Thursday, April 14, 2011

Media Coverage On the Dulles Rail Tunnel at Dulles International Airport

According to the Washington Business Journal, Virginia state and local officials are refusing to pay the extra costs associated with construction of the Dulles rail project because of a disagreement over where to build the Metro station at Dulles International Airport, the Washington Examiner reports.

"The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority voted last week to build the station underground, closer to the terminal, for a price that is $300 million more than the cost of an aboveground station with a slightly longer walk. The airports authority defied the state Department of Transportation and Fairfax and Loudoun counties, which have to pay for much of the project, including the station. Now the three have banded together to muscle the authority into reconsidering."

Barbara Hollingsworth, local opinion editor with the Washington Examiner writes, "Under the funding agreement, Loudoun's Board of Supervisors is legally required to vote on whether to participate in funding Phase Two within 90 days of receiving the completed preliminary engineering report."

"But the MWAA has no contractual obligation to provide supervisors with a traffic or revenue analysis, leading Loudoun Board Chairman Scott York to speculate that "it could end up costing more to ride the toll road than it could to ride the Metro."

"So Loudoun supervisors are expected to vote blindly on an issue of paramount concern to tens of thousands of their constituents with no public hearing, no traffic or revenue analysis, no nothing. Dulles Toll Road users are supposed to just shut up and pay -- but continue driving on the toll road, of course, because if they don't, Dulles Rail's shaky financial scaffolding collapses under its own substantial weight."

WJLA TV-7 video.

WAMU Radio also has the story (audio file). "Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chairman Scott York told WAMU's David Schultz last week that he was 'very disappointed' the MWAA board chose the pricier option for the station."

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1 comment:

  1. Lonnie, Lincoln, VaApril 14, 2011 at 8:24 AM

    I'd love a better explanation from them - seems like penny-wise and pound-foolish behavior to me.

    More actual Va transportation funding and less dependence on just raising tolls would be smart too - the gas tax is awfully low in the area, just sayin'.

    yours truly my petulant headline-grabbing representatives,
    Greenway/Toll Road rider and gas buyer,
    Lonnie H.