I thought this runaway-project was scheduled to stop in December of 2013. Having sped past its initial platform arrival date, and blowing back the hair of onlookers at the revised deadline of “Late February,” she shows no signs of slowing down for the re-revised deadline in April which brings with it financial penalties for Dulles Transit Partners. If there were speakers in the stations, one might hear a garbled voice echoing across the platforms from the public address system informing would-be riders that the train’s arrival is indefinitely delayed and to please make their way to the exits.
According to officials with MWAA, DTP failed to meet seven of twelve criteria outlined in the contract. The issues ranged from missing paperwork related to safety and security certifications to occupancy permits for train stations. They also said there were water leaks in some buildings and problems with the elevators and escalators at the train stations. It has also come to light that the speakers that had been installed throughout the stations are now being removed and replaced due to a code violation. And last but certainly not least, the Automatic Train Control System requires replacement of critical components to ensure communications with Metro Control Center and the system’s stability leaves much to be desired. Some reports indicate that the trains stop unexpectedly, while others say that the part of the system that ensures that trains keep sufficient distance from one another isn’t working. I can see why they would need to correct those issues, if both are true that sounds like a deadly combination. To date there is no one with MWAA or DTP willing to stick their neck out and say when the project will be completed.
Stay tuned to see what the consequences for DTP will be for their mistakes and delays and when we can expect to be able to start reaping some benefit for the exorbitant investment Virginians have made to temper their traffic woes.