up and running in 60 days, something Sarles also wouldn't confirm.

"Ninety days from whenever MWAA turns [it] over, that's what we've committed to," he said.

He says they have been following MWAA's testing, and when they get control of the tracks, they can "start running [the] system with [Metro's] operators and doing the ... operational testing, as well as drills with outside emergency responders."

After their testing is done, the Tri- State Oversight Committee must give final approval to the project.

"As we move forward we will be very transparent ... about where we stand, where it's going and how we're doing with that time frame," Sarles said.

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