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8/4/2003



Rail News: Passenger Rail

WMATA, state and local authorities plan for Dulles Airport extension




The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation plans soon to propose a Dulles Corridor Rapid Transit project to Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The plan would extend Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Metrorail service to Dulles Airport.

Construction on the project’s 11-mile, five-station first phase would begin in 2005, extending WMATA service from West Falls Church to Wiehle Avenue, and be completed in 2009. The 12-mile second phase — connecting Wiehle Avenue to the airport — would open by 2015.

WMATA, Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, Fairfax County, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, the town of Herndone, Loudoun County and FTA are partnering to develop the project.

Costing between $1.5 billion and $1.8 billion, Phase 1 would be paid for through state and federal funds, a special tax district in the Dulles Corridor and toll increases.

Preliminary engineering is expected to begin later this year for the project, which already has been allocated $142 million by Congress.

During peak rush hour periods, WMATA would carry passengers equaling commuters driving on four new traffic lanes to the airport, said Virginia state officials in a prepared statement.






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