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Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority executives said Wednesday that Silver Line construction is still on schedule, despite media reports to the contrary.

MWAA President and CEO Jack Potter told the authority’s board of directors that he met with the contractor following news reports that the construction was delayed and would not open at the end of this year, as planned.

Potter said the contractor affirmed that the project is still expected to be ready to turn over to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority for final testing Sept. 9.

Construction began on the $2.6 billion first phase of the new rail line in March 2009. It will bring five new Metrorail stations to Tysons Corner and Reston.

Once the system is turned over, it is up to WMATA to determine when to open the new rail line to the public.

However, both Potter and project Executive Director Pat Nowakowski emphasized that issues that come up in testing could delay the turnover date.

“We’re in a very fluid period,” Potter said. “We’re going to do our best to work through any issues that may come up.”

If any unexpected problems do arise during the testing period, it could cause some delay, Nowakowski said.

“When you deal with an issue this late in the project, there is less time to resolve the issue,” he said.

At the Wednesday meeting, the MWAA board also took another step in preparing for the second construction phase of the Silver Line. The board approved leasing office space in Herndon for project staff and contractors.

kschumitz@fairfaxtimes.com