Dulles Corridor Rail Association 2007
On Monday, November 26, 2007, more than 150
members and friends of the Dulles Corridor Rail Association (DCRA)
joined the DCRA Board at Gannett Corporation, Inc. in Tysons Corner for
its 10th Annual Meeting.
member and Gannett employee Todd Mayman welcomed the group noting that.
Gannett had been a member of DCRA for a number of years for obvious
reasons. Gannett employs about 1,400 people in the building. When
Gannett was in Arlington, Metrorail was right outside the door and many
people used it to get to work. When they moved and commuting to work by
rail was no longer an option, they lost a number of employees. A lot of
people still take Metro but it means getting off rail and onto a bus.
In closing, Mayman said that Gannett supports the mission of the Dulles
Corridor Rail Association to bring rail to the Dulles corridor as
quickly as possible.
Chairman Ken Plum reported that the DCRA-sponsored a survey in October
indicated outstanding support for the Dulles Corridor Metrorail project:
93 percent of the people in Northern Virginia favor it and in the
metropolitan region, 87 percent do. The more people know about the
project, the more they like it. The survey is posted on the DCRA web
said that in its tradition of recognizing people who have helped move
the project forward, DCRA was recognizing two gentlemen that have been
the “go to” people for the project as regards federal involvement:
Senator John Warner and Congressman Frank Wolf.
that both men have sponsored studies to determine the need for transit
in the corridor, made sure that the project was included in the past two
surface transportation reauthorization acts, and appropriated federal
funding for it. Thanks to their support, $212 million in federal funds
have been appropriated and the House recently passed a bill under
Congressman Wolf’s leadership that includes an additional $35 million.
This bill is pending in the Senate and would bring the total
appropriated to date to almost $250
Warner’s absence, Congressmen Wolf accepted the award for himself and
the Senator and on behalf of their staffs, many of whom, he noted, have
worked on the project for a number of years.
that the region will miss Sen. Warner. He has done so much for the
entire state and certain areas including Northern Virginia. He and
Warner had been an effective team. Wolf thanked DCRA and told Plum that
he looked forward to riding the rail with him.
Bennett, President and CEO of the Metropolitan Washington Airports
Authority (MWAA) provided an update on the Dulles Metrorail project. He
thanked Congressman Wolf and Senator Warner for everything they have
done for the project. He noted that this is one of the more complex
projects that this region has ever attempted to carry out. Without the
strong leadership from people like Congressman Wolf and Sen. Warner,
without the leadership of the MWAA board, Governor Kaine, the members of
the General Assembly, DCRA, and all present, we would not be having this
conversation about the status of this project.
said that the project is moving forward quietly but very aggressively.
Staff has been hired. The project offices have been expanded. They
have brought in more people and the project management teams are in
place. Bennett compared the situation to a volcano. “The pressure is
beginning to develop. Very soon lava is going to becoming out very
rapidly and in multiple ways in this community as we start construction
on this project.”
submitted its request to enter final design to the Federal Transit
Administration (FTA) in September. The proposal identified a little
over $300 million in reductions to bring costs into agreement with the
said they have reached agreement on the cost of the project with FTA.
“We are negotiating with the FTA on the formal process necessary to
receive formal approval to go into final design, and we anticipate that
that final design approval will occur sometime after the first of the
noted that the project would not proceed in a linear fashion. For this
project to remain successful and to reach the schedule that has been
identified, they are going to have dual tracks running in parallel. The
goal is to get utility relocation track started by early next year. It
will primarily take place in the Route 7 corridor. He anticipates full
construction to begin in the spring or early summer of 2008.
said that if Congressman Wolf were still here he would tell him that by
2013 Congressman, you can take your grandchildren on the Metro extension
of Phase 1 to Tysons Corner. Bennett said, “Once we get this project
moving forward in Phase 1, then we will turn some additional attention
to Phase 2, which is equally important. But we want to make sure that
the first phase gets started before we focus a lot of attention on the
second part. So as soon as we can get this first phase started and get
final design approval then we can start focusing on the delivery
mechanism of the second part of the rail project and get Phase 2
underway so that in two years you will see the entire corridor under
said that all the conversations with FTA and the project partners were
very positive. Everyone is working as hard as they can to deliver this
project to the community. It is on its way.
recognized the leadership contributions of the Fairfax county Board of
Supervisors (and staff) and their strong support for the project.
There is a
long history of Fairfax support for the Dulles rail project. The County
manager was a major stakeholder in the environmental process. The Board
endorsed the rail project in 2002. The project has been a priority of
the current Board.
that it is fitting and appropriate that on this occasion when we are
hearing the good news about the project moving forward that we recognize
one of the major players, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.
Chairman Bulova accepted the recognition on behalf of Chairman Gerry
Connolly and the full board. Bulova said that she had been on the board
long enough to know that major transportation projects are really hard,
and they move along in a pace that seems glacial. There are a lot of
opportunities along the way for things to unravel. Bulova said, “The
Board acted in the best interest of the county and the best interest of
our northern Virginia region, of our metropolitan region in moving this
Hudgins thanked DCRA for the role it plays in making certain that the
community understands what this project is about because our work is
critical, but sometimes the message is not clear. She said that while
Jim Bennett talked about the volcano, she thought about giving birth.
“I’ve been at the nine month for a very long time and I do not think we
can hold on for much longer,” she said. “We recognize that the
Metropolitan area is in a deficit without rail in the Dulles corridor.
For maintaining our quality of life, improving our environment, serving
our community, our residents and our business, rail to Tysons Corner
through the corridor to Dulles Airport is critical.”
Joan Dubois said she had been involved in the project since the first
task force was started. She is a firm supporter of this project and
always has been. Dubois closed saying, “I will continue to watch this
project and I intend to be on that first train without a cane or a
wheelchair. Let’s get this project moving.”
President Patty Nicoson noted that since a written Presidents Report
was available, she would touch briefly on a couple of things that were
important to DCRA in the past year. First was having transportation
legislation passed by the General Assembly. DCRA worked with Bob Chase
and a coalition of Northern Virginia business groups to help come up
with a package that not only brought funds to the state but brought
significant funds to Northern Virginia. After the Governor worked with
local and state officials to come up with a politically acceptable
legislation, DCRA worked with the coalition again to support the
Northern Virginia Transportation Authority ‘s approval of the
transportation funding mechanisms, which court cases pending, will be
able to fund some specific projects in Northern Virginia next year. For
DCRA, passage of the legislation was particularly important because it
will provide $50 million a year for the Metrorail system.
the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, the Loudoun Board and the WMATA
board, all three approved intergovernmental agreements and financial
agreements that moved the rail project forward. DCRA worked with members
of the business community and citizen groups to lobby in support of the
approval of these agreements.
important milestone was the transfer of the Dulles Metrorail project to
the Airports Authority.
significant DCRA effort addressed the perception that the Dulles
Corridor Metrorail Project was not widely supported. DCRA developed a
Dulles Rail Now! Statement and has worked to get more than 60 major
organizations and businesses signed on to it. These companies represent
most of the work force in Northern Virginia.
undertook a survey as mentioned above that demonstrated very strong
support for Dulles rail. The pollster commented that you do not usually
see numbers as high as that and that if you do, you get out of the way
of the train.
DCRA spent time too on land use issues participating in the work of the
Tysons Corner Task Force to develop a design plan and recommendations.
And chairing the Reston Metrorail Access Group looking at providing
multimodal access to the Wiehle Avenue and Reston Parkway stations.
closing, Chairman Plum noted that the Dulles Rail Now! List of
organizations and individuals would be used in advocacy work with
legislative and regulatory bodies to keep the Metrorail project moving
forward. Plum invited participation not just in DCRA but in the Dulles
Rail Now! effort. “The good news tonight is the project is moving
forward.” Finally, Plum introduce the 2007 Board, which gathered for a
short business meeting to elect the 2008 Board.
Dulles Corridor Rail Association
2007 Board of Directors
View more photos
from the Annual Meeting