While the Dulles Metro Rail project has raised its share of controversy, a pro-union organization says that people on both sides of the issues should commend the workers who are building the 23-mile line.
Union worker Darius Harley, who operates a 110-ton crane, picked up a plaque from the National Alliance for Fair Contracting at a banquet at the Sheraton Reston Thursday.
"I'm honored. It's not a lot of times when you're recognized," Hurley said. "You go to work, clock in, go home and no one knows what you went through."
One of Harley's fellow union carpenters, Robert Vansant, cracked a big smile as he held his plaque. "I was one of the many hundreds that worked on this particular Dulles corridor and Metro project that was chosen to represent all of the carpenters," he said.
Rep. Gerry Connelly (D) said the recognition is much deserved because the Silver line connecting Dulles Airport to the D.C. Metro system is "the most important transit project in the country."
"We're the only industrialized capital in the world that doesn't have a rail link between its premier airport and capital," Connolly said.
But when Phase 1 of the project is completed in 2013 it won't be rail-to-runway. Passengers will be dropped off at Wiehle Avenue in Reston and will take a bus to Dulles Airport. The actual airport station is part of Phase 2, which is still awaiting funding.