Lawsuit Could Affect Toll Road Drivers, Dulles Metro

Federal court hears case challenging Airports Authority

Thursday, May 26, 2011  |  Updated 11:55 PM EDT
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Lawsuit Could Affect Toll Road Drivers, Dulles Metro

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A lawsuit filed by two Virginia residents could affect every driver who uses the Dulles Toll Road and impact the future of the Dulles Metro Project.

John Corr and John Grigsby are toll road users. Their case was heard Thursday in federal court in Alexandria, Va. The men are challenging the power of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, the operators of the toll road, to raise tolls above the amount needed to pay for road expenses.

The Authority was given that power when Tim Kaine was governor in 2005.

The lawsuit says any toll higher than what's required to maintain the road amounts to a tax, in violation of the Virginia and U.S. Constitutions.

The Authority is using the extra income from higher tolls to help fund the Dulles Metro Project.

The judge is expected to make a decision within a few weeks.

A ruling in favor of the lawsuit would throw the Metro project into jeopardy. Someone else would have to run the toll road and could be less likely to raise tolls to the $20 per trip consultants for the Airports Authority project will be needed by 2040.

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