New Metro line to connect D.C. with Dulles

A multi-billion dollar Metrorail project to connect Washington Dulles International Airport with the District is slated for completion in 2015, but the project has already been thwarted by a slew of roadblocks.

The 23-mile Silver Line will extend from the existing Orange Line stop in East Falls Church, Va., to Loudon County, Va., and will include Tysons Corner, Reston and Dulles among its 11 Virginia stops. The budget, however, remains millions of dollars short of the $5 billion it needs for completion, said Marcia McAllister, spokeswoman for the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project.

“The project was planned since the Dulles airport was built around 50 years ago,” McAllister said. “When you have so many groups of people to work with, it’s hard to have everyone cooperate.”

Construction was scheduled to begin in 2007 but was pushed back to 2008. Now project managers predict that construction will begin no earlier than March 2009.

McAllister said the Federal Transit Authority began allotting funds for the project in 1999. They anticipate a total of around $900 million to be approved by the end of the year.

Aside from creating an easy way to access the airport from the city, there are hopes that the new line will bring more business to areas along its path, including Tysons Corner.

“We think (the Silver Line) will bring a lot more customers to our store,” said Patrick Nikolagevic, manager of Z Gallerie, a furniture store in Tysons Corner.

Only about 30 percent of the funding will come from the federal government, with much of the project funded through a special tax on Tysons Corner shops. With these shops indirectly financing part of the new Metro line, retailers hope its completion will be beneficial to Tysons Corner’s economy.

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