By: Martin Di Caro
A Virginia citizens group says the most critical issue surrounding the construction of Phase 2 of Metro's Silver Line to Dulles Airport is tolls, which are projected to rise to $6 or more on the Dulles Toll Road.
A pro-union provision proposed by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority got most of the attention this week, when federal Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood held a closed door meeting with the Silver Line stakeholders to try to resolve disputes over the $2.7 billion project. The Reston Citizens Association, which represents 58,000 residents in Fairfax County, says the controversy over whether bidding contractors should receive a preference for choosing union labor is not as important as toll projections on the Dulles Toll Road. Those tolls are supposed to pay off the project’s debt over the next 40 years under the current funding structure.
In a letter sent Friday to Secretary LaHood, Terry Maynard, who sits on the association’s board of directors, said this week’s efforts to resolve the dispute over union labor "barely touch on the most critical issue of the construction of Phase 2 of the Silver Line: three-quarters of the cost of Phase 2 of the rail line’s construction will be borne by the 100,000 or so users of the Dulles Toll Road, many of them Reston residents. The result will be that toll road users will end up paying more than half of the nearly $6 billion total cost of the Silver Line." . . . .
The same article appears in Transportation Nation as "Tolls Still a Sticking Point in Dulles Rail Project."