Another Dulles corridor Metro extension problem

Dulles Rail Review DelayedThe Post

The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, nearing a critical vote June 18 on funding the beginning of Metro’s expansion to Dulles International Airport, will not be able to see a key assessment of the $2.7 billion project’s financial risks until as late as mid-August, a federal official said yesterday.

snip

“How can we in good conscience as a board vote when we don’t know whether Uncle Sam is playing ball?” said Supervisor T. Dana Kauffman (D-Lee), a leading critic of the plans to build the extension through Tysons Corner mostly above ground instead of in a tunnel. A coalition of Northern Virginia businesses and residents, http://TysonsTunnel.org, says it has an engineering study showing that the project can be built with a more aesthetically pleasing and pedestrian-friendly tunnel for a fixed price of $2.2 billion — $500 million less than the current projected cost.

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Gerald E. Connolly (D) said yesterday that he would look at the possibility of postponing the vote. But he added: “Rail to Dulles is the single most important transportation project we’ve got. . . . We don’t want to contribute to any further delays.”

Sigh.

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Beltway blues (probably the first of several volumes)

After 28 years of living in Northern Virginia I recently started traveling the Capital Beltway on a daily basis. I was pleased I got by so long without having to commute on “Washington’s main street.”

As I approached the ramp for I-495 north (Beltway Inner Loop) on VA 236 west (Little River Tpk.) I noticed a line of cars waiting to get on the ramp. I was kind of annoyed, because I got on the road earlier than normal, yet still had a backup. Merging onto the Beltway, the traffic was crawling. At about the same time I approached Gallows Road, WTOP’s Lisa Baden noted that traffic was slow because drivers were reading a variable message sign about today being an Ozone Action Day or whatever it is called. Yes, drivers were slowing down, thus creating congestion and causing more pollution because of a sign suggesting they use mass transit or carpool because of ozone levels.

How many Beltway drivers do you exited and took transit?

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Thud

Los Angeles 10 WASHINGTON 0 (ESPN Boxscore)

The Nats were 12-5 over their last seventeen games, making them one of the hottest teams in baseball and prompting Thomas Boswell to swing back a “the glass isn’t half full, it is overflowing! (The Post)” mood. As I mentioned yesterday, the AP wrote a story about their winning ways. So, what do they on the first game of the homestand? They get annihilated by superior competition. Beating up on NL Central teams is fun and easy, but the story is different when a real team, in this case the NL West leading Dodgers, comes to town. You can’t just put some guy in a uniform on the mound and expect to win.

L.A.’s Brad Penny shut the Nats down for 6 2/3 while Washington’s Jason Simontacchi gave up six runs and laughed at Manny Acta’s suggestion that he wasn’t as bad as his line.

Nationals ‘Had No Chance’ Vs. PennyThe Post

Nats thumped in returnThe Wash. Times

1B Nick Johnson doesn’t know when he will return (The Post):

Immediately after the injury, Ben Shaffer, the Nationals’ orthopedist, predicted Johnson would be ready for Opening Day. But Shaffer and the team discovered that Johnson is an exceptionally slow healer, and the team has been reluctant to put out timetables since.

Johnson is a slow healer?! Goodness, I had no idea! For you see, I have been on Mars for the past decade, in a cave with my eyes shut, and my fingers in my ears.

In pitching, pitching, pitching news, John Patterson had a bullpen session yesterday and will see how he feels tomorrow. Levale Speigner is being dropped from the rotation (The Wash. Times) for at least Friday’s start because it is the only humane thing to do (The Free Lance-Star). This may open the door for Joel Hanrahan (The Post) who has been good in AAA when he isn’t hurt. Luis Ayala will be in town so the brass can determine his rehab.

I’ll be at tonight’s game in section 212.

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Tabloids’ triple double

Today there are three tabloids (Newsday makes its WWN Tabloid Watch debut) with the same back page photo. Two of them have the same headline.

The two NYC dailies (Newsday is technically a Long Island paper) have the same front page photo too.

When are these papers going to stop looking like each other? Are the executive editors made at the presentation editors? Will Lohan actually detox?

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Bud Shuster has fool’s gold on his hands

I-99 plan hits another roadblockCDT

PATTON TOWNSHIP — A massive Skytop fill area — a virtual land bridge constructed to carry Interstate 99 over and between U.S. Route 322 and state Route 550 — looms as a new problem for road builders because contaminated groundwater underneath it hasn’t improved, state officials said Thursday.

I know, I’m shocked too. Good thing Bud Shuster fast-tracked this project by legislating away due process environmental testing. I don’t think this section of roadway was in his district either which makes it even worse.

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Pitching, pitching, pitching

This morning, The Post examines how the Nationals have been able to get by with 80% of the rotation (graphic) on the DL. The weakest link, LeVale Speigner, is probably out of the rotation as soon as possible given his 14.81 ERA.

Wouldn’t you know it, The Wash. Times also examines the rotation today.

The Nats “second best prospect” Chris Marrero is looking forward to proving himself (The Journal, Martinsburg, WVa.)at the next level (Potomac Nationals), though he has enjoyed playing for the Hagerstown Suns.

The AP has noticed the Nationals don’t stink right now (USA Today). Given the tough schedule over the next few weeks, this will likely be the last time we see an article like this for a while, but you never know.

Tonight, the Nats start a series with the Dodgers (The Wash. Times). I’ll be at tomorrow’s game.

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