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    MWAA closes on $1.28 billion rail loan

    Yesterday the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) closed on $1.28 billion of a low-interest, long-term federal loan to help fund construction of the second phase of the Silver Line.

    The Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan is expected to ultimately account for almost $1.9 billion of the more than $6 billion project.

    Loudoun and Fairfax each still have additional loan closings to get to that figure.

    “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.”

    Ridership on the Silver Line was up for the first few weeks of its service.

    The TIFIA loan was lauded because it will allow the Airports Authority to keep passenger tolls down.

    “The Airports Authority will continue to work closely with all our partners to find additional opportunities to minimize future tolls,” said MWAA in a prepared release.

    Local and state officials lauded the partnership.

    “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).

    Rep. Wolf went on to say that 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.

    Comments

    Wolf takes credit for everything.

    I rather drive to work any day than use this silver line. I also found a way to not pay the tolls ($3.50 each way) if going to 495 North. Go to Exxon at the Dulles airport, buy a coffee, save receipt, and use the 2 center lanes of the 267. Also avoids a lot of the traffic past the main toll plaza.

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