The bipartisan Northern Virginia congressional delegation today announced that the Dulles Metrorail Project has received final approval for a nearly $1.9 billion low-interest, long-term federal loan. U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx has signed the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program loan after the U.S. Department of Transportation Credit Council voted to approve it.
This financing represents the largest loan in the TIFIA program’s history. The loan is expected to close in the coming weeks, and will allow the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) and its partners to proceed with its construction plans for phase two of the 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. The TIFIA program at USDOT provides federal credit assistance to finance major surface transportation projects of national and regional significance.
â€œTodayâ€™s final approval of the TIFIA loan is great news for the future economic growth of Northern Virginia,â€ Senator Mark Warner said. â€œOur 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.â€
â€œWith todayâ€™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,â€ said Senator Tim Kaine, who worked to secure Phase I federal funding for Rail to Dulles as Governor. â€œHuge credit goes to Senator Warner and Congressmen Connolly, Wolf, and Moran â€“ as well as the Department of Transportation â€“ 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.â€
â€œDOTâ€™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,â€ Representative Jim Moran said. â€œPaving our way out of the worst traffic in the nation is impossible. This extension is critical to reducing congestion, commuting time, and gas consumption.â€
â€œThis is good news for Virginia and for anyone who uses the Toll Road. It will keep tolls down and shows the federal governmentâ€™s continued support and commitment to this project,â€ said Representative Frank Wolf.
â€œThis award â€“ the largest federal financing agreement in the history of the TIFIA program â€“ is a major win for Northern Virginia,â€ Representative Gerry Connolly said. â€œIt 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.â€