Thursday, November 29, 2007

Lawsuit for Dulles Metrorail Extension

According to the Washington Post, opponents of an elevated rail line through Tysons Corner have sued the U.S. Department of Transportation, contending that the agency violated federal law by failing to seriously consider the idea of placing the track underground. The Tysons segment is part of the planned 23-mile Metrorail extension from Falls Church to Dulles International Airport, currently under review by DOT to determine whether it qualifies for federal funding. Tysons Tunnel Inc., a McLean-based group of Tysons property owners, civic groups and homeowner associations, filed the suit Monday in U.S. District Court in Alexandria.

The Washington Examiner reports that, a group that has sought for more than a year to persuade officials to run the planned Dulles rail line underneath Tysons Corner, filed the lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Transportation on Tuesday aiming to halt the entire project until its plan is reconsidered. The group was unexpectedly joined in the suit by Tysons firm Ratner Cos., which operates Hair Cuttery and Bubbles Salons. They are represented by Gary Baise, a Republican lawyer who ran an unsuccessful bid to unseat Fairfax County Chairman Gerry Connolly this year.

The Fairfax Times also reports on the suit, leading with a quote from Scott Monett, president of "It's not because we want to, it's because we had no choice," said Monett. The 30-page complaint asks the court to "enjoin the defendants from taking final actions, granting any final approvals, or acting on any application for the project to enter Final Design or for Full Funding Grant Agreement or awarding or allocating any federal funds." Such an injunction would further delay the rail project, further jeopardizing its chances for federal dollars.

According to WJLA TV-7, project managers hope to begin construction on the proposed 23-mile line as soon as next year. The first phase, from Falls Church to Reston, is expected to be completed in 2012, and the second phase extending beyond the airport into Loudoun County could be done by 2015.

No comments:

Post a Comment