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Fairfax Co. looks skyward hoping to reduce tolls

Wednesday - 3/20/2013, 6:29am  ET

Hank Silverberg, wtop.com

FAIRFAX, Va. - Efforts to reduce tolls on the Dulles Toll Road are now going sky-high.

Supervisor Pat Herrity is asking for a study to determine how much Fairfax County could charge for the right to build over the Dulles Toll Road and the new Silver Line and next to new Metro stations, which will be in the median.

Selling air rights to build over roads or rail has been used in other parts of the country. But if it happens along the toll road, it would be a first for Virginia.

"It's a way to use the property that we have next to these Metro stations, and make some money that we can put back into tolls," says Herrity, R-Springfield.

As it stands now, toll road users will pay about 75 percent of the $3 billion cost for phase two of the Silver Line. Herrity says officials have to act now before the design is completed on the remaining Silver Line stations in Fairfax County.

Selling the air rights would affect only the second phase of the 23-mile Silver Line expansion that will run into Loudoun County past Dulles International Airport.

Phase one, which will extend Metro service from the existing Orange Line to Wiehle Avenue, is nearly finished and is scheduled to open later this year.

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