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Kaine Talks Rail to Dulles in Reston

Senate candidate meets with stakeholders and business leaders in Rail to Dulles

Democratic Senate candidate Tim Kaine was in Reston on Friday to talk with business leaders, members of the , local elected officials, and other stakeholders in the Metro's Rail to Dulles Project.

The former governor pointed out his role in securing $900 million in Federal funding for Phase 1 of the project, which is 70 percent complete and scheduled to open in late 2013. Phase 1 will run through Tysons Corner to Reston's Wiehle Avenue.

That part of the Silver Line, which will cost nearly $2.8 billion, has no federal funding. Last week, the Virginia Senate passed an $85 billion, two-year budget that contained no additional funding for the project. Meanwhile, Dulles Toll Road users fear that tolls could rise exponentially to pay for rail, and Loudoun County Supervisors may withdraw their support altogether.

“Dulles Rail, along with the Port of Virginia, is one of the most important assets Virginia has in a global economy where businesses need to engage consumers around the world," Kaine said on Friday. "Increasing access will do great things for the region and for Virginia.  I was proud to work with a bipartisan group and the Bush Administration to bring $900 million in federal funds to get this project off the drawing board."

During the meeting, Kaine discussed the importance of local, state, and federal investment in the project in order to prevent excessive tolling.

“Infrastructure investments like Dulles rail are critical because they create jobs in the short term and raise our platform for success in the long term,” said Kaine.

Meanwhile, Del. Tim Hugo (R-Fairfax) said Kaine should also take the blame for handing Dulles Rail over to the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority (MWAA), a decision that has resulted "in jobs and contracts being sent out of Virginia." 

 "It was Tim Kaine's decision to use tolls from the Dulles Toll Road as Virginia's portion of funding to pay for it - even though it was known at the time that the tolls would eventually be enormous without other state funds to mitigate them," said Hugo. "Yet, Tim Kaine never proposed any funding to keep tolls from skyrocketing." 

The rising costs, the jobs lost to other states and the ongoing mismanagement of this project are the result of Tim Kaine's bad decisions, so he's now trying to blame others for them."

Charles Lyons April 28, 2012 at 01:27 PM
Originally, the federal government was to pay 48% of the cost estimated to be $2 billion at that time. But Fairfax officials decided to use the Silver Line as an economic development tool and too run it through Tysons with five stops and that soaked up all the money available. . Now there is no known source of money except to tax a theoretical increase in people using the toll road and to tax a theoretical dramatic expansion of commercial office space. Will the office space explode to several hundred percent above the tens of millions of sq. ft. now present in time to pay off the loans? Will dramatic increases in tolls create more demand for the toll road rather than the silver line? Those are the questions that they are no dealing with. The Fairfax Board proposed the dramatic expansion of purpose for the Silver Line and the Commonwealth helped facilitate that at the time. With the planned cuts in defense spending of $50 billion a year now being activated by the Obama Administration and the next major cut in defense contractors lurking in deficit talks - automatic cuts to be triggered next December there is the question of where the future demand will come from. I am confident that the Silver Line will eventually happen but the leadership we have at all levels is not showing up with real solutions right now...maybe after the elections?
The BSD Guy April 28, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Having never been a fan or supporter of rail, I must acknowledge that we're stuck with what we have....but that doesn't mean we need to proceed with further disasters. If we were smart (for once), for the time being, rail would terminate at Wiehle Ave. Let rail develop enough ridership so it can pay for itself, and then continue on with the next phase, it there's any need for it. The growth that was projected in this area isn't going to happen. Period. The projected growth was an imaginary tool used by the special interests in the development industry to con ... er ... I mean convince residents that this would be a good idea, followed up by yet another "Developers Gone Wild" fest. You can see it beginning to happen with the "Mega Building" being proposed near the town center. Empty and near empty office buildings abound. Putting more empty buildings up won't fix that. Empty buildings won't make people take rail. Budgets MUST be cut by both Democrats and Republicans, and even if Democrats had everything their way with tax increases, the money STILL isn't their to pay our bills. Cuts have to happen and they're going to spell job losses and negative growth for the area. Regardless of what developers try and sell you, money is NOT going to start magically falling from the skies, there is not going to be growth, and one MUST wonder if there's even a need for an extension of rail to Dulles at all.
Charles Lyons April 28, 2012 at 09:07 PM
Actually, It was Connelly who pushed for doglegging it through Tysons at an enormous cost and probably the Tysons stations is more than 2/3s of the total cost. And the WPost nor any news org has reported this. And they have not noted that SAIC, Connellys employer and his retirement fund, made a fortune off the deal when they sold their land in Tysons near the Silver Line. So a few people made millions and the rest of us are left holding the bag. No news media is willing to investigate what happened.
Burt Rosenberg April 29, 2012 at 01:09 PM
To saddle Dulles Toll Road users with these horrible toll increases to pay the majority of Silver Line costs is unconscionable. It is a "shell game" by the govt. entities and MWAA, especially Kaine, where the sucker is the toll road using citizen. The "suckers" will vote, not only with their cars, but assuredly at the ballot box.
Lilguy April 29, 2012 at 03:11 PM
"Senate candidate meets with stakeholders in Rail to Dulles" Hmmmm! Seems to me that that principal stakeholder--75%-worth--was not invited to this meeting, the Dulles Toll Road users. That's just the way they have been treated by Secretary LaHood who invited all the usual suspects to the powwow this Wednesday, that's the way the "funding partners" (minority stakeholders with a total of 25% of the debt) have treated toll road users by excluding them from their deal and not listening to them since, and that's the way the Virginia government and FHWA have treated their pleas for outside assistance. So it wasn't the stakeholders who met or will meet with LaHood, it is the power brokers who are once again sticking it to the toll road users.

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