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LTE: MWAA Provides Political Cover for Silver Line

One reader makes the case that MWAA simply insulates elected officials from angry constituents.

To the Editor:

Most people have heard of the endless problems with MWAA (the guys in charge of Metro’s Silver Line construction) and their reckless spending. Still, our state and local governments keep ignoring their bad reputation when it comes to their management of the Silver Line construction. Loudoun and Virginia are handing over our taxes and tolls knowing MWAA has no incentive for efficiency. They answer to no one, at any level of government.   

If you want to know where the wasted billions go look at the names of companies on the campaign contributions of those who push this crony-driven spendfest. I expect you'll see the lobbyists, the contractors and the developers making hefty investments in the campaign accounts of these officials to protect their baby, the Silver Line. They win, citizens lose.

There’s another reason your elected leaders want MWAA in charge of the Dulles Toll Road. Here it is: When MWAA is wasting your tolls and taxes MWAA gets the blame, not the politicians. Don’t be fooled so easily. Tolls are the new hidden tax on drivers. This would not be so bad if the Toll Road drivers were getting something in return. Instead the price of having MWAA as a middleman is much higher tolls and taxes.

MWAA operates the Dulles Toll Road under a permit that VDOT controls, and the Governor controls VDOT. So why is Gov. McDonnell, along with most of the people we elect, looking the other way instead of taking action to save our money?  

Both the federal and state governments seem to be broke. There will be no one to step in and fix all this if people refuse to pay the nearly $20 daily round trip from Leesburg to Washington.

The next time your elected official tells you they "feel your pain," tell them to do something that actually helps you for a change, instead of looking out for the big guys.

Sincerely from a fellow Loudoun citizen,
Bobby Harris


Have a letter to the editor? Something you want to say to the community? Send it to leslie@patch.com. 

Bob Bruhns October 17, 2012 at 04:43 PM
As of its March 6, 2012 estimate, MWAA says Fairfax County needs to pay $433 to $456 million for Phase II costs, PLUS $236 million ($101 million for the Rt 28 / Innovation rail station, and $135 million for two Metro parking garages (Herndon, and Rt 28 / Innovation). Don't be tricked, thinking that some builder will build those parking garages for free - apparently it is not unusual for the municipality to pay many of their costs anyway. It behooves taxpayers to be vigilant right now. Worse yet, the costs we will be struggling to pay, appear to be almost two times what they should be. http://www.bruhns.us/civic/DullesRail/Dulles-Rail---Silver-Line-overcost-report---Bruhns.pdf And worst of all, WMATA needs $13.5 billion for maintenance and capital needs. When you hear them knocking at the door... look out.
No Toll Increase October 17, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Mr. Harris is correct that MWAA is just a convenient straw man for politicians to attack. The Virginia Legislature needs to hear from us telling them to take responsibility and take the MWAA middle-man out of the picture. Costs to Dulles Toll Road users could be cut in half just by cutting MWAA out. More info on this at www.noTOLLincrease.org

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