Lea+Elliott

ImaginationInnovationExpertiseThese are the tools for moving forward

WMATA Silver Line Rail Extension to Dulles Airport and Beyond

Image courtesy of Charles Samuelson

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) is managing the 23-mile extension of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) passenger rail transit system, to and beyond Washington Dulles International Airport. The extension is being conducted in two phases. At a cost of over $3 billion, Phase 1 includes five new stations, 64 new railcars and extends the rail system 11.7 miles. Phase 1 opened for revenue service in July 2014. Phase 2, estimated at $2.9 billion, will add another 64 railcars, add six more stations and take the line another 11.5 miles to Dulles International Airport and beyond. Phase 2 is now under construction and completion is expected in 2018.

Since 2006, Lea+Elliott has played key roles in the Program Management Support Services team working directly for MWAA. With primary responsibility for oversight of systems engineering issues on both Phases 1 and 2, Lea+Elliott performed technical reviews and assessments of preliminary engineering documents and identified design refinements to improve the project's chances of implementation. Lea+Elliott works with WMATA to ensure the new extension is compatible with the railcar fleet and WMATA design criteria. Lea+Elliott also applied their extensive experience with Design-Build procurements to assist the project team with contractor negotiations and development of the technical specifications and Design-Build contract documents for both Phases. For Phase 2, Lea+Elliott analyzed airport alignment alternatives for Dulles International Airport, including (1) definition of alternatives; (2) technical feasibility assessment of alternatives; (3) constructability and mitigation assessment of remaining alternatives; and (4) costing and comparison of alternatives.

In the area of Planning Management, Lea+Elliott manages the areas of environmental reviews, agency coordination, transportation management, permitting, right-of-way acquisition, and value engineering. As a subset of planning management, Lea+Elliott supported the efforts required for MWAA to receive a $900 million in federal New Starts funding and a $1.28 billion Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan. Lea+Elliott has prepared project management plans; applied to FTA to enter into final design; prepared the application for a full funding grant agreement (FFGA); submitted the New Starts update material to FTA; prepared monthly and quarterly reports; participated in the risk assessment process; and assisted in meeting other FTA requirements.