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November 16, 2011

Airports Authority Board Approves Key Funding Agreement for Dulles Rail Extension


The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Board of Directors today unanimously approved a resolution ratifying a Memorandum of Agreement that will ensure the continuation of the Dulles Rail extension to Loudoun County. The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) is a multi-party agreement that outlines the fiscal responsibilities of federal, state and local entities in the estimated $2.8 billion phase 2 of the rail project.

In addition, the Board approved an agreement between the Airports Authority and the Commonwealth of Virginia on the use of a project labor agreement in Phase 2.

“This momentous vote assures a new and better level of regional cooperation will go forward on behalf of this important transportation project, so that we will be able to reduce costs and so that drivers who use the Dulles Toll Road will see less steep toll hikes than originally estimated,” said Charles Snelling, Chairman of the Board. “More importantly, this MOA demonstrates real 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 partly funded with 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 garage. Both actions will help reduce tolls.

“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.”

“I believe a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step and today is that step,” said Reiley.

When finished, the Dulles Rail extension will add 23 miles of rail line from East Falls Church in Virginia to Dulles Airport and on into Loudoun County. Phase 1, now under construction, adds 11.5 miles from East Falls Church to Reston. 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 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.