Committee Approves $300 Million for Rail
Virginia Senate Finance Committee approved Howell-sponsored amendment that will boost money for Metrorail Phase 2.
The Virginia Senate Finance Committee unanimously approved on Thursday a Senate budget that contains a budget amendment offered by Sen. Janet Howell (D-Fairfax & Arlington) and Sen. Mark Herring (D-Loudoun & Fairfax).
The amendment will provide $300 million in additional state funds to Phase 2 of the Metrorail to Dulles Project.
The amount is in addition to $150 million the state has previously committed, bringing the total state contribution for the project to $450 million. Phase 2 had been an ongoing point of contention between Dulles Toll Road users who fear rising tolls to pay for the project, MWAA officials who compromised on the location of an above-ground station at Dulles International Airport, and other parties.
Howell says the funds will help prevent tolls on the Dulles Toll Road from skyrocketing. It will also put Virginia in a better position to obtain some federal funding.
“This is great news for Northern Virginia,” Howell said in a statement. “We believed all along the state needed to step up and make a major contribution toward the completion of Phase 2. The original Senate budget, which we opposed, was completely silent on funding for this project, which is of local, state and national significance.”
Said Herring: “The previous budget proposal that we rejected shortchanged Northern Virginia. Through our persistent efforts, we were able to secure these critical funds in the Senate budget, which will result in real relief for the users of the Dulles Toll Road and boost momentum for the construction of Phase 2 of the planned Metrorail extension.”
“It is our hope that the Governor and our colleagues in the House of Delegates will agree to support this needed funding for our region," Herring said.