Feds To Allow Rail Between D.C. and Airport

Federal officials have reversed their earlier decision and are now pushing for the extension of Washington D.C.-area metro rail to Dulles International Airport -- a plan that's been in the works for nearly 40 years.

"Federal regulators have approved a long-awaited extension of Metrorail to Tysons Corner and Dulles International Airport, virtually assuring construction of a $5.2 billion project that regional leaders say is crucial to ease congestion and spur economic growth in Northern Virginia."

"By signing off on the project, the Federal Transit Administration reversed its position of almost a year ago, when its regulators declared Dulles rail unqualified to receive $900 million in federal funding, citing cost overruns, delays and concerns about management. The project now heads to U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters and the Office of Management and Budget for final approval. But the transit agency's action is widely viewed as a critical achievement that essentially guarantees the federal funding. Without it, the project would have died, state and regional officials said."

"The reversal caps 11 months of frantic activity by the region's top politicians, who have steadfastly pressured Peters and even the White House to keep alive a project that state, federal and airport officials have planned for more than 40 years. The Silver Line would stretch 23 miles from Falls Church past the airport and into Loudoun County. Its backers say it will be a major commuting route for as many as 60,000 riders a day, providing an alternative for the thousands of drivers who take the jammed Dulles Toll Road each day from their homes in Reston, Herndon and the outer suburbs to jobs in Tysons Corner and the District."

Full Story: Silver Line To Dulles Wins Crucial Federal Okay

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