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."