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“Federal Intervention” by Jamal E. Watson (2/13) inaccurately stated that “the White House last week declared [the Mount Vernon Square siting of the proposed convention center], in effect, a done deal” by setting aside $25 million in the 1999 budget plan “to expand the Mount Vernon Metro station to accommodate convention center crowds.”

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In actuality, the president’s budget plan merely states, “An additional $25 million will be transferred to WMATA in 1999 for transportation-related expenses associated with the new D.C. convention center.” The proposed funds are not dedicated specifically to the Mount Vernon Square site, but may be used for any Metro improvements associated with the new convention center, regardless of where it’s located, that WMATA deems appropriate.

Thus, if wisdom prevails and the superior site north of Union Station is chosen for the convention center, the funds could go toward the construction of an above-ground platform station to accommodate conventioneers. This would be a far simpler, and less risky, undertaking than a plan to excavate further the Mount Vernon Square site, which includes, among other problems, an underground river.

Shaw

via the Internet