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A rendering of what one of the future Silver Line metro stations would appear like.

Despite meeting funding, ridership, and other requirements the Federal Transit Administration still might not fund the Silver Line extension to Wiehle Avenue. Here’s what the Washington Post says:

Officials with the Federal Transit Administration say they are concerned about the price tag and the specter of another Big Dig, the Boston project built by the same contractor in charge of the Dulles rail line, which took years longer and cost millions more than planned, according to the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the negotiations are sensitive. In addition, the agency has been reluctant to promote large-scale transit projects.

The feds would be responsible for funding $900 million of the project, which is less that one fifth of the $5 billion price tag. Without the federal funding the project would be impossible.

While Metrorail to Dulles Airport is still possible, plans would need to be redrawn for Tysons Corner. Instead of having four stations in the heart of Tysons, the rail line would remain in Dulles Toll Road right of way, with a bus or light rail system making Tysons more pedestrian/transit friendly.

The FTA’s chief James S. Simpson was scheduled to meet with the head of the Metropolitan Airports Authority, owners of Dulles and National airport and the agency behind Silver Line construction. The meeting was canceled, and Virginia congressman are seeking a new meeting with Simpson to discus what exactly they view as wrong with the project.

The uncertainty of the project surprises many, since the project has met all requirements the FTA set. Meeting the requirements was not easy, nearly $300 million in features was slashed from the project.

A final decision on the projects fate will probably be made in February.

We reported a month ago that utility relocation – an essential step in rail construction – would begin in December. The outcry over even worst congestion during the holiday season delayed the start again. But now VDOT has announced relocation will begin in early January. We’ll see.

Washington Gas will move it’s gas lines that lay under Route 7’s service roads, and the project will take about four months. Other ulities will move overhead and buried gas lines. Route 7 will stay open during the process, but when unities cut across the road, nigh construction will be used.

The so called Silver Line project will be brought to Wiehle Avenue in 2013, and construction to Dulles Airport will be finished in 2016.