Letter to John E. Potter, President and CEO of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, William E. Sudow, Chairperson of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority - Wexton, Beyer, Connolly Send Letter to MWAA Requesting Update on Issues Impeding Silver Line Phase 2 Operational Readiness and Urging Accountability for Delays


Date: March 29, 2022
Location: Washington, DC
Issues: Transportation

Dear Mr. Potter and Chairman Sudow,

We write to you today concerning the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority's (MWAA) progress on the construction of Phase 2 of the Silver Line for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). As you know, this project is of great importance to our region and its economy and will provide immediate and significant benefits to our constituents, including improved access to Dulles International Airport.

We were pleased by your announcements in November and December of last year of substantial completion of the Silver Line extension and the accompanying rail yard. However, we were disappointed to hear WMATA General Manager and CEO Paul Wiedefeld's update to the WMATA Board of Directors on March 24, 2022 that, based on WMATA's tracking of MWAA's delivery schedule, the Phase 2 extension will not reach operational readiness by the end of this month. During recent testimony before the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, Mr. Wiedefeld stated that his goal was to begin revenue service on Phase 2 before the end of Metro's fiscal year and Mr. Wiedefeld's retirement on June 30, 2022, but, with this update, that goal is unfortunately no longer attainable.

We understand that several punch list items remain for both the rail line and rail yard projects that must be resolved before operational readiness can be declared. Many of these items have been known about for months, and we therefore urge you to work diligently to address them in a timely manner and to ensure that there is accountability for any unnecessary delays. To that end, we request that you share with us what expectations for timely resolution of these items you have conveyed to your contractors and how those expectations are being enforced.

Phase 2 of the Silver Line presents a major opportunity for the continued growth and development of our region, and we look forward to the swift completion of a system that is safe, reliable, and built to last. We look forward to hearing from you.