Continued from page 1

Leo Schefer, president of the Washington Airports Task Force, said he was “optimistic” about Tuesday’s vote and predicted a 7-2 vote to remain a project partner, adding that the alternative could be disastrous both for the county and for the entire project.

“If the rail isn’t built into Loudoun, then Loudoun will basically continue to be a dormitory suburb,” said Mr. Schefer, who heads the nonprofit that works on issues related to Dulles and Ronald Reagan Washington National airports. “I think we will increasingly see the higher-value jobs and higher-value commercial property being within walking distance of Metro stations.”

Phase 1 of the project, which is to run from East Falls Church to Wiehle Avenue in Reston, is scheduled to be completed next year, and Phase 2 could be open to the public in 2018 - if the current schedule is kept, that is.

Loudoun’s built its land-use plan and development prospects around the certainty of rail,” Mr. Schefer said. “It would not surprise me if Loudoun pulled out if we didn’t see Phase 2 collapse, period.”