Washington, D.C. (June 6, 2012) – Rep. Frank Wolf (R-10th) today reiterated his support for extending Metrorail to Dulles airport and Loudoun County in letters to state and local officials following the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority’s decision to abandon a labor agreement on Phase 2 of the project.
Wolf also reiterated the importance of the project’s stakeholders doing everything possible to ensure that the tolls on the Dulles Toll Road remain affordable.
Below is the text of the letter he sent to Scott York, chairman of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors. Wolf sent identical letters to Sharon Bulova, chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, and Sean Connaughton, Virginia’s
Secretary of Transportation.
The Honorable Scott York
Loudoun County Board of Supervisors
1 Harrison St. SE Flr 5
Leesburg, VA 20175
As you know, I have and continue to support Dulles Rail. It is perhaps the most significant transportation project in the region since the construction of the initial Metrorail system. The benefits of extending the system to Dulles Airport and Loudoun County are too numerous to list. Can anyone imagine what the Metropolitan Washington region would look like without Metro?
Today’s decision by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) Board of Directors to abolish the 10-point contracting preference for companies that agreed to sign a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) is a positive step in making Phase 2 a reality. I believe that the board’s decision to drop any preference for a PLA will open up the Phase 2 bidding process to more competition and comply with Virginia laws. It should also lead to lower costs on the project and lower tolls on drivers.
Like you, I have lived in northern Virginia for many years and remember when Fairfax and Loudoun counties were not the centers of commerce they are today. The growth throughout the Dulles corridor was made possible by the transfer of Dulles International Airport and the then-Washington National Airport from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to MWAA. The transfer allowed Dulles to be marketed as an international hub and permitted bonds to be issued to support expansion of both airports.
Before the transfer, Reagan National was in a state of disrepair. Dulles sat in a remote and sparsely populated Loudoun County and serviced approximately 2.1 million passengers per year. It was clear that a successful Dulles airport would benefit the entire region and spur job growth in the Dulles corridor. I worked with federal and state officials in the 1980s to transfer control of the airports to MWAA. Today, Dulles services over 20 million passengers per year. The success of the airports in the 25 years after the creation of MWAA is testimony to the importance of the initial transfer.
Just as transferring control of the airports was critical to the success of the region 25 years ago, the critical step now is extending mass transit to Dulles and Loudoun County. After Loudoun County, Fairfax County and the Commonwealth Transportation Board elected to extend Metro, I worked with state, local and federal officials to ensure federal funding was secured for Phase 1.
Today’s decision guarantees a $150 million contribution from the Commonwealth of Virginia, which will help reduce tolls on the Dulles Toll road. I have long said everything must be done to control costs on this project to keep tolls on the toll road as low as possible.
I believe you all share my goal of extending rail to Dulles Airport and Loudoun County. The economic benefits for all those living, commuting and working in the Dulles corridor will benefit from this critical transportation project. I stand ready to work with you and all stakeholders to make the decades-long goal of rail to Dulles Airport and Loudoun County a reality.
Member of Congress