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Virginia Attorney General Wants Rail To Dulles Project to Die

Cuccinelli says he hopes the rail to Dulles Airport project never happens.

While the three funding partners of the rail to Dulles Airport project are negotiating behind closed doors to settle their differences on the rising costs of phase 2, there's one state elected official who rather see the project killed.

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is getting attention for a WMAL radio interview last week when he said the project to extend rail from Reston's Wiehle Avenue Station (the end of Phase 1) to Dulles Airport and eastern Loudoun County is an "economic boondoggle." He predicted that the rising costs of the project's second phase will be a central campaign issue in Loudoun County's local elections. 

"I hope those folks [in Loudoun] elect an entire board who is committed to pulling out of phase 2 to kill it, because it is bad policy for Virginia," Cuccinelli said.

The attorney general said he hopes that phase 2 never gets built and criticized those involved for paying for the first phase that is "already two and a half times its original cost."

The MWAA board of directors in April voted to build an underground station at Dulles Airport, a decision that added $330 million to the cost of phase 2 that is now estimated to be $1 billion above the original $2.5 billion estimate.

Fairfax and Loudoun counties are sharing the cost of the rail project with MWAA, and leaders in those two jurisdictions are strongly against the underground station.

Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Sharon Bulova and Loudoun County Chairman Scott York have asked MWAA to reverse its decision and build an above-ground station. York's county board has threatened to stop funding the project because of MWAA's decision.

The three funding partners to negotiate at the request of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

Cuccinelli said that Loudoun County paid for an economic study of the rail to Dulles project and "the cost benefit just is not there." 

"It's a rip off," he said.

That study, however, showed the county could generate $234 million in revenue by 2040 from economic development near the new rail stations.

Cuccinelli also criticized MWAA's insistence that the contractor hires union-only contracts for anyone working on the project. The attorney general said MWAA will be violating Right to Work laws if it requires union-only contracts.

WMAL Interview

james gilley June 10, 2011 at 02:21 PM
The problem is that the Fairfax County supervisors used all the available money to create a detour through Tyson's Corner which was not a part of the originial plan. The feds are still on tap for the $900 million which was 45% of the originial cost of the rail line to Dulles following the toll road/Dulles AP access road which went by Tyson's to the North West. When Fairfax decided to "dogleg" it through Tyson's is when the cost exploded to $5 billion (now $7 billion). The feds said they would not contribute to this dramaticaly expanded plan to redevelop Tysons using the Metro. And that is where they are today and there is no hope they will do more. So as a major recession and financial crisis unfolds we may be left with Metro to Tysons for decades to come. And Gerald Connelly who was chair of the Supervisors and an employee of a Tysons located company who benifited greatly from the "Dog-Leg" through Tysons will be held responsible. And if people do not use the toll road where will the money come from. I noted that less than 3% of the passengers at BWI use rail to get there. I live in Reston and it is nonsense to think I will take the rail to go to the airport. I will simply go and get on the Dulles Access Road and drive to the airport. It would take me an hour longer to take the rail. So it is a house of cards created in great part by Gerald Connelly and it will come tumbling down for our country has over spent on every thing to the point this will be considered a joke.
John Whitten June 10, 2011 at 02:58 PM
I would like to know why the "Rail to Dulles" project is being built on the backs of the 267 commuters? Since the beneficiaries of the project are the folks in Washington D.C., why can't THEY fund it? Secondly, since the 267 commuters apparently ARE funding the project, WHY do they have to be CRAMMED into the outside lanes on 267 and can't use those FOUR wonderfully VACANT lanes right smack dab in the middle? Okay, so people have to catch their planes on-time, I'm good with that-- reserve a lane for them-- now, what about the other THREE lanes that are just sitting there? In the morning they could be put to good use for people going toward D.C., and in the afternoon for people coming from D.C.... but NOOO... even though we're paying for it-- AND aren't really the ultimate beneficiaries-- we STILL have to suck it up and sit in the traffic jams it causes. I say B.S. to that !!! People wise up and have a chat with your representatives about their so-called "representation". Specifically, ask 'em WHO they're representing...?? (And then ask 'em who they'll be representing after the next election...)
tina June 10, 2011 at 04:19 PM
I agree.
$$$$s June 29, 2011 at 04:45 PM
Let's see, an open ended contract, with no fixed price, the govt' can send whatever bill it decides to Loudoun County, add union labor costs (cutting out most of Virginia firms, since we are right to work state) AND the up front costs are CURRENTLY estimated to equal the economic development benefits that will take decades to recoup-- and we all know the up front costs will probably double and triple by the time they finish planning this monster... OPT OUT now, Loudoun. WE cannot live with the ridiculous terms being foisted on us. Already Loudoun pays the highest property taxes in the whole southeastern region.... we cannot pay more! And the toll road fees are supposed to pay for the rest of the construction costs, so Loudoun pays twice... WRONG! Bad deal, we do not need this, busses will work just as well, only cost effective....
Private Person June 30, 2011 at 05:58 PM
Vote for change --- the liberals in office are nothing more than robbers -- have you seen the five-star "low-income" housing our tax dollars are funding? http://bit.ly/klvsdf It's just outrageous.

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