Thursday, September 13, 2007

Dulles Rail Cuts

According to an Associated Press story on WTOP Radio, Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine on Thursday outlined more than $300 million in budget cuts that would keep the first phase of the proposed Metrorail extension to Dulles International Airport in line for federal funding.

The story reports that the proposed cuts lower the cost of the rail line from about $2.8 billion to $2.5 billion. They include $77 million in road improvements to Route 7 in Tysons Corner that the state can fund separately. A parking garage in Reston that was in the project's budget would instead be built through a public-private partnership. Canopies at stations would be smaller, and Kaine proposed pouring concrete platforms instead of expensive tile pavers.

Meanwhile, according to the Times Community newspaper, a second report examining the Dulles rail project's engineering and cost has come out and corroborates the initial, higher-than-announced price for the project. The new report says the project's real cost is closer to $2.79 billion, still significantly higher than the project partners' own estimates of $2.64 billion.

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