1.9 billion loan for rail to Dulles approved

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- The bipartisan Northern Virginia congressional delegation announced Thursday that the Dulles Metrorail Project got the final approval for a nearly $1.9 billion low-interest, long-term federal loan.

Authorities said the U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Foxx signed the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program loan after the U.S. Department of Transportation Credit Council voted to approve it.

The loan is supposed to close within the next few weeks. The money will allow the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) to work on the second part of the construction plans.

"Today's final approval of the TIFIA loan is great news for the future economic growth of Northern Virginia," Senator Warner said. "Our bipartisan congressional delegation has been unified in pushing to get this critical piece of financing, which will provide welcome and meaningful relief for commuters using the Dulles Toll Road. This is a huge step forward for a project that has been decades in the making."

"With today's announcement, the last bar has been cleared to move forward on Phase II of the Silver Line, which will improve the daily lives of Northern Virginia commuters and spur economic development throughout the region," said Senator Kaine, who worked to secure Phase I federal funding for Rail to Dulles as Governor. "Huge credit goes to Senator Warner and Congressmen Connolly, Wolf, and Moran – as well as the Department of Transportation – for their tireless efforts. This has been a tremendous bipartisan effort to bring this project home, and I believe it will be well worth the wait."

"DOT's $1.9 billion loan guarantee is a much-needed federal investment in Phase 2 of the Dulles Metrorail Project that brings us one step closer to securing an environmentally friendly, transit oriented development along the Toll Road," Representative Jim Moran said. "Paving our way out of the worst traffic in the nation is impossible. This extension is critical to reducing congestion, commuting time, and gas consumption."

"This is good news for Virginia and for anyone who uses the Toll Road. It will keep tolls down and shows the federal government's continued support and commitment to this project," said Representative Frank Wolf.

"This award – the largest federal financing agreement in the history of the TIFIA program – is a major win for Northern Virginia," Representative Gerry Connolly said. "It will allow MWAA to freeze tolls for the next five years and keep them far below previous forecasts in the out years. I want to thank my colleagues in the regional delegation and our state and local partners for their steadfast commitment to delivering this project."


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