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Dulles/Silver Line rail project gets final OK for $1.9 billion TIFIA loan

The Dulles Metrorail project, also known as the Silver Line, has received final approval for a nearly $1.9 billion low-interest, long-term federal loan, the northern Virginia congressional delegation announced late last week.

U.S. Transportation Secretary 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, according to a press release issued by U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.).

The financing represents the largest loan in the TIFIA program's history, Warner said. Expected to close in the coming weeks, the loan will allow the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and its partners to proceed with its construction plans for phase two of the project, he said.

With the loan announcement, "the last bar has been cleared to move forward on Phase II of the Silver Line, which will improve the daily lives of Northern Virginia commuters and spur economic development throughout the region," said U.S. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) in a prepared statement.

The airports authority is the lead agency in building the 23-mile extension of the existing Metrorail system from East Falls Church to Dulles International Airport and beyond into Loudoun County.

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More News from 5/5/2014