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Silver Line Parties to Meet with LaHood

U.S. Transportation Secretary getting involved to get stakeholders to agree on way forward with Rail to Dulles.

Stakeholders in Metro's Silver Line Phase 2 will meet on Wednesday with U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in the hopes of avoiding a delay - or even a collapse of plans - to the second part of rail to Dulles, The Washington Post reports.

The move comes as the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority said this week it would not put out requests for bids on the project until Loudoun County supervisors vote on whether to help pay for the project. The supervisors have until July 4. Fairfax Supervisors reconfirmed their support last week.

Phase 2 is scheduled to run from Reston's Wiehle Avenue to Dulles International Airport and into Loudoun County. However, there is growing concern about no federal funding, a dearth of state funding (Virginia lawmakers passed an $85 billion budget this week with no extra money for Metro),  tolls that could increase exponentially in order to cover rail costs and a mandatry project-labor agreement.

Last year, LaHood helped negotiate a deal among the stakeholders in the project -- MWAA, Metro, Loudoun and Fairfax counties, and Virginia --  on how to finance the nearly $3 billion rail line.

Construction on the second phase, which runs to Dulles International Airport and Loudoun County, was expected to start in early 2013.

   

Bob Bruhns April 26, 2012 at 02:11 AM
Here we go again. Cheap-shot, fingerpointing politics - while Dulles Rail Phase II costs two times what it should, and the financial plan to pay for it, is bogus. People never face the excessive cost, they simply argue over who should pay the double price and interest. The super-secret DOT financial audit results will be released in about three weeks. I hope the political players have their scripts ready, so that they can point at each other and argue over who made the prices so high, and who made the fake financial plan - while (of course) not doing a THING to bring the price down to earth or deal with the bogus financial plan even then. The rest of us might consider what to do when we are told that the cost is two times what it should be, and that the finance plan is bogus. We need to take the keys away from MWAA and the political players, and do it right - or not at all.
Bob Bruhns April 26, 2012 at 01:31 PM
Also, I don't see documentation that the difference between pre-fab and pour-in-place parking garage construction costs should account for a 70% increase in price for pour-in-place construction. Can anybody provide links to documentation that says this?
Bob Bruhns April 29, 2012 at 08:33 PM
Somebody, not surprisingly using a pen-name, said "The parking garage is all concrete instead of pre-fab. This is the main reason for the higher costs." I found no evidence that this would increase the costs anywhere near the 70% that I showed, so I asked for documentation of that. No documentation of the claim was provided. This is not the first time this has happened. The proponents of double priced rail can not defend their numbers, or their stories and claims - so they use pen-names and simply make stuff up, figuring that nobody will check it. The truth is that Dulles Rail Phase II should cost HALF of what we are being told - even without the Enron-level financial game of hiding the cost of Rt 28 station and the Phase II parking garages, by dumping them on the very counties from which these costs are being hidden. This would be a comical farce, if it wasn't locking us, our children and our grandchildren, into generations of massively excessive payments. People really do need to wake up.
HardHatMommy April 30, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Seriously? We all know the story by now. The Feds have made clear that Phase 2 doesn't even come close to passing their test for projects that are eligible for federal money. There is no money coming from the Feds and there is nothing anyone, not Wolf, Webb, Warner, can do about that. Let's move on and be productive in trying to figure out a solution that is viable and stop dreaming of federal money we aren't eligible to receive.
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