DCRA's Spring Reception, June 22, 2009
On Monday, June 22, the Board of Directors of the Dulles Corridor Rail Association held their Spring Reception at the Courtyard by Marriott in Tysons Corner. The hotel and B. F. Saul’s Hotel Division put on a splendid event. The refreshments were outstanding and the venue provided an excellent view of the tunnel staging area from both the patio and an 11th floor suite, which staff opened up to our guests.
Nearly 150 business, civic, and political leaders joined to honor Barbara Reese, Deputy Policy Advisor to Governor Kaine, Secretary of Transportation Pierce Homer, and James E. Bennett, President and CEO of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority for their leadership in moving the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project through difficult times last year resulting in approval of a Full Funding Grant Approval for Phase 1 by year’s end.
The President’s Award was presented to Charles S. “Sam” Carnaggio for his five years of work as Project Director. Executive Director Patrick Nowakowski provided a project update.
Along with BF Saul and the Courtyard by Marriott, event sponsors included: Partner Sponsors - Arrowbrook Centre, Laborers Mid-Atlantic Regional Organizing Coalition, Capital One; Platinum Sponsors - Clark Construction, Macerich/Tysons Corner Center, MWAA, Perseus Realty LLC; Gold Sponsors - AECOM Transportation, Claude Moore Charitable Foundation, Dulles Transit Partners, GeoEye, Parsons Management Consultants, Reston Town Center Property, Shirley Contracting Company, TRIP II, Washington Airports Task Force; and Silver Sponsors - ATU 689, Boston Properties, Cherner Auytomotive Group, Committee for Dulles, Coven Engineering, Inc., Dulles Gateway Associates, ECS Mid-Atlantic, LLC, Edgemoor Real Estate Services, NVAR, Route 28 Corridor Improvements, Venable
View more photos of the event.
April 15 Transit Oriented Development Seminar
On Wednesday, April 15, DCRA, DATA and TYTRAN hosted the third in the "Building a 21st Century Mainstreet" seminar series at ORACLE in Reston. Click HERE to view presentations.
FFGA Signed, MWAA Issues Notice to Proceed
On March 10, 2009, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood and H.R. Crawford, Chairman of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) Board of Directors signed an agreement that commits $900 million of federal funds to Phase 1 of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project.
Metro to Dulles Gets Formal Federal Backing, Washington Post
It's a go for Metro to Dulles, Washington Times
Federal government commits $900M for Metro's expansion to Dulles International Airport, Business Journal
Onward to Dulles, Washington Post
MWAA has issued a full notice to proceed to Dulles Transit Partners. With the start of construction, project staff will increase to 700, 200 of which will be construction craft workers. In the 10 months of March through December 2009, expenditures on salaries, goods and services are expected to reach $300 million. Between 2009 and 2013, the project is expected to commit to contracts for goods and services in the amount of $620 million.
Jim Bennett, President and CEO of MWAA, has said that the team will be analyzing the delivery systems for Phase 2over the next several months and will work with the MWAA board to select a system. He expects that construction on Phase 2 will start by the end of the year.
DCRA Chairman Ken Plum citing the execution of the Full Funding Grant Agreement said “The Dulles Metrorail project is the most important transportation project in the region, linking as it does the region’s international airport, Washington Dulles International Airport, to our national capital. It will also serve the Dulles corridor which contains the second largest concentration of jobs in the region. This project is long overdue. We thank Governor Kaine, our congressional delegation especially retired Senator John Warner and Congressman Frank Wolf and local and state officials throughout the region for their support of this important project. We also thank our board members and sponsors and the other business groups with which we worked closely to bring the rail project back from the brink last year.
“There is much work to do to implement Phase 1 and ensure that the vision of the Tysons Land Use Task Force is realized in the Fairfax County Comprehensive Plan and in developments at the transit stations and throughout Tysons. We will also need to make sure that the financial and planning underpinnings are there to support an expedited extension of rail in Phase 2 This is truly a great day for the citizens and businesses of Northern Virginia and the region.”
March 2009 Dulles Metro Factsheet
US DOT Approves FFGA and Sends to Congress
On January 7, 2009, the US Department of Transportation approved a Full Funding Grant Agreement for the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project and sent it to Congress for its 60-day review.
The Dulles Corridor Rail Association applauds the personal commitment of Governor Tim Kaine and U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters to work together to make the changes necessary to secure the federal funding commitment ($900 million) for first Phase of the Dulles Metrorail extension. We also appreciate the efforts of the Northern Virginia Congressional delegation, in particular Congressman Frank Wolf, and retired Senator John Warner and Congressman Tom Davis. We also recognize and appreciate the hard work and collaboration that was required of all the stakeholders including Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, and Fairfax County. (Nicoson letters to Secretary Peters and Letter to Governor Kaine.)
The first 11-mile phase of the line will extend from East Falls Church, serve Tysons Corner with four stations and end at Wiehle Avenue in Reston. The schedule calls for the opening of service in mid-2013. The second phase out the corridor serving Herndon, Route 28, Washington Dulles International Airport and Loudoun County is projected to be completed two years later.
Other funding sources include: tax districts in Fairfax County, contributions from Loudoun and Fairfax counties, fees from Washington Dulles International Airport and revenues from the Dulles Toll Road. MWAA will manage the rail project and operate the toll road under an agreement with the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Secretary Peters in her statement on the Bush Administration’s decision to approve the FFGA, said “I commend the long-term commitment of the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, Dulles Transit Partners and the Virginia Congressional delegation to address the valid concerns we had previously raised about the viability of this project. Through a collaborative effort between local, state, and federal governments and the private sector, I think the project is now stronger, more financially sound and a better deal for commuters and taxpayers. I urge the partners to continue their diligent efforts to contain costs and address any other issues that may arise, and wish them well in realizing the long-term aspiration of bring rail to the Dulles corridor.”
Governor Kaine issued the following statement. “I want to extend my sincere appreciation to US. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters, FTA Administrator Sherry Little, and the staff of the U.S. Department of Transportation for their time, expertise, and commitment to work with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA), Metro, the Commonwealth of Virginia, Fairfax County and our other partners on rail to Dulles-linking our nation’s capital to our nation’s international airport. The steadfast support and commitment by our Congressional delegation, including retired Senator John Warner and Congressman Tom Davis, to the project has been unwavering and I also thank them for their efforts.” “This demonstrated leaders and willingness to work together can serve as a model for future complex projects on how federal state, local, and private partners can work together to address the needs if our citizens.”
DCRA Honors Congressman Tom Davis at 2008 Annual Meeting
On November 19, 2008, members and friends of the Dulles Corridor Rail Association gathered to honor retiring Congressmen Thomas M. Davis. The occasion was the 11th Annual Meeting of the DCRA, which was hosted by Capital One at its headquarters in Tysons Corner. DCRA also recognized the accomplishments of the Tysons Land-Use Task Force and its Chairman Clark Tyler. (Full story) (View more photos)
FTA Approves Phase 1 of the Dulles Metrorail Project
On December 4, 2008, the Washington Post reported that officials at the Federal Transit Administration had approved Phase 1 of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project. Project documents have been forwarded to the Office of the Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters for review and approval. (More information).
Dulles Toll Road Transfers to Airports Authority.
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and the Commonwealth of Virginia have completed the transfer of the daily operation, maintenance, and control of the Dulles Toll Road from the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to the Airports Authority. The transfer was effective November 1, 2008 and is in accordance with the December 2006 agreement between VDOT and the Airports Authority. View MWAA's press release.
Transfer of Toll Road to MWAA Upheld
On Friday, October 18, 2008, Margaret P. Spencer, Judge in the Circuit Court of the City of Richmond, issued an order dismissing a court case challenging transfer of the Dulles Toll Road by two toll road users, concluding in part that the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (Airports Authority) was a necessary and indispensable party to the lawsuit, as the state had argued. (Court Order)
In addition, the court found that the plaintiff's constitutional challenges to the December 26, 2006 Master Transfer Agreement and the December 29, 2006 Dulles toll Road Permit and Operating Agreement are without merit. The court also found legislative authorization for the actions of the Airports Authority and concluded that tolls were neither taxes nor revenue of the Commonwealth.
The plaintiffs had argued that Governor Timothy M. Kaine had violated the state constitution when he announced plans to transfer the Dulles Toll Road to the Airports Authority without General Assembly approval.
This action means that toll road revenues can be used to pay for the extension of Metrorail to Washington Dulles International Airport and beyond into Loudoun County.
Transfer of control of the Dulles Toll Road could occur by the end of the year. An announcement that agreement has been reached with the Federal Transit Administration on federal funding for Phase 1 of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail extension is also expected by the end of the year, with construction to begin in the first quarter of 2009.
The Court decision enables this critically important regional transportation project to move forward. (Washington Post article)
FTA Allows Project to Move Forward
On August 21, 2008, Federal Transit Administration Regional Administrator Letitia Thompson sent a letter to Sam Carnaggio, Project Director, Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project allowing the team to move forward with site preparation and construction of the east access of the 2,100-ft long tunnel segment under Routes 123 and 7. (View letter)
The letter provides approval to incur costs of $14 million for the project and retain its eligibility for future FTA grant assistance. However, the letter states that this approval does not constitute an FTA commitment that future Federal dollars will be approved.
There is risk associated with this decision. If the FTA does not give final approval to the project, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority will not be reimbursed for the expenditure.
The approved work is key to keeping the project on schedule and will minimize disruptions during the holiday season. The project team has submitted a draft application for a Full Funding Grant Agreement for $900 million in federal funding. The schedule calls for submission of the FFGA to Congress in November and the beginning of construction during the first quarter of 2009.
DCRA celebrates its 10th Anniversary and
Honors Governor Tim Kaine on June 11.
Following on the good news that Dulles Rail had received the go ahead to enter Final Design, the Dulles Corridor Rail Association and 170 of its members and friends celebrated its 10th Anniversary by honoring Governor Tim Kaine for his steadfast support of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail project. The event was hosted by The JBG Companies and the newly opened Westin Reston Heights.
Governor Kaine told the group that Dulles rail was going to happen because the merits were so strong. He noted that Dulles Airport is one of the most spectacular international assets this country has and this is the most important region in the nation. “ I am with you on this until we are riding together,” he said.
Click here to view a newsletter that describes the reception and Governor Kaine's remarks.
Dulles Rail - Back on Track
FTA Action to approve Final Design and Release of Federal Funds
In a letter dated May 12, 2008, to James Bennett, President and CEO of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA), Federal Transit Administrator James Simpson said that the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) was approving MWAA's request to enter Final design and that FTA was obligating the remaining $159 million in Section 5309 New Starts funds already appropriated for Final Design.
Letter From Administrator Simpson to James Bennett - May 12
Metrorail Extension through Tysons Corner -- What's Changed
Statements from U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary E. Peters and Virginia Governor Tim Kaine Regarding Final Design Approval Notification to Congress Regarding the Metrorail Extension Through Tysons Corner.
Secretary Peters - “Governor Tim Kaine deserves much credit for his overwhelming commitment to this proposal and for spearheading the changes necessary to move it forward. I’d also like to thank the members of Virginia’s Congressional delegation for their steadfast support,” Secretary Peters said.
“Everyone involved in this proposal has worked hard to make the good faith changes needed. Indeed, it is a much better project today than it was in January. Today’s action is the first step toward final approval, but it should by no means be seen as a guarantee of full funding.”
Governor Kaine - “I want to express my appreciation to Secretary Peters and her staff for dedicating the time and attention that has led to this affirmative decision regarding Final Design Approval for the Dulles Rail project. I look forward to continuing our productive working relationship on this project and the others in the future,” said Governor Tim Kaine.
“The joint work of our professional staff and partners since February will serve as a model of how complex transportation projects must be developed and evaluated. I especially want to recognize the hard work of Senators Warner and Webb and Congressmen Wolf, Davis, and Moran. This project could not have moved forward without their dedication. Much work remains to be done, but we will commit the necessary resources to keep this project moving forward.”
Letter from Secretary Peters to Governor Kaine - April 30
Federal Transit Administrator James Simpson's statement - April 30