Transportation secretary approves Dulles project

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U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary Peters has approved spending $900 million in federal money to extend Metrorail to Tysons Corner and on to Dulles International Airport.

The signature puts the once-troubled $5.2 billion project back on track. Just a year ago, Peters questioned the project’s ballooning costs and the ability of the Metrorail system to handle the project.

Now the project heads to Congress for a 60-day comment period. Then it is qualified to receive the federal share of the project.

The Silver Line will run 23 miles from a Falls Church Metro stop to the bustling retail and office Tysons Corner Corridor and onto Dulles International Airport. Supporters say it will alleviate the clogged Dulles Toll Road, with more than 60,000 users daily. It is also an essential piece of Fairfax County’s preliminary plan to turn Tysons Corner into a series of walkable urban neighborhoods.

The first phase, which would extend to Reston, is expected to be completed by 2013. The extension to Loudoun County would be complete two years later. (The Washington Post)

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