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Video: Senators Warner and Kaine; Reps. Connolly, Beyer and Wexton; Fairfax Chairman McKay; Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg; etc. Celebrate Opening of Silver Line Extension

"Do you smell that? That, my friends, is new Metro station smell. It's like new car smell, but it's much much better"


See below for video, courtesy of reporter Hannah Denham, of the “@wmata’s Silver Line extension’s grand opening at the new @Dulles_Airport Metro station.” Also, see below fht video for highlights from Sen. Mark Warner, Sen. Tim Kaine, Rep. Gerry Connolly, 

Sen. Mark Warner: Said this is a “great, great day,” noting that he first got involved in 1991, when the Commonwealth Transportation Board was discussing the possibility of opening the Dulles Access Road permanently to traffic. According to Sen. Warner, if they’d done that, there never would have been a Silver Line to Dulles Airport. “And to put that in perspective, Mr. Secretary [Pete Buttigieg], I did some research, you were in third grade.” “What we have done in celebration of this grand opening, every one of these speakers  are gonna come with partially silver hair at this point.” “This has been a bipartisan commitment for decades and decades and decades.” Sen. Warner said he and Sen. Kaine had to have a number of “frank and candid exchange[s]” to keep the project moving along. He noted that this project was driving $3 billion of development investment in Reston alone, “and we’re going to see the kind of smart-growth approach, building around Metro stations in a way that will help our region…and frankly we now have that gateway for international travelers to our nation’s capital. It’s been a long time coming, but congratulations to all involved.”

Sen. Tim Kaine: “I was young when I started working on this; two weeks ago, I became eligible and I registered for Medicare.” “I was elected governor in 2005…and I said to [my Secretary of Transportation Pierce Homer] I don’t know how, but I only have four years, and before I’m gone from here, this thing is going to be planned and financed and under contract and under construction. And in March 2009, in my last year as governor, we broke ground on the Silver Line. Now to get there, I was sued by members of the General Assembly, I think some of them might even be here today, taking credit along with me. We lost federal funding…Folks, we have fought off everything other than a plague of locusts on this, and I don’t want to jinx myself. But it is such an exciting thing. We are the capital of the free world, and to have top-quality, first-class, public rail connecting our international gateway to the beautiful DC…it’s the right thing to do and here we are.”

Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA11): “We are here at last…We’re here 60 years later, 60 years it took for this day…This project was truly the Perils of Pauline…When we began to  try to revive this project 27 years ago, it was a lonely time and place. The world was filled with naysayers…I want to thank Kate Hanley, who was at the time chairman of the Board of Supervisors of Fairfax County, for having the guts and vision to keep it alive. We didn’t have a lot of partners at that time, but we did have a vision…When we started actually rendering what this might look like, people started to buy in and believe in the possibility of it and be willing to finance it…getting big things done is hard, really hard, and it requires political and intestinal fortitude to stick with it…Gov. Warner and Gov. Kaine kept the flame alive…made today possible…The return on this investment will be, I believe, incalculable, as we go forward…and will improve the quality of live and the environment for everybody.”

Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA08): “The Silver Line is the silver lining for everybody who works, learns, plays, and visits our nation’s capital, for making yet another major carbon reduction in emissions for decades to come; for making life more convenient for all who commute, for all who use the airport, time to read, sleep, answer emails, play Wordle, create fake Twitter accounts…We’re building abundant social capital, linking together these thriving neighborhoods all along the Silver Line. And my wife will never have to drive to Dulles again at 11 at night to pick me up. The Silver Line is a once-in-a-generation community infrastructure paradigm shift that will change all of our lives in grand and in subtle ways.”

Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-VA10): “Do you smell that? That, my friends, is new Metro station smell. It’s like new car smell, but it’s much much better, because it’s actually going to remove thousands of cars from our roads every single day. I’m so excited that this long-awaited grand opening of Phase II of the Silver Line is finally here…We need to rely on transit and transportation to support families, small businesses and continued economic success. That’s exactly what the Silver Line extension is going to do, have a transformative impact on Loudoun County and the entire region…Enjoy the ride!”

Fairfax County Chair Jeff McKay: “We survived, and the Metro is here today…This project spans four different chairpeople of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors…Kate Hanley…Gerry Connolly…Sharon Bulova…Big things take time and this is a big thing. And what we’ve proven here today, is that with enough tenacity, enough partnership, enough hard work, we can still do really big things…when it comes to infrastructure…Metro [is not] an expense but…an investment…We don’t think about the cost of NOT doing things…Think what a different place this area would be if it weren’t for Metro…enormous economic development…vibrant communities…people who are living a different life because of the investment of Metro. We know in Northern Virginia, that our economy drives the Commonwealth of Virginia, we know that, and we must constantly invest, reinvest in projects like this to make sure our economy continues to move forward.  This is also critical for the environment, if you think about transit and what it does for the environment…getting cars off the road…LEED-certified buildings…cleaning up the climate…Our community deserves these kinds of investments…We’re catching up with a very bold way here…Let’s get on the train!”





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