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Tysons Corner Metro: On Schedule Or Not?

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Metro Rail construction from Tyson's Corner to East Falls Church station on Route 267 in Northern Virginia.
Trevor Wrayton, VDOT
Metro Rail construction from Tyson's Corner to East Falls Church station on Route 267 in Northern Virginia.

It's hard to miss the construction around Tysons Corner as crews work on the new Metrorail project, but at least one county leader is worried that the progress isn't happening as fast as planned.

Fairfax County and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, or MWAA, are already known for their tense relationship, and have been quarreling over the cost of Phase II of the rail to Dulles project for months. Now they're at odds over whether phase I, which includes the Metro stations at Tysons Corner, is behind schedule.

A recent report by the county auditor says the answer is yes -- phase one is currently behind schedule by 188 days. 

But MWAA spokesperson Tara Hamilton says the number more accurately reflects potential delays, which are outlined at monthly meetings, so mitigating action can be taken. And though she won't make guarantees, she says Phase 1 is still on schedule for completion in 2013.

"Everybody in this project is still focused on meeting that 2013 timetable, and as we speak today, that's still what we're planning on doing," says Hamilton.

For Springfield District supervisor Pat Herrity, the report sounded the alarm. He says the auditor's report didn't even include the ongoing dispute over a rail yard in Falls Church that could push things back even farther.

"Clearly if you don't have the West Falls Church yard figured out, and the contractor says you're 180 days behind, it's a little disingenuous to say you're on time and on budget," says Herrity. Herrity adds the budget is his main concern. Phase one of the rail to Dulles project alone has a price tag of $2.7 billion.

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