Tracking the rising Silver Line toll on Dulles Toll Road users

In the beginning — like back in 2004 — Dulles Toll Road users were going to pay for roughly 25 percent of the cost of building the Silver Line rail project.


Traffic on Route 267 flows past the west side of the Wiehle Avenue station, last stop on the first phase of the Silver Line. (Stephen Barna/Dulles Corridor Metrorail Project)

But today, they’re paying for nearly half of the rail line’s $5.6 billion cost. Mary Pat Flaherty and I explain how this happened in this piece that ran in Sunday’s Washington Post.

Below we’d like to share some documents that show readers who’s paying what when it comes to the Silver Line.

It started like this – if you look at page 323 (not the numbered pages, but the ones you see at the top of your screen when you click through) — in 2004, dedicated toll road revenue was roughly 25 percent of the project’s total cost, which at that point was estimated to be $4 billion.

Then a few years later in 2009, the percentage that toll road users would be paying had increased to 52.6 percent (see page 5). Total cost of the project is $5.3 billion.

Just three years later n 2012 — toll road users were now paying 54 percent of the project’s costs. Note in this document — page 15 –  the change in total cost of the project, which is now at $5.6 billion.

And this is the  link to the most current breakdown — 2014 — of who’s paying what (see page 3). Note that money from Virginia and loans from the federal government (last column) help bring the percentage paid by toll road users down to just below 50 percent. But also note: the project’s cost has edged up slightly to closer to $5.7 billion if you round off the numbers.

Lori Aratani writes about how people live, work and play in the D.C. region for The Post’s Transportation and Development team.
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