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Reston, VA News

A Declaration of support for the Virginia Senate Budget Plan that provides $450 million for Dulles Corridor Rail Project Phase 2
3/30/2012
ArticleTypePress Release

To:
The Honorable Robert F. McDonnell, Governor, Commonwealth of Virginia
The Members of the Virginia General Assembly
The Honorable Scott K. York, Chairman, Loudoun County Board of Supervisors
The Honorable Sharon Bulova, Chairman, Fairfax County Board of Supervisors
Richard R. Sarles, General Manager, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
Michael A. Curto, Chairman of the Board, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority

From:
Apartment and Office Building Association
Committee for Dulles
Dulles Corridor Rail Association
Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce
Dulles South Alliance
Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce
Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce
Loudoun CEO Cabinet
Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce
Loudoun Economic Development Commission
NAIOP Northern Virginia, the Commercial Real Estate Association
Northern Virginia Association of Realtors
Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance
Washington Airports Task Force

On behalf of our members and their collective employees, the organizations listed above express our enthusiastic support for the recently approved budget plan by the Virginia Senate that increases the state’s funding commitment for the Dulles Corridor Rail Project by $300 million, proposing to provide a total of $450 million in state money for the vital Phase 2 portion of the Silver Line project.

We applaud the leadership of Northern Virginia’s Senatorial Delegation to secure their colleagues’ support for these much needed funds to complete the ‘Rail To Loudoun’ portion of the Dulles Rail Project. On a project of such significant regional importance, the Northern Virginia business community truly appreciates seeing our elected representatives demonstrating such regional, bi-partisan leadership.

The inclusion of these additional state funds will directly benefit the users of the Dulles Toll Road, who will see the amount they will contribute to this rail project greatly reduced.

Members of this coalition also wish to restate, in the strongest possible terms, our fervent hope that the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and its funding partners will agree on satisfactory language concerning workplace agreements between the prime contractor and the labor force. This is especially true given that all six signatories of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), developed under Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood’s leadership, agreed that Phase 2 must be built under Virginia’s right to work labor laws and that the terms of Virginia’s financial contribution will be governed under a separate agreement to be negotiated between MWAA and the Commonwealth.

The Northern Virginia business community remains united in its belief that the best approach for all parties is to focus on the positive outcomes of the Dulles Rail project, not terminology. We believe that the stakeholders should agree to workplace and workforce performance standards focused on outcomes (safety, stability, skill sets, etc.), and not on the terminology used to describe these standards, and to leave the issue of how those outcomes are achieved to the selected contractors.

This is exactly the process that was employed for Phase 1 of the Dulles Corridor Rail Project. In that case, the prime contractor and its subcontractors have achieved exemplary results by establishing priorities and standards that apply to every aspect of the project. There is every reason to believe that the identification of similar contractor performance standards, focused on outcomes, would result in comparable success in connection with the construction of Phase 2.

We sincerely hope the budget negotiators on both sides of the aisle and in both legislative bodies seriously consider the importance of the Dulles Rail Project to our region and the Commonwealth as they proceed in their negotiations.

Thank you for your commitment to this project. We look forward to continued work with you to support completion of Phase 2 of this critical project.

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