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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