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Some Doubt Phase 2 Will Ever Be Built

Washington Post outlines how money, politics and labor agreement may doom second part of Rail to Dulles.

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.

Jeff Barnett April 30, 2012 at 08:04 PM
Michael is exactly CORRECT in his characterization of PLAs (Project Labor Agreements). It is ironic that PLAs were originally created in order to prevent one union from closing down an entire job site. Now, opponents of Dulles Rail are spreading lies about PLAs in order to close down Phase II of Dulles Rail.
HardHatMommy April 30, 2012 at 08:40 PM
If PLAs are so great why is it that no major non-federal construction project in our state's history has had a mandatory PLA? If phase 1 is so great, why not go the route of voluntary PLA ... Nobody had a problem with that voluntary PLA. The fact is that MWAA board member Martire clearly stated that PLAs are about WHERE the workers come from ... the union hall or nonunion firms. PLAs are very rare in our state and most of the federal work doesn't even have a PLA in Va. Wage rates and safety procedures and all that important stuff is worked out in the old fashioned construction contracts. No need for a PLA. Bottom line is that this is a real issue for real people. It has been hijacked by people with different agendas and that's sad for the 97.4% of Virginia workers who will have to jump ship to a union hall in order to work on this project.
The Convict May 01, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Wow. The local Teahadists are frothing at the mouth about this. Good luck with dictating terms to the MWAA. Maybe you folks should have worked harder at obstructing Kaine from selling the DTR way back when because, after all, obstruction is what the modern Teahadist does best.
HardHatMommy May 02, 2012 at 09:14 PM
I don't know what a teaheadist is but I do know what discrimination is. I recognize that some people have latched on to the PLA as a tool to use in their own fights. I hope those utilizing the issue realize how real of an issue this is to so many hard working, smart, talented Virginians and I hope they learn about the issue and recognize that we can never sit back and let one group discriminate over another. Again, there is no reason that both union workers and non-union workers should not build this job. All should get a fair opportunity.
Bob Bruhns May 11, 2012 at 04:04 PM
A couple of audits - one of MWAA management of this mess, and the other of the financing and oversight of this job, are about to change the equations. The preliminary results of the audit of MWAA management are about to be reported on May 15, 2012, I believe. They promise to be game changing. This MIGHT even get the news media to start reporting the existence of a FINANCIAL audit that was announced on March 15, 2012. People might ask WHY that financial audit has not been reported. It's a good question, don't you think? Do a web search on ' Audit Initiated of Phase 2 of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project ' and you can see the announcement on the DOT GOV website (and mentioned in the comments of about a hundred news articles). The earlier management audit was reported in the news - so why is the financial audit not being reported? Is there... a problem?

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