Va. delegation announces step forward on USDOT loan for rail to Dulles
The Northern Virginia congressional delegation announced a significant step forward in securing a commitment for a low-interest, long-term federal loan to help finish constructing the Dulles Metrorail Project. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s TIFIA Credit Council met today and gave preliminary approval to move forward on a nearly $1.9 billion federal loan, representing about one-third of the total cost of the Dulles Metrorail Project.
MWAA is the lead agency in constructing the 23-mile extension of the existing Metrorail system from East Falls Church to Dulles International Airport and beyond into Loudoun County. Now that USDOT has approved the creditworthiness of the project, the next step will be for the project’s partners — Fairfax and Loudoun counties, and the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority — to submit final paperwork for TIFIA loan approval, which can be expected later this year. The Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program at USDOT provides federal credit assistance to finance major surface transportation projects of national and regional significance.
“A lot of us have worked hard for many years to keep this vitally important project on track,” Sen. Mark Warner said. “Rail to Dulles is one of the nation’s most significant infrastructure projects, and this project is key to the future economic growth and expanded economic opportunity for Northern Virginia. I especially want to salute the efforts of retiring Congressmen Wolf and Moran, who have been true leaders in advancing this project for decades. Today’s development represents a significant step forward, and I am pleased that this federal support will allow us to continue moving forward with the project and buy-down tolls for commuters.”
“Today’s loan announcement is good news for Dulles Toll Road commuters and a huge step forward for the economy of Northern Virginia,” said Sen. Tim Kaine, who worked to secure federal funding for Rail to Dulles as Governor. “With Phase I nearly complete, we can now look forward to Phase II with renewed optimism and anticipation of the economic development and accessibility this project will bring to the Dulles Corridor.”
“This is very positive sign and will go a long way toward helping keep tolls down on the Dulles Toll Road,” Rep. Frank Wolf said. “It shows the federal government’s continued support for and commitment to this project.”
“The USDOT investment in the Dulles Metrorail Project is critical to fostering environmentally friendly, transit oriented development in Northern Virginia,” Rep. Jim Moran said. “ We know we cannot pave our way out of the worst traffic in the nation and this extension will reduce congestion, save commuting time, and conserve gas consumption.”
“Today’s announcement is a huge victory for Northern Virginia and commuters in the Dulles Corridor,” Rep. Gerry Connolly said. “We’ve been working with the local and state funding partners and USDOT for nearly two years to secure this TIFIA application for the Dulles Rail project. Along with keeping future toll rates in check, the loan will help lower overall financing costs for Phase 1, which is opening this spring, and Phase 2, which is under construction. It’s shaping up to be an exciting spring for Tysons, Reston, and the entire Dulles Corridor.”