The Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project is a 23-mile extension of WMATA’s Metrorail system, recently named the Silver Line; it runs from the Orange line in Falls Church through the Dulles corridor serving Tysons Corner, Reston, Herndon, Route 28, Washington Dulles International Airport, and Loudoun County.
Phase 1 • 11 miles, five stations, one parking garage at Wiehle Station • Extends from Orange line at West Falls Church through Tysons Corner to Wiehle Avenue in Reston • Construction complete August 2013., 60% complete and will be finished • Revenue service December 2013 • Capital Cost $2.76 billion
Phase 2 • 6 new stations, 12-mile extension, five parking garages (MOA makes one station and all garages independently funded by counties) • Extends from Wiehle Avenue through Dulles Airport and terminating at Route 772 in Ashburn, Loudoun County • Capital Cost: $2.82 billion • Enhanced Bus Service will provide north/south and east/west access to rail stations
Ridership • 62,800 by 2011 (Phase 1), 91,200by 2025 (Phase 2) Source: FEIS
When Phase 2 was threatened by rising costs and disagreement over the alignment through Dulles Airport, US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood convened the Phase 2 project stakeholders – Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA), Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Agency (WMATA), Fairfax and Loudoun Counties, US Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Commonwealth of Virginia – in June 2011 in an attempt to move this nationally significant project forward. The effort resulted in a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) requiring “shared sacrifice”, which has been approved by all parties. Among the elements the MOA calls for are: Dulles Airport station and alignment to be aerial (rather than underground); Loudoun and Fairfax counties to pay for construction of the five parking garages serving Phase 2; and Fairfax County to pay for construction of the station at Route 28.
Funding for Phase 2.
• The federal government will provide Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan guarantees to Loudoun and Fairfax Counties for the garage and station construction costs. The TIFIA program is likely to grow as Congress considers a new surface transportation bill. There is much support in Congress for a $1 billion annual TIFIA program. With this anticipated program growth, Phase 2 likely could receive additional federal loan support. Securing additional federal loan guarantees is dependent, in part, on unified and strong support from all state and local partners.
• Loudoun County’s 4.1% share is indicated in the County’s FY 2012 Capital Improvement Program. The total project cost is shown as $315 million with an estimated debt service cost of $37.288 over the six-year planning period beginning in FY2013. Under the MOA, Loudoun will use its best efforts to secure funding for the parking facilities at the Route 606 and Route 772 stations. This would reduce the capital cost to $260 million range.
• The Loudoun County Board created a Public Transportation Special Revenue Fund in 2002 to provide debt service payments for projects such as Dulles rail.
• Fairfax County’s 16.1 % share will be funded primarily by increased property taxes on commercial properties in the Phase 2 tax district ($330 million). Fairfax will use its best efforts to fund the parking facilities at the Herndon Monroe and Route 28 stations and the Route 28 station.
• MWAA’s 4.1 % share of the project cost will come from passenger facility fees paid by airline passengers
• Commonwealth of Virginia approved $23.3 million previously for Phase 2 and as proposed by the Governor may contribute $150 million more for Phase 2.
• The remaining funds will come from dedicate revenues from tolls collected on the Dulles Toll Road (DTR). Rates at the main toll plaza were increased in January 2012 by 25 cents to $1.50. They remain 75 cents at the ramps. Additional toll increases are forecast. A traffic and revenue study is being finalized by Wilbur Smith Associates. MWAA will use its best efforts to limit the future size of toll increases on the DTR.
Phase 2 Schedule. • February 2012 – Issue Request for Qualifications (Reduce firms competing to 5) • February 2012 – Preliminary Engineering for Dulles Airport aerial alignment complete. Final cost estimate.
- • March 2012 – 90 day County review period begins. Opportunity to opt out
- • June 2012 Design Build Solicitation
- • 2013 – Design/Build Contract executed
- • 2017 – Phase 2 Metrorail service begins