Tysons Corner in the air on Dulles link Aug 2008
Shani Wallis, Editor
- Confirmation in May of a further $159 million in New Starts funding from the Federal Transit Administration moves Phase 1 of the Dulles Airport MetroRail link into final design of the elevated route promoted by the Bechtel/ Washington Group project developers through Tysons Corner. www.dullesmetro.com But the move is not a guarantee of project realization.
- In his letter to project owner's Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA), James Simpson, head of FTA, stressed that "the project continues to face significant risks and uncertainties" and that there are "numerous issues" that must be "resolved before FTA can consider a Full Funding Grant Agreement". (Copy of the letter is on the DullesMetro website.) In his keynote speech to the annual APTA (American Public Transportation Association) Rail Conference in San Francisco last week Simpson further criticized the project saying, "this is the way not to develop a transit project".
- In an interview with TunnelTalk afterwards, and in particular reference to the efforts to run the route through Tysons Corner underground in tunnel, Simpson said, "the FTA cannot become involved in issues regarding alignment and operations. These are issues to be resolved at the local level," he said.
- In the meantime, the Tysons Tunnel action group has vowed to continue its demands for competitive tendering on the estimated $2.4-2.7 billion first phase of the 24-mile (38km) long extension and to promote the tunneled alignment through the Tysons Corner commercial district. www.tysonstunnel.com. The Tysons Corner link is on the first 12-mile (19km) phase of the route. The link into the Dulles Airport is in the second.
NAT 2008 conference reference:
Dulles Corridor MetroRail Extension Project - Tunneling options for Tysons Corner:
Monday, June 9, 10.30am, Track III