WASHINGTON—U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today committed $900 million in U.S. Department of Transportation funds through 2016 to the $3.1 billion Wiehle Avenue Extension of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project. Participating in the full funding grant agreement ceremony at Transportation headquarters were Secretary LaHood, Governor Tim Kaine, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) Chairman H.R. Crawford, members of the Virginia congressional delegation and other MWAA officials.
“This project comes at a pivotal point as the Obama Administration begins to make vast improvements to our nation’s top transit systems,” Secretary LaHood said. “It will create construction jobs, encourage economic development opportunities, and help Tysons Corner become a more livable community.”
“On behalf of the Airports Authority board of directors, I want to thank all of our partners who have worked so hard to make this project happen,” Crawford said. “This is one of the most important transportation projects to be developed in this region and will finally extend Metrorail along the Dulles Corridor and help relieve traffic congestion in Northern Virginia.”
The 11.7-mile heavy rail line will be an extension to the existing Metrorail system just east of the West Falls Church station through Tysons Corner to its terminus at Wiehle Ave. in Reston, Va. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority will operate the line from the Stadium-Armory station in Washington to Wiehle Ave. MWAA plans to design and construct a second phase, which will extend the line beyond Dulles Airport into Loudoun County.
When complete, this project will consist of five new stations, improvements to an existing rail yard, 64 new rail cars, and 2,300 parking spaces at the Wiehle Ave. station. The Metrorail project would expand capacity to and from Reston and the Tysons Corner regional activity centers, and provide a direct rail link for commuters from northwest Fairfax and Loudoun Counties to employment opportunities in Tysons Corner, the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor, and downtown Washington.
The extension is projected to serve 85,700 daily riders by 2030, including an estimated 10,000 new daily transit riders.