Kaine examines Silver Line progress, touts project’s importance
The nearly $3 billion second phase of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project will extend track through Reston to the Dulles airport and into Ashburn.
Kaine, a major proponent of the Silver Line project both as senator and governor, said so-called “Rail to Dulles” was the “single hardest project” he's ever worked on in public life. He said he made securing $900 million in federal funding for phase one a top transportation priority during his time in Richmond.
“From working on getting phase one from the drawing board to the groundbreaking as governor, and now seeing the progress being made on phase two, this is exciting," Kaine, this year's Democratic nominee for vice president, said in a prepared statement. "It is such a necessary project to keep up with the growth of Northern Virginia, and especially to serve Dulles International Airport, which is one of the two key hubs for Virginia’s national economic reach.”
While the Silver Line project has been hailed by the region's business community, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority has been maligned by critics in recent years. Metro has overseen several severe accidents this decade, including one that claimed a rider's life in 2015, and the system has consistently racked up millions in debt for both capital and operational costs.
Kaine was joined on the Silver Line tour by Paul Wiedefeld, Metro's general manager who took over the beleaguered system in 2015. Weidefeld has received mostly strong reviews from federal lawmakers thus far for his apparent recognition of the system's systemic financial challengers problems and safety issues.
The Silver Line extension into Loudoun County is being managed by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which oversees Dulles and Reagan airports. The second phase is slated for completion around 2020.
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