- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 17, 2011

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

“A road to honest budgets” (Comment & Analysis, March 10) perpetuates an urban myth in asserting that “any large government building project [is] going to be over budget.”

In fact, the Washington area is home to several large, on-budget projects, including the completed Woodrow Wilson Bridge project, the in-progress Intercounty Connector and the 11th Street Bridge. The companies composing Dulles Metrorail Connectors are proud to play leading roles in moving these important projects from design to construction and into public use - and staying within budget.

Of course, staying within a budget doesn’t just happen. It requires strategic foresight, careful planning and rigorous scheduling. Fostering positive relationships with local governments, affected communities, regulatory agencies and other stakeholders is essential. Pure and simple, it requires capable, experienced management.

Your editorial goes off track in characterizing Dulles Metrorail as a “boondoggle - sold to the public with a low initial price tag because the project’s advocates know that the public would never embrace the true cost.” Considering lifecycle costs for any infrastructure project is wise policy, but just as important is considering lifecycle benefits. Once completed, Dulles Metrorail means less time wasted in gridlocked traffic, reduced fuel consumption and fewer harmful emissions.

Congestion delays in U.S. metropolitan areas have nearly tripled over the past three decades. The Washington area recently was named the nation’s congestion capital (tied with Chicago). Keeping America moving requires constructing projects such as Dulles Metrorail.

GEOFF SEARLE

Project director

Dulles Metrorail Connectors

Herndon, Va.


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