MWAA promises to freeze rates on Dulles Toll Road through 2018

(WJLA) - The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) said Wednesday it promises not to raise rates on the Dulles Toll Road/Rte. 267 for the next five years.

MWAA officials said "a concerted effort to to reduce costs on the Silver Line Project," which is funded in part by tolls, contributes to making that promise possible, though the intention "remains predicated on receipt of a low-interest federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan, and the previous commitment of $300 million by the Commonwealth of Virginia to off-set toll increases."

“Our objective from the very beginning of our stewardship of the Metrorail Project has been to reduce the burden placed on users of the Dulles Toll Road,” MWAA President and Chief Executive Officer Jack Potter said in a statement Wednesday.

“We have already realized significant savings from debt refinancing, a lower-than-expected winning bid for the major design-build contract for Phase 2 of the project, and the important contribution of $300 million from the Commonwealth of Virginia during the 2013 legislative session," Potter added. "Securing the TIFIA loan is the final piece of the puzzle to let us freeze toll rates for the next five years.”

The Airports Authority, along with its project partners Fairfax County and Loudoun County, were invited to apply for a low-interest TIFIA loan in February. While the loan still requires final federal approval, it would directly benefit drivers on the toll road, officials said.

By supplying financing at more favorable interest rates than through private capital markets, less money would need to be generated by tolls to cover long-term financing costs for the project.

A decision on the loan application is expected in the near future.

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