Travelers heading into or out of the District of Columbia via Washington Dulles International Airport will have something extra to be thankful for this November.
A long-awaited final extension of the Metro’s Silver Line will connect the Virginia airport directly to the heart of the DC tourist zone with station stops such as L’Enfant Plaza near the National Mall.
It’s scheduled to open to the public on Tuesday, November 15, according to a news release from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
That means people can get their Smithsonian fix over the Thanksgiving holidays totally via public metro and not mess with roadways.
Traffic from Dulles, which is about 28 miles (45 kilometers) from the White House, can be notoriously clogged and time-consuming.
Metro employees took to Twitter on Monday with a video announcing “We’re ready” in several languages ahead of the opening.
Dulles is not the only new station being added. There are actually six new stations, further extending the system’s reach to suburban Loudoun County. They are (in order from inner to outer stations):
• Reston Town Center
• Innovation Center
• Washington Dulles International Airport
• Loudoun Gateway
The extension adds another 11.4 miles (18 kilometers) of track, the authority said online.
The airport Metro station will be “a short walk” from the baggage claim area via an underground tunnel that has moving walkways, according to the transit authority.
Silver Line trains are scheduled to depart “every 10 minutes during rush hour, every 12 minutes during midday, evening, and weekends, and every 15 minutes during late-night hours,” the authority said.
It’s not just tourists who will benefit. About 420,000 people are estimated to live within 5 miles (8 kilometers) of the new stations, the authority said.
The move comes in time for people who want to visit popular sites such as the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum, which opened up eight overhauled exhibitions in October.
Top image: Part of the Washington Monument and the US Capitol in the background October 20, 2022. (Beata Zawrzel/NurPhoto/Getty Images)