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DOT To Audit Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority

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The disagreement over the Dulles Airport Metro station centers over whether it will be above ground (in the area of grass and trees in the foreground of the picture above) or underneath the parking lot.
David Schultz
The disagreement over the Dulles Airport Metro station centers over whether it will be above ground (in the area of grass and trees in the foreground of the picture above) or underneath the parking lot.

The federal Department of Transportation will look into the management practices and policies of the local airports authority, according to a letter it released June 21.

Calvin Scovel, the Department's Inspector General, says the authority's recent decisions have received a lot of attention. In May, the board selected an underground rail station at Dulles Airport that would cost $300 million more than an above-ground alternative.

Some lawmakers in local jurisdictions that will have to help pay for the station balked, however, with some of them threatening to withdraw funding for the project.

The federal audit comes at the request of Northern Virginia Congressman Frank Wolf (R), whose relationship with Airports Authority leaders has soured in recent months. Wolf introduced legislation in May that would give local lawmakers more power to remove members of the MWAA board, a proposal that didn't go over too well with board members.

The MWAA board is expected to name a new chief executive this week. The Washington Post reports that the agency is set to tap former Postmaster General John E. "Jack" Potter for the job.

The Dulles Metrorail extension is one of the largest public works projects in the country and is expected to cost more than $6 billion.

MWAA Audit Announcement
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