But he pulled back after pressure from conservative Republicans. McDonnell said Wednesday that now that the airports authority has dropped the PLA, the state will send the $150 million as promised.
“I’m very happy that they made the vote today. . . . My job is not to make MWAA happy,” McDonnell said. “My job is to look out for the taxpayers of Virginia.” He said the airports authority had made “poor management decisions” from previous administrations that “dramatically” increase rates on the Dulles Toll Road, which is a key source of revenue for the Silver Line project.
The first phase of the rail line, which runs through Tysons Corner to Wiehle Avenue, is under construction and expected to open in August 2013. But the second part of the project, which is expected to run from Reston to Dulles International Airport and Loudoun County, is already behind schedule in soliciting bids.
Political and business leaders in Fairfax County cheered the MWAA’s decision. Several said they were also more optimistic now that Virginia would contribute more money and that Loudoun’s supervisors would be persuaded to continue with the project.