HERNDON, Va. (WUSA9) - A bill before Congress would pay for a study to examine the costs and feasibility of extending Metrorail out to Centreville, to Woodbridge and through Fort Belvoir into Prince William County.
Talk to people who commute from Woodbridge or Centreville, and you'll likely find a lot of support for extending Metro Rail to those suburbs. But not Bob Bruhns.
He's against extending Rail because of what he sees as wasted taxpayers money on the Silver Line.
"I don't know what they did to run prices up this high," said Bruhns.
Phase I of the Silver Line from Falls Church to Weile Avenue is set to open at the end of 2013. Phase II to Dulles Airport and Loudoun is in the bidding process now.
Bruhns and other critics think the Silver Line costs have ballooned out of control. He compares the cost of a rail station in Fairfield, Connecticut built in 2011to the cost of a silver line station. He says the Silver Line is two to four times as much.
Dulles Rail Project Manager Mark Canale disputes Bruhns numbers sayingit's difficult to compare stations in completely differently systems. Canalesays the Silver Line's Phase I has only been 5%over budget due to unexpected new mandates.
Looking at I-66's median where Metrorail would run... there's a problem, says Delegate says Bob Marshall. Years ago, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved filling in the median with more lanes to add capacity.This means to extend Metrorail would involve buying up land on either side of the interstate, adding to the already massive costs.
"We had to add more capacity," said Centreville Supervisor Michael Frey. Frey said extending Metrorail to Centreville makes sense, but "We can't pay for it now," and therefore, it doesn't make sense to study the costs if its not going to be built for 25 years.
Marshall says a better idea isto use the CSX tracks already in place. He points out thatVDOT has made room for a second track under the newRoute 29 overpass at Gainesville.
Marshall is also advocating the idea of taking back the WO & D right-of-way. "I know joggers aren't going to like it, but we have more commuters than joggers."