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Dulles toll rates will remain flat for five years

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority says that the federal loans it expects to receive will eliminate the need to raise tolls on the Dulles Toll Road for at least the next five years.

MWAA, along with Fairfax and Loudoun counties, was officially invited to apply for low-interest federal TIFIA loans in February. While the loans still require final approval, receiving the invitation to apply means the parties are likely to receive the loans.

With the lower interest rate on the loans, plus an additional $300 million in funding from the Commonwealth of Virginia and lower-than-expected costs for the second phase of the rail line, MWAA President and CEO Jack Potter said the agency will be able to freeze toll rates.

“Our objective from the very beginning of our stewardship of the Metrorail Project has been to reduce the burden placed on users of the Dulles Toll Road ,” Potter said in a released statement. “Securing the TIFIA loan is the final piece of the puzzle to let us freeze toll rates for the next five years.”

Route 1 widening to begin April 28

Officials with the Fairfax County Department of Transportation announced this week that a ground-breaking ceremony April 28 will mark the formal start of construction on Route 1 in southeastern Fairfax County.

The project will widen a 3-5-mile section of Route 1. The highway will be widened from four to six lanes between Telegraph Road and Mount Vernon Highway. The project also will provide pedestrian and bicycle improvements and accommodations for future transit service.

Construction is expected to be completed next year.

Rail project manager resigns

Pat Nowakowski, the executive director of the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project, will be leaving his post by next month. Nowakowski will be starting a position with another transit agency in May, according to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, although the agency was not specified.

While the construction of the first phase of the Silver Line has encountered a series of delays in reaching the finish line, MWAA officials praised Nowakowski for his work overseeing the contstuction of the first phase and the planning, bidding and early construction work on the second phase of the rail line.

“Pat has skillfully guided this large and complex project in a way that few people could have done,” said MWAA President and CEO Jack Potter said in a released statement. “His knowledge, experience, expertise, energy, integrity, dedication, leadership and his deep sense of public service make us all proud and grateful to have him as a colleague.”

Meet Vienna Town Council candidates at forum

The Northeast Vienna Citizens Association will host a forum for candidates for Vienna mayor and Town Council April 22. The forum will be held at the Vienna Community Center, 120 Cherry St. SE, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Each candidate will provide brief remarks, followed by a moderated question-and-answer session.

Laurie DiRocco is running unopposed for mayor. She was recently appointed mayor to fill the term of former Mayor Jane Seeman, who died of lung cancer earlier this year.

There are six candidates for three seats on the Town Council: Mike L. Cheselka, Linda Jane Colbert, Edythe Frankel Kelleher, Pasha M. Majdi, Dennis E. Rice, and Tara L. Voigt. Kelleher is the only incumbent seeking re-election.

Town elections are May 6.