Monday, May 16, 2011

Dulles Rail Update from Congressman Frank Wolf

From Congressman Frank Wolf's spring newsletter comes this update on Dulles Rail.

"Ensuring that the project to bring Metrorail to the Dulles corridor is completed on time and on budget is one of my top priorities. I believe that we should do everything possible to minimize the cost of the project and prevent cost overruns. That is why I am absolutely opposed to the recent decision by the Washington Metropolitan Airports Authority (MWAA) to build an underground tunnel at the Dulles Airport station, a decision that would add at least an additional $300 million to construction costs. Each additional dollar spent on this project would be an extra burden on every user of the Dulles Toll Road and the Metro system, through higher tolls, taxes and fares.

"I am equally concerned about preventing cost overruns for this project. That is why I have asked the inspector general for the U.S. Department of Transportation to conduct an ongoing audit of Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the project to ensure cost overruns do not occur. I have also asked the U.S. Government Accountability Office to conduct a comprehensive review of the operations of MWAA."

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1 comment:

  1. Rail-to-Dulles is an underfunded disaster. Location of the station at Dulles is only the latest symptom. The single biggest problem is Congressman Wolf’s failure to get proper federal funding. Of the $6.25 billion projected cost, only 14% comes from the Federal government. The nationwide average for Federal funding of mass-transit rail is 38%. Rail projects in Dallas and Seattle, with no federal impacts, got 42-50% federal funding. Rail-to-Dulles should have received at least that much if not more. After all, connecting our Nation’s capital by rail to its international airport is in the federal interest. But Frank Wolf only got 14% for us, and all of that money goes to the part of the project in Fairfax County. Phase II, which goes into Loudoun County, gets zero federal funds. If Wolf had done his job and just obtained the nationwide average for federal funding of local rail projects, we would have an additional $1.5 billion dollars for Rail-to-Dulles. That would pay for parking garages at the new stops, an underground station at Dulles, and cuts to tolls on 267. Instead of criticizing, Wolf should focus on the one part of this project that only he can lead: delivering a fair share of federal funding for Rail-to-Dulles.