DOT approves $1.9-billion federal loan for phase two of Metrorail extension

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WJLA) - The Dulles Metrorail Project has received final approval for a nearly $1.9-billion low-interest, long-term federal loan to help bring the rail to Dulles, officials announced Thursday morning.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx signed the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program loan after the U.S. Department of Transportation Credit Council voted to approve it.

"This financing represents the largest loan in the TIFIA program's history," the bipartisan Northern Virginia congressional delegation said Thursday.

The delegation includes elected officials such as Virginia senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine, and U.S. representatives Gerry Connolly, Frank Wolfe and Jim Moran.

The loan is expected to close in the coming weeks, and will allow the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) and its partners to proceed with its construction plans for phase two of the project.

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) is the lead agency in constructing the 23-mile extension of the existing Metrorail system from East Falls Church to Dulles International Airport and beyond into Loudoun County. The TIFIA program at the U.S. Department of Transportation{ } provides federal credit assistance to finance major surface transportation projects of national and regional significance.

All five elected officials released statements praising the approval of the TIFIA loan.

“DOT’s $1.9-billion loan guarantee is a much-needed federal investment in Phase 2 of the Dulles Metrorail Project that brings us one step closer to securing an environmentally friendly, transit-oriented development along the Toll Road,” Rep. Moran said. “Paving our way out of the worst traffic in the nation is impossible. This extension is critical to reducing congestion, commuting time, and gas consumption.”

“This is good news for Virginia and for anyone who uses the Toll Road. It will keep tolls down and shows the federal government’s continued support and commitment to this project,” said Rep. Wolf.