FAIRFAX – Today’s agreement by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) determining that the work on Phase 1 of the Dulles Rail Metro project is substantially complete is welcome news to Congressman Gerry Connolly.
“This agreement is music to my ears,” said Connolly, who has been on the front lines of the fight to secure the project and funding since his tenure on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.
“After decades of planning, intense politics, and finally construction, we are heading into the home stretch on the first phase of Rail to Dulles,” Connolly said. “I look forward to a quick handoff of the project from MWAA to Metro so we can welcome riders to the Silver Line this summer.”
Connolly said today’s agreement comes on the heels of last week’s good news that the $1.9 billion in federal financing secured by Virginia’s congressional delegation will allow MWAA to freeze commuter toll rates on the Dulles Toll Road for the next five years and keep future tolls lower than previous forecasts.
“The opening of the 11.9 miles of the Silver Line from East Falls Church through Tysons to Reston should have an immediate impact on some of the traffic congestion in the Dulles corridor,” Connolly said. “And, there is no doubt that it will have a substantial impact on our region’s economy and quality of life.”
Connolly said, “I look forward to the day when Phase 2 of the project from Reston to Dulles is completed and our nation’s capital is finally connected to our region’s premier international airport.” Washington is the only major world capital without direct rail service to its major international airport.
“The long and arduous path to bring this project from the drawing board to completion was not always easy or comfortable for those of us who saw the critical need to bring Rail to Dulles,” Connolly said. “But we survived the struggles, the political battles, and the construction snafus and now our entire region will reap the benefits. It was well worth it.”