In January, I expressed some serious concerns about the proposed Metrorail extension through Tysons Corner. After all, when taxpayer dollars are at stake, we want to be sure that they are spent wisely and on sound investments.
To their credit, Governor Tim Kaine and the members of Virginia’s Congressional delegation have demonstrated an overwhelming commitment to spearheading the changes needed to keep this project moving forward, most notably with regard to the proposal’s cost effectiveness and to securing a local financial commitment.
Earlier today, Federat Transit Administrator (FTA) Jim Simpson announced that we have sent the required 10-day notification to Congress signifying our intent to move this substantially-improved proposal into the Final Design stage of FTA’s New Starts Process. This means that FTA will commit $158.7 million to use toward completion of a financial plan, construction plans, detailed engineering specifications and cost estimates, as well as other technical requirements.
This project is much better today than it was in January. While today’s action is the first step toward final approval, it should by no means be seen as a guarantee of full funding. We are looking for more progress in addressing Metro’s state of good repair and more action on reducing the risks posed to taxpayers by the potential for cost overruns and schedule delays.
Governor Kaine is guest blogging today about the Metrorail extension project through Tysons Corner on DOT’s new Fast Lane blog. I welcome him to the Fast Lane.