The U.S. Department of Transportation this week signed off on an agreement to provide its share of full funding - $900 million - for the $5.2 billion Dulles Metrorail extension project, which will be financed with $2 billion of bonds beginning this spring.

"One of my top transportation priorities has been to see Dulles Rail become a reality," Virginia Gov. Timothy Kaine said in a statement. "The signing of the $900 million full funding grant agreement for phase one of the project is an accomplishment that has taken more than 10 years to achieve and I am proud to have this honor."

"I look forward to construction beginning in the coming weeks and making a 40-year dream a reality," Kaine added.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood signed an agreement with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority on Tuesday to allow the 23-mile Metrorail extension to Dulles International Airport to move forward. The MWAA plans to issue about $1.2 billion of toll road bonds for the first phase of the project.

The first phase is an 11-mile stretch between the West Falls Church Metrorail station and a new station at Wiehle Avenue in Reston, Va., that is expected to cost $2.6 billion and to be completed by 2013. The second phase is projected to cost about $2.5 billion.

More than $2 billion of bonds will be used in both phases and the debt will be backed by tolls from the Dulles Toll Road. The MWAA received control of the tolls from the Virginia Department of Transportation in November.

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