MWAA: Phase 2 of Metrorail Moving Forward

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority says the project is moving into the next phase.

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority has begun the process of selecting a design-build contractor for Phase 2 of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project. 

Beginning Phase 2 is an important milestone for the project to extend to the Dulles Airport and into Loudoun County, MWAA announced on Friday. 

MWAA has issued a Request for Qualifications Information in order to solicit information from potential bidders for the 11.5-mile project that will extend from Wiehle Avenue in Reston west to Dulles Airport, ending at Route 772 in eastern Loudoun County. The RFQI has been posted on the Airports Authority website and can be found here

“We are grateful to our project partners in the Federal Government, Virginia, Fairfax and Loudoun Counties who have helped keep this project moving forward," said Patrick Nowakowski, Executive Director of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project, in Friday's announcement. "We will conduct a process to select a highly qualified team to design and build Phase 2 in the most cost-effective manner.”

Qualifications statements will be gathered from prospective bidders and a short list of about five finalists will be developed. The next step of the process is for MWAA to issue a Request for Proposals from the finalists, including technical and price proposals. Then a contract will be awarded to the team that meets the technical requirements and has the lowest price. 

MWAA estimates that the contract will be awarded in the late spring 2013 and construction of Phase 2 could be completed about five years after the contract is awarded, in 2018. 

Tax Pig July 14, 2012 at 02:27 PM
For insights on how the MWAA / Crony game is played go here: http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-02-36
Bob Bruhns July 14, 2012 at 03:07 PM
It is very interesting that the Rt 28 (Innovation) rail station is included in this MWAA RFP. It was my understanding that Fairfax County was going to build this station as part of a supposed 'savings'. Perhaps there are things here that we have not been told. It is also very interesting that MWAA is saying that this job is federally funded. It was my understanding that the federal government did not fund any part of Dulles Rail Phase II. Perhaps there is more here that we have not been told. From the MWAA overview document: http://www.mwaa.com/5015.htm "RFQI 8-13-C001: Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project, Phase 2, Package A, Design/Build" "Project Summary: ... - Rail stations and supporting infrastructure in the median of the DIAAH or the Dulles Greenway at Reston Parkway, Herndon (Monroe Street), Route 28, Route 606 and Route 772, and in the vicinity of the North (Daily 1) Parking Garage at Dulles Airport. Each median station will include pedestrian bridges crossing the DIAAH/DTR or the Dulles Greenway and entry pavilions, access roadways, surface parking and bus facilities. The Dulles Airport station will have a direct connection to the existing pedestrian tunnel providing climate-controlled access to the Main Terminal." "DBE Goal: This federally funded project has a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) goal."
the-stix July 14, 2012 at 04:00 PM
The Funding Partner agreement only covered who would pay for the Route 28 station, and not who would build (aka construct) it. Requiring the selected Phase 2 contractor that will build the other five stations build the Rout 28 station as well is probably the most efficient (with least cost and risk) way to proceed. Paying for it is merely a wire transfer away. Good move MWAA and Fairfax County!
Mark Carolla July 14, 2012 at 04:28 PM
What I find incredible is that it will take so long to study and implement an 11.5 mile railroad! Consider this, the Nickel Plate Railroad was built between Chicago and Buffalo - about 500 miles in about a year! In 1880 the Nickel Plate Railroad was surveyed from Chicago to Buffalo; In February 1881 construction began; & In 500 days the Nickel Plate's 513-mile single-track mainline from Buffalo, New York to Chicago was complete. The Nickel Plate ran its first trains over the entire system on October 16, 1882. Advances in technology seem to have litte effect on American industry when it comes to completing such projects. I know that American engineers and labor are capable of doing it - back in 1974 when I was an Army Transportation Officer I saw what was then part of Family Lines Railroads - the RF&P - restore an abandoned and decrepit rail facility to its original condition in about two days. I'd be willing to bet that if we contracted the likes of Norfolk Southern, CSX, or even a short line railroad system to build this extension we'd have it completed within a year.
Bob Bruhns July 14, 2012 at 04:38 PM
Stix, MWAA has jacked up the contribution of Fairfax and Loudoun Counties for these items by 26% and 29%, respectively, in one year. And you applaud them? You are wise to use a pen name, I think. For one rail station and two parking garages in Fairfax County, FTA said $187.9 million in July 2011; MWAA said $236 million in June 2012. That's 26% inflation per year. And for three parking garages in Loudoun County, FTA said $130.3 million in July 2011; MWAA said $168 million in June 2012. That's 29% inflation per year. You just can't make this stuff up! July 3, 2011 FTA White Paper http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/metro/documents/Dulles_Rail_White_Paper.pdf Corrected $83 million cost for Dulles Rail Rt 28 station, per Fairfax County Executive Griffin, August 3, 2011: http://www.bruhns.us/civic/DullesRail/2011-08-03-Fairfax-County-RT28-Station-Cost-Confirmation.pdf Eyeing Dulles Toll Road For Silver Line Funding WAMU, June 17, 2012 http://wamu.org/news/12/06/17/loudoun_weighs_silver_line_options_part_three This is a question and answer article with Andrew Rountree, MWAA's Chief Financial Officer. Apparently Mr. Rountree provided this chart: http://www.scribd.com/doc/97295925/MWAA-Answers-DTR-Questions See the first dot-point at the bottom of the chart. Bottom line: MWAA should be removed from this project immediately.
Mark Carolla July 14, 2012 at 04:47 PM
The Executive Highlights of the GAO Report indicate that there were 11 areas recommended to improve MWAA's contracting and operating procedures of which 8 were implemented and 3 were not...the 3 that were not were not necessarily at odds with the findings - in some cases they were merely OBE'd. Fail to see any "insights" here on "cronyism." Our regional governments have realized that efficient rail-based mass transit is the most practical solution to gridlock; pollution; deteriorating habitability of our suburbs; an international airport with Third World highway based infrastructure; and is an economic engine Thankfully, in this area we don't have the cronyism as in Wisconsin where highway developers provided Scott Walker's campaign millions in exchange for his dumping Wisconsin's improving rail service - ditching a railroad car factory and killing thousands of jobs in the state. We are lucky in Virginia that we have a thinking conservative Governor who understands the economic driver passenger and mass transit rail is. .
the-stix July 14, 2012 at 08:16 PM
The Fairfax County share of the Phase 2 cost has not changed at 16.1%, and that includes the Route 28 station and three parking garages. In fact the total Phase 2 cost estimate has gone down between the 2011 FTA letter and the 2012 MWAA presentation. Thus the estimated Fairfax County share in dollars has gone down, not up. All cost figures so far are only estimates.. the actual item costs will not be known until the contractor is selected, and finally when the work is 100% complete. In short Mr. Bruhns, your conspiracy theory is nonsense.. my opinion.
Bob Bruhns July 14, 2012 at 09:21 PM
Stix, Fairfax County's cost was ALREADY bloated to about 1.8 times what it should have been when FTA leaked those numbers in 2011. And now in one year, MWAA has bloated it another 26% - making it 2.27 times what it should be. Supposedly we are high tech people here stix, so these numbers should make sense to us - 16.1% of 2.27 is a lot more than 16.1% of 1.0. What a surprise, it's 2.27 times as much! You say you believe that the job cost went down, because the very costs we are discussing here - the Rt 28 station and the two parking garages - were dumped onto Fairfax County. That is flat out financial fraud, and you know it. The books were cooked - and they are still being cooked as we speak. Face it, stix - and admit it. Where does it stop, stix? When will you and MWAA be satisfied?
the-stix July 15, 2012 at 08:07 PM
Notwithstanding your accusations of a gross overcharge (which am not in agreement) I will point out that the MWAA 100% preliminary engineering estimate released on 6March2012 is now the official Phase 2 cost estimate (including the Route 28 station and the garages). This estimate replaces the 2011 MOA (aka DOT LaHood's "proposal" or 'white paper') and has been accepted as such by all the funding partners, with the latest Phase 2 opt-in by Loudoun County on 3July2012. The MWAA Phase 2 summary by MR. Rountree on 15June2012 is consistent with the 100% preliminary estimate. And btw, the total project cost estimate he presented is less than that stated in the now defunct 2011 DOT MOA. Folks may reasonably question the evolution of project item costing as in any preliminary engineering estimate. For answers I suggest a direct inquiry to MWAA. The inquiry should be non-accusatory for the highest probability of a reply. If you do inquire and get a reply Mr. Bruhns, I would hope you would share it with us all.
Bob Bruhns July 16, 2012 at 06:15 AM
Stix, the overall cost figures in MWAA's March 6, 2012 "Preliminary Engineering Cost Estimate" (that now appears to be the final engineering cost estimate) changed little, or decreased, from the previous estimates. http://www.metwashairports.com/4714.htm http://www.metwashairports.com/file/Phase_2_Preliminary_Engineering_Cost_Report.pdf Do you not wonder why the "potential savings" (meaning costs) due to the Rt 28 station and the five parking garages, already bloated by easily 80% in the 2011 FTA estimate, took this further jump of 27% from $318 million to $404 million? Given the slight changes in the general estimates, does it really seem to you that these costs should have jumped by 27%? It might be useful to ask why only these numbers, which will be paid by the people of Fairfax and Loudoun Counties, happened to get bloated this time. And since this means that the Rt 28 station cost supposedly jumped by about $21 million, what about the other four similar stations, and the Dulles Airport station, in Phase II? What price mysteriously and conveniently dropped by just about the same amount, such that the overall cost estimate stayed about the same? I don't really expect to get an answer, though. And aren't the "funding partners" in this job the same people who agreed that dumping these costs of the Rt 28 station and the five parking garages onto Fairfax and Loudoun Counties simply made these costs go away? Excuse me - but either way, the People pay.
Rob Whitfield July 16, 2012 at 01:58 PM
Mark Carolla wrote: "Thankfully, in this area we don't have the cronyism as in Wisconsin..." Mr. Carolla, have you ever attended Board meetings of MWAA, WMATA or Fairfax County Supervisors? Cronyism is the rule rather than the exception at these Democrat dominated Boards. Consider the dual roles of WMATA Board Chairman and Fairfax Supervisor Cathy Hudgins. Cathy is a nice lady but seems to ignore ethical conflicts inherent in her Dulles Rail decisions. I doubt that she has ever recused herself on Fairfax Board votes to benefit the WMATA system. Similar dual roles exist for some of Hudgins's appointees, notably Patty Nicoson, Executive Director of the Dulles Corridor Rail Association, who also heads the Reston Master Plan Update Task Force, many or most of whose members represent development industry interests. Dulles Rail feasibility has never been demonstrated economically or financially. The heavy rail transit agenda is being driven by Tysons Corner and Dulles Corridor landowners near planned Silver Line stations, who stand to gain vast land value appreciation over the next decade, aided by their well heeled lawyers, architects, engineers, contractors and Chamber of Commerce allies. Higher development density approved and planned around stations will result in massive auto traffic congestion increases. Most landowners, County staff and Supervisors want County taxpayers to pay a majority of planned station area infrastructure improvement costs.
Bob Bruhns July 25, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Just to clarify, the earlier estimates I mention already included the change from the below ground to the above ground station plan at Dulles Airport, and already assumed that the costs for the Rt 28 station and the five Phase II parking garages just went away. The FTA suggested the number of $2.767 billion (including their $53 million blunder on the Rt 28 station cost, so it should have been $2.820 Billion), with some additional possible reductions, in their July 2011 White Paper. And now, about a year later, we are told that the number is $2.689 Billion (100% PE) to $2.831 Billion ("independent estimate"). So, there was not much change in the estimated cost - EXCEPT for the 26% cost increase handed to Fairfax County for some costs that supposedly simply went away, and the 29% cost increase handed to Loudoun County for some more costs that supposedly simply went away. And my question is - what's up with that?


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