WASHINGTON – There could be a break for drivers who use the Dulles Toll Road. The tolls may not be going up as much as projected.
Money collected from tolls will be used to finance the second phase of the Metrorail extension that is set to begin construction later this year.
But all five construction bids to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, which is building the rail line, came in between $1.17 billion and $1.37 billion.
That’s less than the original $1.5 billion projected cost.
And that could save the state $300 million, says Virginia State Transportation Secretary Sean Connaughton. Combined with $300 million allocated by the Virginia General Assembly, it will keep the tolls down, Connaughton says.
“We think it will allow the airports authority to essentially keep the tolls level for several years and then really have a much lower projected increase in the tolls in the out years,” he says.
The bids came in lower that expected due to a lower cost for concrete and other building materials, and the refusal by the state to mandate the use of union labor, according to Connaughton.
Phase One of the Dulles Rail Silver Line — with five new stations — is 90 percent completed and could open by the end of this year.
Construction on Phase Two that will eventually take Metro’s Silver Line into Loudoun County could begin later this year.