In March 2017, the Virginia Department of (Road) Transportation informed the Transportation Planning Board that they have discovered a traction power station at the Dunn Loring Metro station, and therefore must now build a massive multi-lane bridge structure about 4000 feet long, and over 30 feet high above Gallows Road and Dunn Loring itself. It is just too hard and expensive ($25 Million) to move the traction power, according to VDOT.
The traction power station is an electrical substation that provides 750 Volt power to the third rail, thence to orange line trains. In short, it is essential to Metrorail operations. This particular power station was built in 1985. It would be well known to any capable professional engineer, land surveyor, or even anyone walking between the parking garage and station entrance. VDOT has hired many engineers and surveyors for years for their I-66 widening initiative. So the traction station is not a new issue, and residents even discussed it with VDOT’s engineers during the 2015 public meetings. So why did VDOT decide to omit the power station bridge in the environmental assessment and public meetings? Is this an organization that is being honest and forthright with the public?
The area slated to be covered over with VDOT’s new mega bridge is a transit oriented community that is walkable with shops, restaurants, grocery stores, housing, and outdoor plazas. Metro customers and anyone in the area would need to walk under a concrete Interstate overpass roaring overhead.
Now when pressed with more questions about their spring surprise, VDOT is saying that no decision has been made. NBC 4’s Adam Tuss recently interviewed VDOT’s megaprojects director and a local resident about the latest design proposal. You may view the interview and article here: