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WMATA to use Homeland Security grant to build control center, improve radio system

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) plans to use part of a $12.2 million U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) grant obtained last fall to build a control center and upgrade an underground radio system.

The authority will build a $22 million center in Landover, Md., and use the current facility — located at WMATA’s downtown D.C. headquarters — as a backup. WMATA will use about $7 million from the latest grant to begin building the center; officials hope to obtain a 2006 DHS grant to complete the project. The authority also had set aside $6.5 million from a previous security grant primarily for the backup control center.

In addition, WMATA will spend $4 million to upgrade its underground radio system by installing a backup antenna for the D.C. fire department radio system, making more working frequencies available for Arlington County Fire Department radios, and replacing aging signal equipment and tunnel amplifiers.

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More News from 1/13/2006