Several Washington Post columnists had some thoughtful analysis about where Metrorail's Silver Line Phase 2 is headed.
Washington Post business columnist Steven Pearlstein takes a look at how it came to be that the future of the rail from Reston's Wiehle Avenue to Dulles International Airport and into Loudoun County came to rest on a vote from the all-Republican Loudoun County Board of Supervisors.
Politics, pure and simple.
"No, what’s truly astonishing is that Republican politicians would even consider killing a project of such overriding importance to their county, their state and the Washington region just to stick it to labor unions and their Democratic allies," Pearlstein writes.
Meanwhile, Post Metro columnist Robert McCartney asks how many times U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is going to have to step in to solve this squabble?
LaHood got all parties to compromise last summer when an underground airport station would add about $330 million to the Phase 2 price tag.
The parties agreed to an above-round station. But the $3 billion project is still in jeopardy over the above-mentioned politics, a mandatory project labor agreement and a high share of costs to be paid by Dulles Toll Road users.
LaHood met with stakeholders last week, and while he said progress is being made, no deals have been struck. LaHood will have a second meeting with stakeholders soon.
McCartney points out that other issues, such as an audit of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA), the group overseeing construction of the Silver Line, could cause additional trouble for the project. See the whole story here.