Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Inspector General Geoffrey Cherrington today announced that his office is opening a review of Silver Line Phase II construction, including concerns around the quality of concrete used in the project and other construction elements and practices. The scope of the review will also include general contract compliance and a study of potential future costs associated with increased maintenance or remedies that may be necessary as a result of construction quality issues.
The Silver Line Phase II project, currently under construction, will extend Metrorail service from the current terminus at Wiehle-Reston East 11.4 miles to Ashburn, Va. The project includes six new stations, as well as track and structures, power substations, signals, and a new Dulles rail yard to store and maintain trains.
The line is being constructed by Capital Rail Constructors under a contract with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which has primary oversight of the project. Once construction is completed, the line is expected to be transferred to WMATA (Metro).
“We are initiating this review to ensure that WMATA — and by extension, its funding jurisdictions and the region’s taxpayers — can be confident that they will be receiving a quality project that is safe and reliable for rail operations,” Cherrington said. “In addition, we want to clearly understand what, if any, long-term expense risks are out there as a result of necessary remedies to address these quality issues.”
Last month, a Silver Line contractor pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and admitted to falsifying data regarding concrete quality.
For efficiency, the WMATA OIG review will supersede an independent review announced by Metro in May 2018.