By: 05/02/11 8:05 PM
The Reston Citizens Association has joined a growing chorus of Northern Virginia officials pressing the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority to rein in the cost of constructing the Dulles Metrorail extension.For the rest of this Examiner editorial, click here.
As the project's costs rise, tolls on the Dulles Toll Road could soar to $15 by 2047 to pay the bill, the group said in a new report. Reston residents worry that the higher tolls will be too much for a town essentially split down the middle by the Dulles Toll Road.
"Many of us live on the toll road, and essentially we question the fairness of using the toll money for construction and increasing them," said association member John Hanley. "It's just an incredible amount of money that's going to be taken out of people's pockets."
Comment: This editorial notes RCA Reston 2020's concern in its report on the impact of the cost increases in Phase 2 of the Dulles Metrorail construction project that tolls would rise to $15 (actually, $15.40) in 2047, a cost of some $6 in 2010 dollars--three times the current toll price. The estimate, intentionally conservative, was based on extrapolation on the effects of the new debt load from Wilbur Smith Associates' 2009 study for MWAA. Days later, members of MWAA's financial team disclosed publicly that they anticipate toll rates of $5.50 in 2015 and $10.50 in 2020, much higher than Reston 2020's projection of $4.39 and $6.94 for those years respectively. RCA Reston 2020 is looking at the implications of MWAA's proposed toll rate hikes and may publish a brief update to its study in the near future.