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Yet another instance of our New York inferiority complex: The New York City Subway has lots of abandoned stations and other neat anomalies. Of course, Metro, I thought, would have nothing so cool. But then I read here that a Metro station was built underneath a parking lot at Washington Dulles International Airport when the airport was first built and all that needs to be done is to connect a line to the station. That’s pretty cool—but is it true?
Not only are the rumors false, they’re completely unfounded, according to Rob Yingling, a Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) spokesperson. “By no means was there an entire station built,” he says. “There’s no underground opening of this nature nor is there anything to suggest that there ever was.”
In fact, John Cambron, who the Web site cites as the sources for its information and drawings even denies knowing of any such station. “I asked one of the staff engineers at one of the first public scoping meetings of the Dulles Corridor Rapid Transit Project about its existence in July 2000,” he says. “His reply was that no rapid transit station exists or was ever built.”
Yet while a station straight out of the Jetsons, with the drawing’s inclined moving walkways, may never be built, plans for its construction now look more probable than ever, thanks to a proposal to have the MWAA assume responsibility for building it. And some preparation has already been done. In 1996, when MWAA expanded the Dulles Main Terminal, they also improved the roadways and ramps in front of the terminal and dug out an area under the hourly parking lot for a future Metro station. Until they begin construction on the station, the dug-out area is only a concrete foundation filled with rock. When the line is finally completed, in 2015, Metro passengers will enter the terminal via the current pedestrian tunnel that brings people from Parking Garage 1 to the terminal.
Every Monday, the ‘Huh?’ Bub takes your questions. Got one?