The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Board of Directors on Wednesday unanimously approved a resolution that will ensure the continuation of the Dulles Rail extension to Loudoun County.
The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) is a multiparty agreement that outlines the fiscal responsibilities of federal, state and local entities in the estimated $2.8 billion Phase 2 of the rail project. The Board also approved an agreement with the Commonwealth of Virginia addressing the use of a project labor agreement in Phase 2.
The Washington Post reported last week that Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) also agreed to bring $150 million to the table to help finance the project.
“This momentous vote guarantees that the most important transportation project in our region’s history will go forward, that we will be able to reduce costs and that drivers who use the Dulles Toll Road will see less steep toll hikes than originally planned,” Charles Snelling, Chairman of the MWAA board, said in a statement.
“More importantly, this MOA shows cooperation between our Board, the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth of Virginia and Loudoun and Fairfax Counties.”
Phase 2 of the Dulles Rail project was originally scheduled to be funded with a high proportion of tolls, but last week the Department of Transportation announced additional Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) funds that would be available for the project. In addition, Loudoun and Fairfax Counties have agreed to fund construction projects associated with the extension, such as the building of parking garages. Both actions will help reduce tolls, MWAA officials said.
“I am thrilled – today’s vote is a victory for residents, businesses and government bodies in the Washington metropolitan area,” said Mame Reiley, Chair of the Dulles Corridor Committee. “Extending rail to Dulles will build a strong economic corridor because of the Silver Line that will connect the region to the Dulles Corridor and to Loudoun County.”
Phase 2 of the Dulles Rail extension will run from Reston's Wiehle Avenue to Dulles International Airport and into Loudoun County. When complete, it will add 23 miles of rail line.
Phase 1, now under construction, adds 11.5 miles from East Falls Church toWiehle Avenue. It will eventually include four stations in Tysons Corner. Construction of Phase 1 began in March 2009 and is scheduled to be completed in 2013. Phase 1 was paid for in part by $900 million in Federal funding.
Phase 2 will extend the line another 11.6 miles from Wiehle Avenue in Fairfax County to Washington Dulles International Airport and on to Route 772 in Loudoun County. New stations will be built at Reston Parkway, Herndon-Monroe, Route 28, Dulles International Airport, Route 606 and Route 772.