Bechtel’s $1.6bn metro line opens in Washington

A team led by Californian engineering giant Bechtel has completed an underground rail line between downtown Washington DC and the Tysons Corner suburb. 

Phase 1 of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project, also known as the Silver Line, consists of 18.8km of track, five stations, and connections to the region’s existing metro system. 

The $1.6bn system, which includes 64 rail cars, opened to the public this week. The total scheme is worth an estimated $3.1bn, and is the largest extension of the US capital underground system for 20 years.

The second phase of the project will complete a 37km link to Dulles International Airport and Loudoun County.

Testing on the Silver Line (

Altogether, the line is designed to accommodate 85,700 people a day by 2030.

Therese McMillan, the deputy administrator of the US Federal Transit Administration, said: "With continued population growth expected over the next 20 years, the Silver Line is an excellent investment in the transportation future of the Washington region."

Some $975m of the funding for the line was awarded by the Department of Transport, and the remainder came from state and local funding.

A Bechtel joint venture has recently been selected by the government of Kosovo to build a 60km motorway linking the capital, Pristina, to neighbouring Macedonia.

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