Federal Highway Administration

It could be a few weeks before the Federal Highway Administration releases a decision on the proposed expansion of the Virginia Avenue Tunnel in Southeast Washington.

An agency spokesman said this week that the “Record of Decision,” which would end the federal review of the project, hasn’t been finalized, and isn’t expected to be signed for a few more weeks.

The Federal Highway Administration was expected to rule on the proposal earlier this summer, but at the request of D.C. officials the agency agreed to postpone the decision until Sept. 15.

CSX Transportation needs the agency’s approval to proceed with the reconstruction of the 110-year-old tunnel, which is considered a key piece of the region’s rail infrastructure.

Some residents who opposed the project say they are glad the federal agency is taking its time in reviewing the case.  Monte Edwards, vice president of the Committee of 100 on the Federal City, said Wednesday that officials with FHWA told him they are evaluating the group’s recent request for an indefinite delay of the document.  The Committee is planning to file a lawsuit if its request isn’t granted.

“Lets hope that they address some of our concerns in the record of decision,” said Edwards.