The City of Alexandria begins construction on the first segment of the Crystal City/Potomac Yard Transitway, on Tuesday, July 31. The project will upgrade a 0.8 mile segment of Route 1 between Potomac Avenue and East Glebe Road with dedicated transit-only lanes, signal prioritization for transit, specialized transit stations, and enhanced passenger amenities. This construction, part of a joint project of the City of Alexandria and Arlington County for a five-mile planned transit corridor between the Braddock Road and Pentagon City Metrorail stations, is being delivered as part of a design-build contract, scheduled for completion in December 2013.
Initially, Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) will operate in the transitway, offering higher frequency and reliable service, as well as additional transit capacity. The project supports the City’s Eco-City Alexandria initiative by providing residents, workers and visitors with high-capacity transit.
This five-mile segment, when operational in 2014, will be the first BRT service line in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. BRT service is planned in this region as the next generation of inter-jurisdictional transit networks to enhance mobility and thereby, address traffic congestion.
The City received $15.9 million in federal and state grant funding for the project, including an $8.5 million TIGER grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, as part of the federal stimulus program’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
The Crystal City/Potomac Yard corridor runs north-south between the Pentagon City Metrorail Station in Arlington County and Braddock Road Metrorail Station in the City of Alexandria. Construction will begin in July 2012 and be completed December 2013. Construction requires the widening of Route 1 northbound to the east (recently opened to northbound traffic). The existing northbound lanes from Potomac Avenue to East Glebe Road are rebuilt as bus-only usage (one lane in each direction). The existing southbound lanes will add concrete sidewalks across the southbound lanes as well as installing, updating, and improving pedestrian ramps, compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.
Transit stations will be located in the median areas flanking the transitway at Potomac Avenue, Custis Avenue, Swann Avenue, and East Glebe Road. It is the City’s plan to initiate BRT service in early 2014, and in 2014 begin to study the potential conversion of the BRT lanes into streetcar service. Such a conversion would be a multi-year process that would entail required federal environmental studies, as well as application to the federal government’s Small Starts/New Starts program for capital funding.
For more information and traffic impacts, visit alexandriava.gov/potomacyard.