Congress Approves Another $30 Million For Rail To Dulles
Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Fairfax) issued this press release today:
DULLES RAIL PROJECT RECEIVES
ANOTHER $30 MILLION IN FY 2006 TRANSPORTATION APPROPRIATIONS
Washington, D.C. - The conference report for the annual transportation spending bill approved by the House today includes another $30 million to help bring Metrorail to Dulles airport, according to the region's three members of Congress.
This latest installment brings the total federal share to date to more than $210 million. The federal government is responsible for 50 percent of the funding while the state and local governments will make up the remaining 50 percent.
Senate approval is expected later today. Conference reports cannot be amended.
"This is another step forward in bringing rail out the Dulles
corridor," said Rep. Frank Wolf (R-10th), a senior member of House
Appropriations Committee and former chairman of the transportation
appropriations subcommittee. "Having mass transit in Tysons Corner and
running out to Dulles airport is critical to helping relieve traffic
congestion in the region."
"The train's a lot closer toward leaving the station with these additional funds," said Rep. Tom Davis (R-11th). "The Dulles rail project will ease the gridlock and congestion on our roads that have negatively affected quality of life for northern Virginians."
"Funding for Dulles rail is pulling out of the station and
right on track for Metro to make its first stop at Tysons Corner," said
Jim Moran (D-8th). "With the third worst traffic in the nation, we
recognize that investing in public transit is the only way to mitigate
the gridlock too many of our commuters experience on a daily basis."
The Dulles rail project has cleared several major hurdles this year.
The necessary authorization to pay the federal share of the
project was included in the multi-year highway bill signed into law in
August. Language authorizing the project is crucial. Without it, the
project would stop in its tracks and it would be another five years
before the opportunity would again exist.
In February, the federal transit agency responsible for reviewing the project gave it a "recommended" rating as part of its FY 2006 New Starts report which accompanied the president's budget. The proposed extension was one of only 14 in the nation to receive this rating by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Then in March FTA issued what is formally known as a "Record of Decision," meaning it has completed its extensive reviews - including environmental assessments - of the project and given it the green light to go forward. FTA's approval is necessary for the extension to be included in the funding pipeline for federal transit projects.
"For too long extending Metrorail out the corridor has only been discussed," Wolf said. "Now we are on the brink of making it happen."