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MWAA Board Approves Funding Agreement for Rail to Dulles Phase 2

Cash ensures Phase 2 will happen.

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Board of Directors on Wednesday unanimously approved a resolution that will ensure the continuation of the Dulles Rail extension to Loudoun County.

The Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) is a multiparty agreement that outlines the fiscal responsibilities of federal, state and local entities in the estimated $2.8 billion Phase 2 of the rail project.  The Board also approved an agreement with the Commonwealth of Virginia addressing the use of a project labor agreement in Phase 2.

The Washington Post reported last week that Virginia Gov. Bob  McDonnell (R) also agreed to bring $150 million to the table to help finance the project.

 “This momentous vote guarantees that the most important transportation project in our region’s history will go forward, that we will be able to reduce costs and that drivers who use the Dulles Toll Road will see less steep toll hikes than originally planned,” Charles Snelling, Chairman of the MWAA board, said in a statement. 

“More importantly, this MOA shows 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 funded with a high proportion of 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 garages. Both actions will help reduce tolls, MWAA officials said.

 “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.”

Phase 2 of the Dulles Rail extension will run from Reston's Wiehle Avenue to Dulles International Airport and into Loudoun County. When complete, it will add 23 miles of rail line.

Phase 1, now under construction, adds 11.5 miles from East Falls Church toWiehle Avenue. 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 1 was paid for in part by $900 million in Federal funding.

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.

David Denholm November 16, 2011 at 09:06 PM
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Current Population Survey, only about 3% of construction industry employees in Virginia are union members. It was absolutely absurd for the MWAA to ever agree to a "union only" project labor agreement. Such an agreement would have prevented the vast majority of local construction workers from being employed on the project. You could count on the unions to import members from Maryland, New Jersey or wherever.
Terry Maynard November 16, 2011 at 10:39 PM
I do not follow the arithmetic that now says Phase 2 of the Dulles line will cost $2.8 billion vice $3.2 billion ($3.8 billion less $600 million for building the Dulles station above ground). Our leaders are making this claim--and the media is accepting it on face value--on the basis of the SHIFT of about $300 million in costs to the counties and maybe--just maybe--$100 million in real cost cutting. Why the $300 million doesn't count against the price of construction defies logic and arithmetic. Read the agreement here: http://reston2020.blogspot.com/2011/11/reported-deal-on-financing-phase-2-of.html And there are NO guarantees that the price won't go up as planning and construction begin.
Bob Bruhns November 17, 2011 at 12:15 AM
It's the same arithmetic from the same people who told us that the Rt 28 Metro station would cost $136 million, and then suddenly the cost was $82 million. Nobody even blinked at the $136 million figure, and nobody questioned why it suddenly changed by $53 million dollars. Believe it or not, this blunder came from our FTA, who counted the Rt 28 station garage cost twice. Isn't that reassuring. And it was kept very quiet. Somebody seems to prefer that people should not ask questions. It worked. And nobody is asking why the Rt 28 Metro station should cost $82 million, when a Metro station in posh Fairfield Connecticut costs $42.7 million -after- cost overruns. Well, nobody but me, it seems. It comes down to the people... they are the epitome of apathy, and our 'leaders' know it. The result is this interesting new math that you see.
Tax Pig November 19, 2011 at 07:56 PM
So it is spoken, so it will be done “This momentous vote guarantees that the most important transportation project in our region’s history will go forward..." Wow, I thought the Counties and the Va State Legislature still had a say in this. These promotional press releases seem to ignore that. Hopefully they will wake up to this ill-timed and under-studied time bomb before time runs out. The Federal government is out because it is broke from promoting endless pork like this, the state's share is pocket change to a project this size. You can pretend you are funding 75% from Dulles Toll Road users is a savings but start jacking up tolls and ridership will plummet. Read this study from Mercatus and see how this con that these folks are running really works. It is bait with one set of numbers, sign here, then switch. "...9 out of 10 rail projects overestimate the actual traffic.25 Moreover, 84 percent of rail-passenger forecasts are wrong by more than 20 percent. Thus, for rail, passenger traffic averages 51.4 percent less than estimated traffic.26 This means that there is a systematic tendency to overestimate rail revenues. The polite phrases are "“planning fallacy” or the “optimism bias.” http://mercatus.org/sites/default/files/publication/Federal%20Infrastructure%20Spending%20-%20Neither%20a%20Good%20Stimulus%20Nor%20a%20Good%20Investment.pdf Go to: LoudounOptOut.com

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