Transportation dept approves loan for Silver Line

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- The U.S. Department of Transportation approved a $1.88 billion low-interest loan for the construction of Phase II of the Silver Line project on Thursday.

"Low interest financing for the Silver Line will keep toll rates low and keep the project on track for 2018," said Fairfax County board chairman Sharon Bulova. "The Silver Line is the largest and most significant transportation project in the country today and is vitally important to the economic growth of Fairfax County, the region and the Commonwealth."

Fairfax County's share of the $1.88 billion loan is $403.3 million. The county will use revenue generated by the Phase II Tax District and commercial and industrial taxes, say officials. Loans made under Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act have deferred payment options that will allow Fairfax County to wait to make payments until up to five years after the project is complete.

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority also released a statement regarding the approval of the TIFIA loan. It applied for the loan in conjunction with its local partners on the Metrorail Project, Fairfax County and Loudoun County in 2012.

The statement read, in part:

"The approval of a federal low-interest TIFIA loan for the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project is a victory for users of the Dulles Toll Road, whose toll payments help fund construction of the Silver Line extension of the Washington region's Metrorail public transit system. The Airports Authority's objective has always been to keep tolls on the Dulles Toll Road as low as possible, and the TIFIA loan is a major factor in meeting that objective."Thanks to the favorable interest rates the loan provides, as well as $300 million committed by the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Airports Authority will be able to hold tolls at current levels through 2018 and to limit future toll increases."

In April, the MWAA Board of Directors authorized issuance of $450 million Dulles Toll Road Revenue Refunding Bonds. With the approval of the TIFIA loan and this round of bonds, the entire portion of the Dulles Toll Road share of the Silver Line Project will be financed, say officials.

See a breakdown of expected toll rates here:


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