Tysons Rail Tunnel Resurfaces, May Delay Project

Updated 4/28

Metro Tunnel Favored at Tysons

A survey of Fairfax County residents found that a majority would like to see the Metro extension to Dulles International Airport built below Tysons Corner instead of aboveground, and a quarter of everyone polled said they would be willing to pay almost any price for a tunnel.

The online, unscientific survey of 409 residents was done by Qorvis Communications, a local public relations firm that said it was not commissioned to do the poll but was curious about residents' opinions on the tunnel.

The results arrive in the middle of a debate over whether the new line should cross the four-mile stretch through Tysons Corner by tunnel or elevated track. The builders say a tunnel would cost too much; others, including Metro and Fairfax officials, say it would cost only slightly more and be worth it.

The poll found that 50 percent of respondents prefer a below-ground approach, 14 percent prefer an elevated track and the rest had no preference.

When those who were undecided were pressed, half chose a tunnel. Of those who prefer the elevated track, nearly half said they would prefer a tunnel if there were no cost difference. Virtually everyone thought that a tunnel would cost more.

Tunnel proponents have said it would be less disruptive during construction, but only slightly more than half of the poll respondents had that view. The vast majority said they thought an elevated track would be a noisy eyesore.

-- Alec MacGillis

Originally posted 4/26
The rejected proposal to build a tunnel under Tysons Corner for the Metrorail extension to Dulles International Airport isn't entirely dead according to a front page article in this morning's Washington Post. In fact, some transportation planners favor building the tunnel. But a dispute over the cost of the tunnel is threatening to delay the start of the project.

By  |  April 26, 2006; 10:19 AM ET  | Category:  Transportation
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