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New Report on Rail

Ari Cetron

The Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project has released an amended version of its Environmental Impact Statement.

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) mandated a new report since the changes were made after the publication of the Final Environmental Impact Statement.

The new report, published Feb. 27, reflects the new alignment, which will shorten the tunnel through Tysons Corner, change the Tysons Central 7 station from underground to at-grade and move the elevated rail line from the side of the road to the median. The proposal also involves reconfiguring Route 7 from the Beltway to the Dulles Toll Road.

The assessment contains information about potential environmental impacts as a result of the changes.

There will be a public hearing on the new study March 28. The hearing is suppose to focus only on the impacts of the changes, it is not supposed to re-open debate on the Metrorail project as a concept.

Individuals who make comments about issues addressed in the previous report will be referred to that report, said Marcia McAllister, spokesperson for the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project.

After the public hearing and a period for written comments, project representatives will compile responses to issues raised by citizens. The entire document will then be forwarded to the FTA for study.

The FTA is scheduled to make a decision about funding the first phase of the project by October.

Phase I of the $1.8 billion Dulles Metro project is slated to take Metrorail service from the existing West Falls Church station to Wiehle Avenue in Reston, with four stops in Tysons Corner.

If federal funding is secured, construction could begin this year and be completed by 2011.

The revised Environmental Impact Statement is available online at www.dullesmetro.com. Copies are also available for review at Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project office at 1595 Spring Hill Road, Suite 600, Vienna, and at the offices of Fairfax County supervisors Catherine Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill); Joan DuBois (R-Dranesville); Linda Smyth (D-Providence) and Board Chairman Gerald Connolly (D). It also will be available at the offices of Loudoun County Board Chairman Scott York (I) and Supervisor Steve Snow (R-Dulles).

The report will also be available at the following libraries: Ashburn, Dolly Madison, Cascades, Mary Riley Styles, Great Falls Community, Herndon Fortnightly, Patrick Henry, Reston Regional, Sterling, Tysons-Pimmit Regional.

The public hearing is set for March 28, at Kilmer Middle School, 8100 Wolftrap Road, Vienna. Written comments may be submitted to Karl Rohrer, deputy project director, Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project, 1595 Spring Hill Road, Suite 600, Vienna, VA 22182 or via e-mail to eacomments@dullesmetro.com. Written comments must be received by April 11. All correspondence should include the writer's name, address and organization affiliation.