Virginia Tech Transportation Fellow Appointed To Panel For Dulles Rail Expansion

BLACKSBURG, Va., April 2, 2003 – John Collura, a Virginia Tech Transportation Institute Fellow, has been selected to serve on a panel to oversee and support the proposed $2 billion Dulles Rail Project in Northern Virginia. The project involves state transportation agencies in collaboration with industry partners, including Bechtel, Washington Group, and West Group.

The Dulles Rail Project includes an 11-station, 24-mile extension of the Washington METRO Rail from Falls Church to Tysons Corner, Dulles Airport, and Loudon County. The expansion will occur in stages, with a scheduled completion date of 2010. "Like any project in the planning phase, the timeline is subject to uncertainty," Collura said. "But there are plans to build the project incrementally, in part because it is very expensive, and funding for the entire plan cannot be obtained immediately." The original METRO line was also built in stages.

The project panel will provide guidance on financing and Federal reauthorization issues, preliminary engineering matters, and service-area coverage. It will also estimate transportation demands and associated travel-time savings and will negotiate with public-agency participants and industry partners to arrange innovative contracts, such as design-build alternatives.

Collura is a professor of civil engineering and the director of the Civil Infrastructure Engineering and Advanced Transportation Systems Program at the Northern Virginia Center in Falls Church. He also teaches graduate courses in public transportation planning, design, and operations. "This project illustrates the role that the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute and Virginia Tech's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering play in the Commonwealth," Collura said.

The other seven members of the project panel include Virginia's Secretary of Transportation, Whittington W. Clement; Deputy Secretaries Pierce Homer and Ralph Davis; Director of the Commonwealth Transportation Board, J. Kenneth Klinge; Special Advisor to the Governor, Mary Lynn Tischer; the State Director of Rail and Public Transportation, Karen J. Rae; and Special Assistant, Corey W. Hill.