WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced the closing of a $1.28 billion Transportation Infrastructure Financial Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) for construction of Phase Two of the Metrorail Silver Line extension.
Work will begin at the Wiehle Avenue Station, where Phase One work ended, and includes construction of 11.4 miles of track from Wiehle Avenue to Route 772 in eastern Loudoun County. Six new stations will also be constructed along the way – Reston Town Center, Herndon, Innovation Center, Washington Dulles International Airport, Route 606 and Route 772, and a new Service and Inspection Yard at Dulles International.
“The first phase of the Silver Line has been an overwhelming success, and we look forward to ensuring the second half is just as successful, with the help of this $1.28 billion loan from the federal government,” said Secretary Foxx. “When complete, the Silver Line will help residents and visitors get where they need to go safely, quickly and affordably. It’s the kind of project we’d like to see more of, and one way to do that is if Congress will support our GROW AMERICA Act to provide long-term funding for transit systems, roads and bridges nationwide.”
Secretary Foxx joined other U.S. Department of Transportation officials along with state and local elected leaders last month to celebrate the opening of the first phase of the Silver Line, which represented the largest expansion of Metrorail service in 20 years. The first phase extended Metrorail service from the East Falls Church Metrorail station through the large Tysons Corner employment and retail center to the Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail station in the Reston area of Fairfax County. Metro announced that during its first week of service alone, nearly 220,000 trips were taken.
The Silver Line is being constructed by MWAA and operated by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). The new line is expected to serve approximately 85,700 daily riders by 2030.
“Completion of the Silver Line project will provide a critical link to Dulles International Airport and gives residents in the rapidly growing Northern Virginia region more transportation options,” said Sylvia Garcia, Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary for Budget and Programs.
This delivers part of an approximately $1.87 billion combined commitment of TIFIA loans for Phase Two of the Silver Line extension to Loudoun County, which represents the largest TIFIA assistance for a single project in the program’s history.
The Obama Administration’s GROW AMERICA Act is a $302 billion, four-year national vision for an aging transportation network and a growing population. The GROW AMERICA Act would invest $72 billion in public transportation alone to address the urgent transit challenges facing urban, suburban and rural communities, in addition to providing $4 billion for TIFIA that can support approximately $40 billion in innovative financial assistance for infrastructure projects.
The TIFIA credit program is designed to fill market gaps and leverage substantial non-federal investments. Each dollar of federal funding can provide up to $10 in TIFIA credit assistance and support up to $30 in transportation infrastructure investment. Since its launch, the TIFIA program has helped 46 projects turn almost $18.5 billion in U.S. Department of Transportation assistance into more than $69.5 billion in infrastructure investment across America.
# # #Wednesday, August 20, 2014