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December 8, 2014 DCRA Annual Meeting & Reception
The Dulles Corridor Rail Association (DCRA) held its 17th Annual Meeting celebrating the opening of the Silver Line Phase 1 on Monday, December 8, 2014.
Over 120 members and friends attended. The B.F. Saul Company Hospitality Group and the Courtyard by Marriott did an outstanding job with the food and service. Sharon Bulova, Fairfax Board of Supervisors Chairwoman, noted in her welcoming remarks that real estate values were down except for where the county had invested in Metrorail – Tysons and Reston. She urged us to stay the course during the journey all the way out to Dulles Airport and Loudoun County.
DCRA Chairman Delegate Ken Plum noted that when you consider other projects of this magnitude, the Silver line was completed on budget and on time.
The three major project stakeholders spoke about their experience completing Phase 1. Jack Potter, President and CEO of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, thanked the group for all its efforts and said that it was just as important to get rail out to Dulles Airport. The new Dulles Airport bus service from the Wiehle – Reston East station carried over 1,000 people per day over the Thanksgiving holiday. The Metrorail extension is serving them well. He thanked WMATA and the other funding partners. The TIFIA loan will keep tolls on the Dulles Toll Road steady for the next five years. They will do their part to manage the project as tightly as they can to keep the tolls on the Dulles Toll Road low.
Larry Melton, Dulles Transit Partners/Bechtel, said that the project would not have been possible without the support of those in the room, and they felt that support. He acknowledged the unsung heroes of the project, the thousands of construction workers and local contractors and suppliers that supported the project. It was a privilege to work with them, a lot of whom were veterans. Larry told the story of an iron worker who said his son had been saved by the project. He was an at risk kid doing poorly in school. At Larry‘s suggestion the father took the son on a tour of the project. The son was fascinated by the big yellow trusses used in completing the aerial alignment and became interested in the project. He decided he wanted to be a civil engineer and work on similar projects. While they are proud of their work on the stations and alignment, they are equally proud of their people and that their work that has inspired young people to work on similar projects.
Larry said their disadvantaged business enterprise (DBE) goal was 10 percent of the contract, which they exceeded by spending $270 million on DBE contracts. They have had the opportunity to work with some of the greatest professionals and firms and are now able to stand shoulder to shoulder competing with the larger firms. He ended by asking those that had worked on the project to raise their hands. “These are your neighbors, the people who made the sacrifice.”
Fairfax Supervisor Cathy Hudgins representing WMATA as a board member said that the opening of the Silver line was doing everything that they had expected it to do. ‘Economic development is what Metro does around the region. And it is the story of the Silver line.’ She was ecstatic about the opening of the Silver line, having waited 40 years. Ridership is outpacing projections. The Tysons station is a seven-day station, which is not often the case at other rail stations. They have a long term vision at Metro and need funding for the long term.
Cathy recognized several people for their contributions by presenting them with a miniature station pylon that said Wiehle-Reston East: Senator Janet Howell, Delegate Ken Plum, the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce represented by Dave Cordingly, former FC Board Chairman Kate Hanley and Patty Nicoson, President, DCRA. The work of these people helped see the project through.
Charles Stark, Project Director, Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project/MWAA provided a brief project update. Being new to the project, he noted that it was the people in the room that had done the work and that were the visionaries. He noted from his experience at the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) project that in Berkeley people had wanted to live away from downtown but now wanted to live near the BART rail stations. In Herndon, he was told he would have to rent because people wanted to hold on to their houses recognizing the increase in property values that would come with the extension of the Silver line.
Design work is nearly 70 percent complete. They had dug 52 test shafts, were doing geotechnical and utility work and removing trees where the Dulles Airport station will be sited. They had started work on the aerial guide way structure in June; 62 drill shafts and 42 columns have been constructed. They will be starting on the foundation of the Innovation station early in the New Year. The Reston Town Center station will be next. Hensel Phelps has started work on the rail yard package of improvements, which includes five buildings and will house 168 rail cars. Construction will begin late second quarter 2015. Charles said that the hard work had been done. He thanked the group for all the work done over the years.
Ken Plum presented a Leadership Award to Patricia Nicoson, DCRA President since it was founded in 1986. He noted that the work that DCRA had done would not have been possible without the efforts of this professional planner. No one has worked harder or been more deserving than Patty Nicoson. Finally she gets the recognition she deserves.
The meeting closed with the 2014 DCRA board electing the 2015 board. Guests returned to networking and enjoying the refreshments until the party ended at 8:00 PM.
View more photos on DCRA's Facebook Page
DCRA Spring Meeting & Reception
On Thursday, June 12, the Dulles Corridor Rail Association held its 2014 Spring Meeting & Reception at Comstock's Reston Station. Over 120 guests enjoyed host sponsor Comstock's hospitality.
The Association recognized Pat Nowakowski, former Executive Director of the Dulles Metrorail Project for his many years of work leading the construction of the soon to open Phase 1 of the Silver Line.
Patty Nicoson, Jack Potter, and Pat Nowakowski
Special thanks to the evening's Platinum Sponsor Aol.; Gold Sponsors Bechtel, Beacon Capital Partners, Committee for Dulles, Walsh Colucci Lubeley & Walsh, PC; and Silver Sponsors Capital Rail Constructors, DATA, GeoConcepts Engineering, International City, Kimley-Horn, Ratner Companies, and Venable for their support of the event.
View more pictures from the event
The Dulles Corridor On-Track
A seminar on Economic Benefits & Opportunities
DCRA 2013 Annual Meeting
The Dulles Corridor Rail Association held its Annual Meeting and Reception at the Sheraton Premier in Tysons Corner on Monday, December 9. At the event the association recognized the six Governors that have supported and guided the project, overcoming many obstacles, to reach completion of Phase 1 early in 2014 and the start of Phase 2 this summer. The project has been able to advance because of the sustained, bipartisan support it has enjoyed at the Gubernatorial level. The Association recognized: The Honorable George Allen,
The Honorable L. Douglas Wilder,
The Honorable James Stuart Gilmore,
The Honorable Mark Warner,
The Honorable Timothy M. Kaine, and
The Honorable Robert F. McDonnell.
View photos from the event on the DCRA Facebook Page.
View the project's milestones under each Governor HERE.
DCRA Vice Chairman Delegate Tom Rust, Former Governer Gilmore, DCRA Chairman Ken Plum, Former Secretary of Transportation Pierce Homer, Former Governor George Allen, and Former Secretary of Transportation John Milliken.
At the event, the Association also elected it's 2014 Board of Directors. View the complete Board of Directors list HERE.
Back Row: Jeff Fairfield, Lester Mardkis, John McGrannahan, Mark Carrier and Jim Larsen. Front Row: Ted Lewis, Mary Szanka, Jim Policaro, Ken Plum, Patty Nicoson, Joe Stowers, Tom Rust, John Milliken, and Leo Schefer.
Thank you to the event's Platinum Sponsors: Dominion, The Macerich Company/Tysons Corner Center, Oracle, Reston Association; Gold Sponsors: Gold Sponsors 11111 Sunset Hills Property, LLC, Hunton & Williams, Tishman Speyer, Walsh Colucci Lubeley Emrich & Walsh, PC WestDulles Properties; and Silver Sponsors: Arrowbrook Centre, Capital Rail Constructors, Committee for Dulles, Dewberry, Dulles Gateway Associates, Dulles World Center, LLC, GeoConcepts Engineering | Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Lerner, Northern Virginia Association of Realtors, Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance, Parsons, Ratner Companies, Reed Smith, Renaissance Centro, Smoother Transitions-Long & Foster, Venable; and Host Sponsors, The JBG Companies, Sheraton Premiere at Tysons Corner.
Building on Reston's Past to Create its Future
On July 22, the Dulles Corridor Rail Association cosponsored the seminar, "Understanding Urbanization: Building on Reston's Past to Create its Future". The other sponsors were the Office of Hunter Mill Supervisor Catherine Hudgins, the Reston Association, and the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce. The well-attended meeting was hosted by the Reston Association in its Conference Center.
Supervisor Catherine M. Hudgins provided opening remarks. Cate Fulkerson, Acting President and CEO of the Reston Association welcomed us to the event. City planner, author and urban expert Jeff Speck was the keynote speaker. (Link to his PowerPoint ...)
Mark Ingrao, President of the Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce moderated a panel consisting of Greg Trimmer, The JBG Companies; David Whyte, Kimley Horn; and Senior Fairfax County Planner Heidi Merkel provided comments. DCRA Chairman Delegate Ken Plum provided closing remarks.
Much good information was shared about how to make urban places more walkable and bikeable by redesigning public streets. The County is working with the Virginia Department of Transportation to develop urban street standards that can be used in Reston. The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation is also working on context sensitive standards.
View the presentation slides HERE.
Latest Project Construction Photos
CLICK HERE to view photos were presented by Larry Melton as part of a presentation he made to the Dulles Corridor Committee of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) at its meeting on July 17.
Recent Silver Line Construction
Presented by Pat Nowakowski at the June 11 DCRA Board meeting. View the complete power point presentation here.
Resolution on Phase 1 Silver Line Date of Operations
The Board of Directors of the Dulles Corridor Rail Association discussed the date of the opening of Phase 1 of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project at its June 12, 2013 Board Meeting and adopted the following resolution.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) should complete, as soon as possible, its testing of the Metrorail cars, signal, switching and other systems and use all means necessary to ensure the safety of operations of Phase 1 of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail project (Silver Line extension).
Further, WMATA should endeavor to begin operation of the Silver Line no later than December 2013.
Wednesday June 5, 2013,
Northern Virginia Members of the General Assembly
who supported the Transportation Legislation (HB2313)
which provides $300 Million for the
Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project
View pictures from the event on our Facebook page here.
Rail to Loudoun - On Track
A Seminar on Transit Oriented Economic Development at the
Loudoun County Silver Line Stations
When: Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, 7:30 a.m to noon
Where: The GWU Virginia Science & Technology Campus
Agenda & Speakers: CLICK HERE
View Presentation Slides: CLICK HERE