Statement from Fairfax County on Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project Phase I Funding
Oct. 6, 2011
The 10/5/11 Examiner newspaper commentary entitled “Airports authority head lied, and transparency died” contains its own inaccuracies. The Examiner is entitled to its own opinions but not its own facts.
This opinion piece stated “Fairfax County taxpayers are responsible for all Phase I cost overruns, which are now approximately $240 million to cover the six-month delay.” There is nothing factual about this statement. This editorial was based on speculation.
The Dulles rail project is very complex, and it remains to be seen whether or not it is completed on time since maintenance of the schedule is dependent on numerous factors, and mitigation measures are already underway to address any potential delays.
But more bothersome are the stated falsehoods about funding responsibilities.
At their June 18, 2007 meeting, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors authorized a local funding agreement with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) and Loudoun County and also authorized expenditure of funds from the Dulles Corridor Phase I Special Improvement Tax District for the construction of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project. This agreement committed Fairfax County to funding a percentage of the total cost of construction.
Thus for many years, the funding responsibilities have been transparent: MWAA, Loudoun and Fairfax Counties will pay 4.1, 4.8, and 16.1 percent respectively of the total project cost; the remaining 75 percent comes from the Dulles Toll Road and state and federal funding.
Bottom line: Fairfax County taxpayers would only be responsible for a portion (16.1 percent) of any Phase I cost overruns, and in fact, there are no cost overruns to date.
Fairfax County continues to advocate reductions in project costs and is carefully monitoring the cost structure, start of revenue service and funding obligations. All the partners are working together to ensure that the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project Phase I moves forward and becomes a reality bringing much needed public transit improvements to Tysons Corner and Reston.