With a meeting between stakeholders in Rail to Dulles and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood coming up on Wednesday, The Washington Post takes a look at just how far off the tracks Phase 2 of the project has become.
Among the problems: politics, as LaHood and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell will be out of office soon. LaHood, who helped negotiate a deal last fall on how to finance the second phase of the project, has said he plans to retire at the end of the year. McDonnell’s term expires in January 2014 — not even a year after the second phase of the project is expected to begin construction, which could take five years.
Phase 2 of the project, set to run from Reston's Wiehle Avenue to Dulles International Airport and into Loudoun County, was scheduled to be completed in 2016.
Also a sticking point: the project labor agreement. Loudoun Supervisor Matthew Letorneau (R-Dulles) told The Post the board of supervisors views the pro-union project labor agreement as a “deal-breaker.”
Loudoun’s portion of the construction bill is more than $200 million, plus another $11 million a year after 2018 to help subsidize operating costs.
“There is a very legitimate and real chance that this project might not go forward,” he said.
Loudoun has until July 4 to decide on its participation.