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Loudoun May Withdraw Funding From Dulles Metrorail

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While construction of Phase I of the Silver Line is already underway, Phase II is having trouble getting off the ground.
David Schultz
While construction of Phase I of the Silver Line is already underway, Phase II is having trouble getting off the ground.

Loudoun County Supervisor Stevens Miller says a majority of his colleagues on the Board think the cost of the so-called Silver Line is no longer worth it.

"Loudoun County's contribution to that project would be on the order of $300 million," Miller says. "But as of yet we haven't committed to fund that part. If we don't, then Phase II would be in complete jeopardy."

Miller says many of his colleagues on the board now feel the cost of a new Metro line is not worth it. He says Loudoun may have to raise taxes to pay for its $300 million share, and that's a nonstarter for the supervisors from the western part of the county, past the final Silver Line stop.

Board Chairman Scott York says Miller is incorrect. York says Loudoun will pay its share of the project -- just as long as its designers choose an above-ground aerial station at the airport.

"We have been communicating to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Board that they had better well choose the aerial alignment," York says, "because of the fact that it is several hundred million dollars cheaper."

York says if the Authority chooses an underground station, Loudoun County will have a very serious discussion about opting out of the project.

If Loudoun does withdraw its funding, it's unclear what would happen next -- whether the Silver Line would simply end at Dulles Airport, or whether the entire second phase of the project, from Herndon out to the airport and beyond, would fall through.

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