Judge dismisses Virginia toll road lawsuit

| 3/13/2007

Two Virginia residents have been attempting since January to stop the transfer of the Dulles Toll Road to the Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority.

But a judge dismissed their lawsuit on Friday, March 9.

The plaintiffs stated in their lawsuit that the state lacked authority to transfer the asset without permission from the Virginia General Assembly. The state argued that it has sovereign immunity, and the Richmond Circuit Court judge sided with the state.

The plaintiffs were awaiting a written opinion from the judge before deciding whether to appeal, their attorney told The Associated Press.

The pending transfer, barring an appeal, would give the airport authority the right to collect tolls for 50 years on the Dulles Toll Road - a public asset not to be confused with the nearby Dulles Greenway. The Greenway is under the operating authority of Macquarie Infrastructure Group of Australia.

The airport authority, which operates the Washington Dulles International Airport and the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, is in the process of raising $4 billion to build a 23-mile expansion of the Metrorail. Officials say the acquired authority of the toll road will serve that purpose.