Deal to buy Dulles Greenway may be elusive

By Hank Silverberg, wtop news.

HERNDON,Va — Tolls will be going up again on the privately owned Dulles Greenway even as talk continues about a possible purchase by the state.

The Virginia State Corporation Commission has approved a 10 cent toll for the 14-mile highway between Dulles Airport and Leesburg, Va. It means a one-way trip at peak hours for cars will now cost $4.90.

It is toll increases like that which have prompted discussion in the Virginia General Assembly about buying the highway from the Australian investors who own it.

But State Transportation Secretary Sean Connaughton says the price may be too high. “It’s a pretty big debt load that they have on the Greenway that drives the tolls”, he says. “It would be very difficult for the Commonwealth to take over the Greenway given that.”

Delegate Joe May (R-Loudoun) has said that some negotiations were underway about a possible purchase aimed at keeping the tolls low.

The Dulles Greenway connects to the Dulles Toll Road which is now owned by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. MWAA has raised tolls on the Toll Road to help finance the Dulles Rail extension project.

The toll increases on both roads have prompted protest from local citizens groups.

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(Copyright 2013 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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