The Washington Post

Virginia Transportation Secretary speaks out on Silver Line

Virginia Transportation Secretary Sean Connaughton is scheduled to discuss Metro’s new Silver Line Wednesday at a Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce breakfast.

Connaughton and Virginia’s governor Bob McDonnell have been reluctant to put in $150 million to help construct the second phase of the rail line, which will run from Reston to Dulles International Airport and Loudoun County.

Supervisors in Loudoun County have also asked for more time to review their planned contribution of more than $200 million for the project. They have until July 4 to decide whether to contribute.

Virginia and Loudoun County officials are concerned about an incentive that they see as a pro-union labor agreement for contractors bidding on the project.

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which is overseeing construction of the nearly $6 billion project, has shown no signs of being willing to change the labor agrement it set up.

The MWAA board is expected to take up the issue at their next meeting May 16.

Last week, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood stepped in to try to bring the involved parties together to move the project forward but no final deal was reached.

Follow me on Twitter @postmetrogirl.

Dana Hedgpeth is a Post reporter, working the early morning, reporting on traffic, crime and other local issues.
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