WASHINGTON – The bipartisan Northern Virginia congressional delegation today applauded news that the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) has closed on a $1.28 billion low-interest, long-term federal loan to proceed with its construction plans for phase two of the Rail to Dulles project. In May, 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. Together with accompanying loans to Fairfax and Loudoun Counties, which are still working towards closing, the total $1.9 billion TIFIA loan package represents the largest loan in the TIFIA program's history.
“Today’s closing on the MWAA loan represents one of the last steps toward finalizing a complex financing package for one of the biggest transportation projects in the country,” Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) said. “This is a huge win for Virginia taxpayers and commuters, and coupled with positive reports about the first weeks of Silver Line operations, it looks like we are well on the way to reducing congestion and building a more efficient transportation network in Northern Virginia.”
“With the first phase of the Silver Line complete and in service, today’s announcement is yet another encouraging step toward the opening of Phase II, which will mark the completion of a project so many of us worked hard to get moving when it was just a model on a conference table,” said Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA).
“No one can say the federal government hasn’t done its part to bring rail to Tysons and out the Dulles corridor to Loudoun County,” said Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA-10). “The federal share of Phase 1 was the second largest Full Funding Grant Agreement awarded by the Federal Transit Administration in the last 20 years for a heavy rail project and the TIFIA loan for Phase 2 is the largest amount in the history of the program.”
“Today’s announcement of the federal commitment to Phase 2 of the Dulles Metrorail Project is a significant step to securing an environmentally friendly, transit oriented development along the Dulles Corridor,” said Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA-8). “We’re already seeing the positive impact of the Silver Line on Virginia businesses. This news brings us closer to reducing congestion, commuting time, and gas consumption in a rapidly developing area of Northern Virginia.”
“Advancing this TIFIA loan will lower the overall cost of the project, and dramatically reduce toll increases on commuters in the Dulles Corridor,” said Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA-11). “The first phase of the Silver Line has spurred new ridership and increased sales among local merchants, underscoring the regional demand for this service and the value of the investment. I thank Sec. Foxx, Gov. McAuliffe, and all our regional partners for their commitment to completing this complex loan and delivering this world-class transit project connecting Dulles Airport with our nation’s capital.”