1:10 p.m. Update: Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell asked the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority to reconsider its decision in a letter dated Monday.
In the letter addressing authority board chairman Charles D. Snelling, McDonnell called the decision “a stunning reversal of the collaborative decision kaking process, involving all funding partners, used during Phase 1.”
“To state our position very clearly, we cannot and will not fund the additional cost of the tunnel alternative in Dulles Airport when a less expensive alternative can be constructed with less risk and in a shorter period of time,” the letter read. “We are perplexed as to why the MWAA Board of Directors ignored its funding partners and made these decisions in isolation.”
Original post: The chairman of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors has suggested that officials opposed to the underground location of a Metrorail stop at Dulles meet with airports authority officials during the next meetingof the Dulles Corridor Advisory Commttee.
Scott K. York said in a letter to Charles D. Snelling, chairman of the board of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, that such a meeting could occur during the first or second week of May. Snelling said in a letter last week that he was willing to discuss the board’s recent decision with officials opposed to the location of a rail stop underground, which is estimated to cost up to $330 million more than an aboveground site. Federal, state and local lawmakers have opposed the decision due to its cost.
York said he consulted with other parties to Snelling’s original letter, including Virginia Secretary of Transportation Sean T. Connaughton and Sharon Bulova, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.
In his letter, York said he is concerned about the authority’s ability to finance Phase 2 of the rail extension, due to increases in the cost estimates, and the effect of the costs on fees on the Dulles Toll Road.
The first phase of the Metrorail extension, which is costing $2.75 billion, connects with the existing rail system near East Falls Church and consists of four stations in Tysons Corner and one at Wiehle Avenue in Reston. It is scheduled to open in 2013.
The second phase would run from Wiehle Avenue to Ashburn in eastern Loudoun and is projected to cost $3.5 billion with an underground Dulles station. The original estimate was $2.5 billion. The phase is estimated to open in 2017.