Silver Line debut 1

Regan, Sheridan and Blair Mann wait at the new McLean Metro station for the inaugural eastbound trip coming in from Reston. (Photo by Deb Kolt)

A project submitted by the Fairfax County government remains in contention for Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC) funding, even as a number of other regional projects have been delayed for consideration due to sharp dropoffs in available funding.

As a result, the project – a new, second entrance to the McLean Metro station – is likely to receive the $1 million in regional funds being sought to help with the overall project cost.

The proposal calls for a north entrance along Scotts Crossing Road, providing an easier journey to the Metro station for the roughly 2,000 people in the vicinity who currently have to cross 10 lanes of Route 123 to access the existing station entrance.

The project is one of 11, totaling $17.2 million, that have been submitted by jurisdictions across the region for funding consideration as part of the NVTC’s “Commuter Choice” program, funded by tolls paid by drivers of vehicles using Interstate 66 inside the Capital Beltway.

But because of the sharp dropoff in roadway usage in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting government-mandated economic lockdowns, funding available to support the projects has declined precipitously. In the spring, revenue was at  a mere 10 percent of anticipated levels, and while it has grown somewhat, it remains at only one-quarter of historic monthly levels.

As a result, NVTC staff have recommended that five of the proposed projects, totaling $13.7 million in funding requests, be deferred to a later round of funding because of the lack of funds to support them.

(Fairfax projects recommended being pushed back to second-tier status are $5.1 million for a park-and-ride garage at Patrick Henry Library in Vienna, plus $3.3 million for restoration of Metrobus Route 28X service from Tysons to Mark Center and $5.3 million for new bus service from Reston to Crystal City.)

The NVTC board is expected in October to ratify the staff proposal for funding the $3.5 million in projects in the first tier. The package then will be forwarded to the Commonwealth Transportation Board, which has the final say.

NVTC officials are accepting public comment on the projects through Sept. 21. For information, see the Website at www.novatransit.org.

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