The Washington Times - October 5, 2011, 12:34PM

Completion of construction on the $2.8 billion first phase of rail-to-Dulles is slightly behind schedule — nine days, to be exact — the president and CEO of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority said Wednesday.

The news comes on the heels of a Fairfax County audit showing that Phase 1 of the 23-mile extension was up to six months behind schedule. Construction on the first leg was originally supposed to be completed by July 31st, 2013.


“It’s a tight budget,” Jack Potter, President and CEO of the authority, said Wednesday. “As of today, it’s Aug. 9th, and we’re on budget.”

Mr. Potter cited weather delays as one reason for the shift in the Phase 1 schedule — and also cautioned that the final date was not yet set in stone.

“No one knows what’s going to happen with the weather. … We are managing the program to bring it in on budget and on time,” he said. “They have assured me that this project can be brought in on time.”

Mr. Potter said negotiations between stakeholders on how to fund the second leg, which will stretch from Wiehle Avenue through Washington Dulles International Airport and into Loudoun County, are ongoing. Federal, state and local officials are working to try to shave about $1 billion off of the approximately $3.5 billion price tag of Phase 2.

Mr. Potter said he hopes to have a memorandum of understanding from the parties — which include Metro, Fairfax and Loudoun counties, MWAA, Virginia, and the federal government — by late fall.