The Virginia Senate Finance Committee signed off on a revised state budget plan Thursday morning that includes additional funding for the Dulles rail project.
The bill was amended to include a total of $450 million for the 11-mile second phase of the rail extension, which includes three stations in Fairfax County, one at Dulles Airport and two in Loudoun County. The total estimated cost for the second phase is $3.2 billion.
State officials had previously pledged $150 million for the rail line. Sens. Janet Howell (D-Dist. 32) and Mark Herring (D-Dist. 33) led the charge to get more rail funding in the state budget.
Staff with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority have said that any additional state money would slow the pace of toll rate increases on the Dulles Toll Road. The authority is using bonds backed by toll revenues to pay for a significant portion of the construction costs for the rail line.
“This is great news for Northern Virginia,” Howell said in a released statement. “We believed all along the state needed to step up and make a major contribution toward the completion of Phase 2. The original Senate budget, which we opposed, was completely silent on funding for this project, which is of local, state and national significance.”
State legislators have been meeting in a special session this week to negotiate a state budget for the next two years after partisan gridlock caused the budget bills to fail during the regular General Assembly session.
The budget version containing the additional funding for Dulles rail still needs to pass the full Senate, as well as the House of Delegates, before it goes to Gov. Robert F. McDonnell for review.