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By Joe Cantlupe, for Bisnow on Business


While the Virginia governor wants to put the brakes on plans for a tunnel under Tysons Corner, a group that wants the tunnel is definitely raising Kaine.


Enough of humongous multi-paged transportation and environmental reports and impact statements. Just as in political campaigns, tunnel supporters are going to what may really influence public opinion – the attack video.



Above, an artist’s conception of the so-called "aerial" option along Route 7 that tunnels proponents use to show potential aesthetic horrors. Bisnow on Business has been shown a slick 60 second video, based on this spectre, that’ll be hitting the airwaves and Internet over the next several weeks to make its bid for below-ground access instead of the above ground Metro link now being envisioned.


For our readers, of course, we have it here. Not exactly Paris Hilton, but fairly electrifying as public real estate debates go:  http://www.tminus10.com/tysonstunnel.


The pitch by TysonsTunnel.org will be broadcast, too, on Cox Cable, with variations of its theme, "Under Not Over."


 "A Tunnel For Tysons is better for our future," says the smooth-voiced announcer. He decries "huge walls" and "massive concrete pylons" of the above ground scenario that would rip into the heart of the business community. And no—not that!—it warns: Another Springfield “Mixing Bowl”!


Scott Monett, head of TysonsTunnel.org, who also is chairman of the McLean Chamber of Commerce, says the video is being revved up now to make a pitch to residents that the four mile tunnel would actually be less expensive and much quicker to build in the long run than an above ground train. Not to mention much less unsightly and intrusive.   



Above, still more horrors: existing Metro walls, said by tunnel proponents to be a sign of much bigger, badder things to come.


 “The idea is,  there are a lot of issues – until you hear about it, you have no idea what is going on,” he said. "We’re trying to get the word out. People just [wrongly] assume the tunnel is more expensive."


Former Reagan Deputy Treasury Secretary Tim McNamar separately concurred last week in telling us: "The studies that say the tunnel is more costly are way dated, ignore the new tunneling technology made possible by using computer managed boring, and presume that surface disruption from tunneling is the same for five years as above ground construction."


Gov. Kaine announced that a proposal to build the tunnel under Tysons Corner as part of the Metrorail expansion to Dulles International Airport is really dead, pfffff, gone. Officials convinced the governor after saying the costs of the tunnel could jeopardize the entire 23 mile, $4 billion project.


Kaine’s position was a flip-flop to some. The governor said there were "too many unanswered questions" about cost and timing. State officials also express concern that the feds won't provide $900 million for the extension. So would the video help sway him again? His spokesman, Kevin Hall, couldn’t be reached.




March 29, ULI's Young Leaders Group, panel featuring DC developer Jair Lynch, 630-830 PM, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, DC.  More info.


Kane Construction


The Bernstein Companies


Chicago Title


Arent Fox


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