Citizens Asking Questions the Media Won’t

Phase 1 Metro construction

Writing in the Herndon Patch, Bob Bruhns has dug into the cost estimates for Phase 2 of the Rail-to-Dulles project and raises some interesting questions.

Why, for example will it cost $235 million to build five parking decks containing 8,900 parking spaces, an average of $26,000 per space? That’s nearly twice the national average cost of $15,500 per space — even higher than the $20,000 cost per space in New York City!

A metro station recently completed in Fairfield, Conn., not exactly a location with a low cost of doing business, cost $43.7 million — after cost overruns. Why will the comparable Rt. 28 station cost $83 million?

Bruhns suggests that Virginians could be paying $350 million more than necessary just to build parking garages and Metro stations.

Concludes Bruhns:

So why did all of the official analysts miss this?  Did they even look at it at all?  And do our leaders not compare costs before accepting such incredibly expensive proposals?  What is going on here?  And what else will I find as I examine the rest of the line items?

I love it! There’s a man who thinks just like I do. Bruhns asks great questions. Perhaps there are legitimate answers, and that’s fine. But someone needs to ask the questions just to make sure. If we don’t our public officials accountable, the people in charge will get lazy and sloppy.


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4 responses to “Citizens Asking Questions the Media Won’t”

  1. So far, the Fairfax County supervisors seem unwilling to take another look at Phase II financing. That is not good, especially given challenging economic times. Call them “Rail at All Cost” except for Herrity.

  2. well listening to DJ… sounds like ya’ll have a bunch of DJ’s in Fairfax who are happy with the powers that be..



  3. Good job Bob, and thanks to JB for gatting the word out.
    I have worked as, and employed many contractors and know that many bid not based on what it costs but how much they think you have. Loudoun and Fairfax will pay dearly for the titles of richest counties in America.
    In Loudoun it is absolutely amazing to see the lack of scrutiny of this Rail scam. The Market Analysis done by RLCO showed a 30 year break even, but admits in the report it ignored debt service. That would push it to a 90 year payback.
    It gets worse. By far the biggest expense to Loudoun will be mandatory Metro subsidies FOREVER, probably over $100 million/yr. to cover the $13+ billion Capital needs inventory from decades of neglect.

    That line item in Loudoun’s staff analysis, up until recently was identified as TBD. That level of incompetence or malevolence is un-frikin-believable. You can’t make this stuff up.
    Thanks to Tom Cranmer for alerting Loudoun to the WMATA item.
    Reston Citizens Association did an impressive study and found big problems with Wilbur Smith numbers.
    Governmental Efficiency= an oxyMORON

  4. Loudoun County forgot about financing costs? How convenient. But that sort of thing seems to be typical in this boondoggle. I just read a report where MWAA President and CEO Jack Potter was saying that gee, higher costs can be handled simply by extending the debt payback length.

    $100 million each and every year… you know, I just read that because of Virginia funding cuts of about $68 million over the course of a few years, Fairfax County was ‘kind of at a breaking point right now’. So a $100 million a year expense might not really be a good thing.

    So why do Fairfax County’s ‘leaders’ just LOVE this Dulles Rail boondoggle? One friend said that it is because there would be a lot of lost rewards and unpleasant political attacks if they DON’T support the boondoggle, but there is little downside for them if they DO support it.

    I think we have proved that this Dulles Rail boondoggle is a disaster for this region, but the voting public is oblivious. Somehow, reality must translate into a political downside if our ‘leaders’ continue to support overpriced, badly planned, badly financed rail.

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