D.C. Mayor Marion Barry agreed yesterday to make $245 million of the city's federal highway project funds available for Metrorail construction this year. The money is intended for major construction on the inner-city Green Line, the Orange line extension to Vienna and other rail projects.
This year's District contribution had been expected by Metro officials, but there is already some dispute about the amount of next year's fund transfer.
In order to make the funds available to Metro, the District will delay the resurfacings of certain streets, some repairs of the Anacostia Bridge and reconstruction of portions of such streets as Arizona, Eastern and Mississippi avenues and 15th Street NW, according to William Pryor, of the city Transportation Department.
Congress has authorized Washington-area municipalities to spend up to $284 million in federal funds for mass transit projects in fiscal 1982. In addition to the $245 million from the District, the Maryland jurisdictions have agreed to transfer $32 million of their highway funds for Metro. Virginia has contributed $45 million in past years, but will contribute nothing this year, according to William A. Boleyn, Metro's assistant general manager for finance.
So far, the District has contributed nearly $2 billion for Metrorail construction, more than any other area jurisdiction.