This is a series of posts to keep track of the future Dulles Rail project and the transit oriented development projects surrounding the proposed Metro stations. We got a first look on the project last week when we're invited to hear the presentation from Marcia McAllister, communications Manager of the project.
The series is divided into three parts:
Part 1: Overview of Dulles Metro Rail Project
Part 2: Going West Tysons to Loudoun County via Dulles
Part 3: Silver Line Transit Oriented Development
Part 1: OVERVIEW OF DULLES METRO RAIL PROJECT
The 23.1-mile Dulles Metro Rail project is a continuation of 116-mile Washington DC metro rail system. It is a joint cooperation between Fed and State, among others WMATA, Town of Herndon, Fairfax County, Loudoun County and Virginia Department of Rail and Transportation. The rail system is also known as Silver Line. The project has gained so much interests that Dept. of Transportation has already begun their audit even before its construction started -- to ensure that project is completed in "effectively and efficiently" manner.
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It requires your imagination to see when the project come to completion. I can tell you one thing.. for skeptics out there, this is going to be one of the most interesting transit oriented projects for the Commonwealth of Virginia. The scale is going to be massive. Steps to the future. But, before we get there, there are challenges ahead that have to be overcome.
Rail system along Route 7
What it would be like from Tysons Corner
Tysons Central station
The rail system would serve the two largest employment centers for the State of Virginia, Tysons Corner and Reston-Herndon. Employment for the area is expected to increase by 63% in 20 years. Why do we need this rail system? Via Dulles Metro.
- The average Northern Virginia commuter spends nine working days a year stuck in traffic
- Five of eight major corridor roadways are expected to be in gridlock by 2010
- Over the next 20 years, employment in the corridor will increase by 63%, population will increase by 45% and travel demand will increase by 45%
Can't you believe that we'd be in stuck in traffic to the point of gridlock by 2010? I am amazed how some member of the VA General Assembly don't see the importance of funding the transportation here. They just don't get it!
The project is divided into two phases.
- Phase one with 5 (five) stations is expected to start construction end of this year, 2006 and estimate completion in 2011. Phase one extends the orange line from EFC station to Dulles Airport.
- Phase two with 6 (six) stations is expected to build extension from Dulles Airport to Loudoun County. Estimate completion sometime in 2015.
The project extends from East Falls Church metro station (orange line) going west to Route 7 (Leesburg Pike) through Tysons Corner to Dulles Airport via the Toll road and extends all the way to Route 772 in Loudoun. We were informed that the rail system will skip West Falls Church station altogether. East Falls Church could become the transfer center, much like DC's Metro Center. You can literally take orange line one straight shot from DC Armory all the way to Dulles airport and avoid all the traffic.
Now I understand why a big builder bought an existing office building in the area with the intention to build residentials (read: condominium) near EFC station. There aren't empty lots around the station. (We'll talk more about this new development sometime).
Tysons-based employers employs some 115,000 jobs and on the retail side it has 6M SF...a lot of SF there.Tyson's Corner being the largest employment center for Virginia and the Nation's 8th largest shopping center will get four (4) metro stops: Tyson's East, Tysons Central 123, Tyson's Central 7, and Tyson's West. To see Tysons station map, here. There's been some ongoing discussion on funding the 4-mile track passes through Tysons whether it should run above ground, or tunnel.
Knowing what's in store for development along Dulles Silver Line will help you "position" where the next hot development will be. Yes, 10 years sounds like a long time, but when you think about it.. it's not that long. Looking back, do you remember how long ago Arlington completed the orange line hotspots?
NEXT WEEK: Going West Tysons to Loudoun via Dulles