Thursday, January 24, 2008

"Time-Out" for Dulles Rail?

According to the Washington Examiner, the Federal Transit Administration has begun to hear requests for a “time-out” to allow for major design and procurement changes without risking the funding.

The paper reports that newly elected Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust sent a letter to the agency this month urging the delay so officials could not only bid the project out, but also reconsider a tunnel under Tysons Corner, “without the project losing its place in line.” The article also says that Sen. Chap Peterson, D-Fairfax, also sent a similar letter, but quickly recanted a week later in a joint letter with other Northern Virginia legislators urging the FTA to move the project forward.

The FTA is expect to announce by the end of the month whether the first 11.6-mile leg of the rail extension will qualify for funding, and is reportedly concerned that the project won’t serve enough riders to justify its estimated $2.5 billion cost.

Meanwhile, an editorial in the Fairfax County Times says that "the debate over Metrorail to Washington Dulles International Airport has gone on too long. It is time to end it and fix the project."

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