WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

Filed Under:

McDonnell Still Needs Convincing On Silver Line Funding

Play associated audio
Work on the Silver Line is ongoing, but project advocates are still hoping to get more Virginia state funding to offset some of the rail projects $6 billion price tag.
Armando Trull
Work on the Silver Line is ongoing, but project advocates are still hoping to get more Virginia state funding to offset some of the rail projects $6 billion price tag.

If Virginia lawmakers want to approve more state funding for the $6 billion Silver Line rail project to Dulles Airport, they still have to convince one of the most powerful politicians in the state.

Governor Bob McDonnell will not commit to asking the legislature when it convenes next month to approve more dollars for the Silver Line. Tolls on the Dulles Toll Road may rise dramatically over the next three decades partly because the state has committed only $150 million so far toward the financing of the Silver Line.

McDonnell blames the agency overseeing the Silver Line, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, for his hesitance to seek additional state funding.

"They have a ways to go. They had a scathing inspector general report that deals with a lot of things that I've been critical of MWAA for a long time, and I want to see that fixed," McDonnell says. 

The audit by the U.S. Department of Transportation inspector general outlined a "culture of nepotism" at the airports authority and detailed questionable contracting and hiring practices. MWAA has taken steps to correct its mistakes, but the Governor says he won't promise more money for the Silver Line yet.

"The place has got to be run right before we're going to make any investments," he says. "Now, I am confident things are going to change. Now that I've finally been able to put new board members in there, these are all people that are competent."

Virginia is fighting for greater control of the airports authority board, arguing that because the toll road, Silver Line, and two airports are all in the commonwealth, it should have a larger vote.

NPR

Exploring The Secret History Of The Cubicle

NPR's Rachel Martin speaks with Nikil Saval about his new book Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace. It's a look at how the white-collar world came to be the way it is, and what it might become.
NPR

Restaurants Put Everything From Soup to Nuts Over The Fire

It is not only smoked meat that's in all the hottest restaurants. It's actually anything edible that is being smoked.
NPR

Obama Adds Malaysia To His Asia Itinerary

Obama travels to Malaysia next week, where the government is under fire for the handling of a missing airliner. NPR's Wade Goodwyn talks to Joshua Kurlantzick of the Council on Foreign Relations.
NPR

Watch For The Blind Lets You Feel Time Passing

A new watch allows the blind to feel time on their wrists. Designer Hyungsoo Kim tells NPR's Wade Goodwyn his watch allows users to tell time accurately without revealing their disabilities.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.