Virginia Gov. Robert F. McDonnell (R) and Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) have approached Mayor Vincent C. Gray about overturning a recent Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority vote to build an underground Metro station at Dulles Airport.
Gray said at his weekly news conference Wednesday that McDonnell and Wolf had both called personally, asking him to intervene with the three District-appointed MWAA members. Gray said Sharon Bulova (D), chairwoman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, had also called to discuss the Metro station, but the two have yet to connect.
The underground station, which is estimated to cost more than $300 million more than an alternate, above-ground proposal, is opposed by many Virginia politicians, who represent the toll-road users and taxpayers who will bear the cost. But Virginians are a minority on the 13-member MWAA board, with only five slots appointed by Virginia's governor; the remainder are appointed by the D.C. mayor, Maryland's governor and the U.S. president.
Gray said he told the commonwealth politicos that he would speak to the District's board members — two of whom, Warner Session and Shirley Robinson Hall, he personally appointed. But Gray showed little sign that he has urged those members — or the third, former D.C. Council member H.R. Crawford — to change their votes.
The members, Gray said, “make a very strong case” for an underground station, which would be more convenient for airport users.