Fairfax Agrees to Let Loudoun Mull its Metro Commitment a Bit Longer

March 21, 2012 3:53 pmBy: 

photoIn the latest Perils of Pauline episode, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors has agreed to give its counterparts in Loudoun County more time to ponder Loudoun’s involvement in Phase II of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project, which would extend the Metro Silver Line from Reston to Dulles International Airport and Loudoun County.

Phase I of the line, from West Falls Church to Reston, is under construction and expected to open by 2014.

Loudoun had previously been on board with the project and had tentatively agreed to share construction costs with Fairfax and the other funding agencies, which include the Commonwealth of Virginia, U.S. Department of Transportation and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA), which owns the Dulles Toll Road and anticipates taking a large share of funding for the Metro project out of the hides of commuting motorists.

But Loudoun has been second-guessing itself thanks to two recent events: the voters’ decision to replace most of the Loudoun board in the recent election and the release by MWAA of preliminary engineering estimates that are $1 billion lower than previous estimates.

In asking the Fairfax Board to cut some slack for Loudoun yesterday, Board Chair Sharon Bulova noted that, despite Loudoun’s recent misgivings, the latest cost estimates “are consistent with what we have been working with during the past year.”

She noted that the 90-day opt out deadline for Fairfax and Loudoun is June 4, 2012.  But on March 7, the Loudoun board  approved a letter asking Fairfax County and MWAA to extend the deadline an additional 30 days.

“I understand that such an extension would not delay the Phase II project and that MWAA will continue to develop its Request for Proposals,” Bulova said. The Fairfax board voted to allow the extension. MWAA must also agree to the extension.

Economist warns Loudoun

Loudoun’s loss of confidence is not without its risks, a local economist warned recently.

Dr. Stephen Fuller, the director of the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University, said that without Metrorail, Loudoun could forfeit billions of dollars in economic activity and lost earnings in just a single decade, the Loudoun Times reported.

In a letter to the board, Fuller said the county is “poised to transition from a residentially supported economic base to an export base composed of higher value-added jobs whose markets are regional, national and global.” He said the county could be giving up 40,000 jobs by turning it back on Metro.

 

Comments

More Top Stories

  • Police & Crime Politics Top Stories McAuliffe orders reforms in VA ABC police

    McAuliffe orders reforms in VA ABC police

    Governor Terry McAuliffe today ordered improved training and increased accountability for state liquor control officers, following the recent incident in which Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) officers threw a University of Virginia student to the ground and beat him outside a Charlottesville bar. McAuliffe’s Executive Order 40 takes steps to address broader concerns about ABC law enforcement by: Requiring more training for all ABC special agents in the areas of; use of force, cultural diversity, effective interaction with youth and young adults, and […]

    Read more →
  • Politics Top Stories Beyer tries again with Paycheck Fairness Act

    Beyer tries again with Paycheck Fairness Act

    Northern Virginia Congressmn Don Beyer joined Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) today in reintroducing the Paycheck Fairness Act, legislation that would help close the wage gap between women and men working the same jobs. “After more than forty years in business, I can tell you that equal pay for equal work is the best way to strengthen our families, our middle class, and our economy,” said Rep. Beyer. “This is a simple bottom line issue. If you treat your employees well your business […]

    Read more →
  • Education Top Stories It’s official: Later starting times for Fairfax high schools next year

    It’s official: Later starting times for Fairfax high schools next year

    Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) has announced bell schedules for the 2015-16 school year that reflect the Fairfax County School Board’s adoption of later start times for high school students while standardizing the length of the school day. High school students will begin their day at 8:10 a.m.; secondary school students—including middle school students attending secondary schools—will begin their day at 8 a.m.  All middle school students will begin their school day at 7:30 a.m. Elementary school bell schedules were […]

    Read more →
  • Business Employment McLean Top Stories McLean’s USA Today offers buyouts to 90 senior employees

    McLean’s USA Today offers buyouts to 90 senior employees

    McLean-based USA TODAY is offering buyout packages to 90 “veteran employees” — those over 55 — as it struggles to cut costs to match falling advertising revenue for the print version of the newspaper. Parent company Gannett, also based in Mclean, is shifting its investments to digital products and preparing to spin off its publishing assets into a separate company. The buyout offer applies to about 90 employees across all departments at USA Today, which Gannett said has about 600 […]

    Read more →
  • Police & Crime Politics Top Stories Virginia may limit police retention of license-plate-scanner data

    Virginia may limit police retention of license-plate-scanner data

    A bill that would limit how long police can keep the data they collect through license-plate-scanning cameras is on Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s desk. The measure, introduced by Sen. Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax) was unanimously passed by both houses of the General Assembly. The license plate scanners are mounted on police cars and in stationary locations. They record the license plate number of every car that passes, providing police — and anyone else with access to the data — with the ability […]

    Read more →
  • Education Top Stories Virginia K-12 schools ranked 5th in U.S.

    Virginia K-12 schools ranked 5th in U.S.

    Virginia boasts the fifth lowest dropout rate of any K-12 public school system in the nation, and the third highest rate of students taking an AP exam, a new survey by SmartAsset.com finds. It is also one of the nation’s top states for higher education. Virginia trailed Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts and New York. The survey looked at data from the College Board, the ACT, the National Center for Education Statistics, the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Education Association. It […]

    Read more →
  • Top Stories Transportation Tysons Corner County hopes to improve life for bikers and walkers in Tysons

    County hopes to improve life for bikers and walkers in Tysons

    Despite its shiny new Metro stations and plans for the future, Tysons isn’t exactly a pedestrian paradise. It’s not a great spot for a bike ride either. But Fairfax County hopes to change that. Fairfax County Department of Transportation will be holding a public meeting on proposed improvements to enhance the safety of people who bike, walk and drive in Tysons. The meeting will be held on March 16, 2015, 7-9 p.m., in the cafeteria at Westbriar Elementary School, 1741 Pine […]

    Read more →
  • Politics Top Stories Clinton beats Webb & others handily in Gallup poll

    Clinton beats Webb & others handily in Gallup poll

    Hillary Clinton is one of a few potential 2016 presidential candidates to have a significantly higher favorable (50%) than unfavorable (39%) rating among the American public. And the 89% of Americans who are familiar enough with Clinton to have an opinion of her is more than any other potential 2016 presidential candidate. Virginia’s Jim Webb and Vermont’s Bernie Sanders are tied for last place in the familiarity category, with only 24%. Webb, a Democrat, served on term in the U.S. […]

    Read more →