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County Board Approves $1 Million Public Art Installation in Rosslyn

Rosslyn is getting a new $1 million, developer-funded public art installation.

The County Board on Saturday awarded a contract $968,000 contract to California artist Cliff Garten to fabricate and install “four stainless steel, LED-lighted Luminous Body sculptures” that will be placed on the four corners of the Lynn Street bridge over I-66, near the entrance to the Key Bridge.

It’s the second phase in a larger public art project to create a “Corridor of Light” down N. Lynn Street.

“This is an exciting project that will help us achieve our vision for Rosslyn,” Arlington County Board Chair Libby Garvey said in a press release. “The ‘Corridor of Light’ is a beautiful design that will create a memorable public space for all our residents, commuters and visitors who move through this heavily-travelled corridor.”

“Garten was selected by a panel of specialists and stakeholders and his design was unanimously approved by the Public Art Committee and the Arlington Arts Commission,” noted the press release. “The artwork will create an easily recognized and iconic entrance to the County from Key Bridge, Lee Highway and westbound I-66.”

The project is being paid for developers, via “public art contributions pooled from various site plan projects in Rosslyn,” said Arlington Public Art Marketing Director Jim Byers.

Though the installation approved Saturday is considered the project’s second phase, the first phase — to be built as part of JBG’s Central Place project along Lynn Street — is still under development. Early plans for some 60 light sculptures have since, apparently, been scaled back.

“The middle section of Corridor of Light was reconsidered in response to right-of-way engineering challenges along Lynn Street,” Byers said. “The plans for the Central Place portion of the project are still in development.”

The third phase of the project is to consist of four “Luminous Body sculptures,” like those just approved by the Board, on either corner of the Meade Street Bridge over Route 50. Those will be built as part of a bridge improvement project that’s currently in the design phase.

On Saturday the County Board also approved transferring construction work on its Lynn Street Esplanade Project to the Virginia Dept. of Transportation.

In addition to the light sculptures, the esplanade project includes a number of safety and traffic improvements for Lynn Street, including:

  • Widened sidewalks
  • Intersection improvements
  • Upgraded traffic signals
  • On-street bike lanes
  • Street lights
  • Signs and landscape areas

From the press release:

Under the transfer agreement, VDOT would use its state-wide procurement system to advertise, award and administer construction. Arlington has already completed the final engineering phase of work.

The transfer carries mutual benefits as the project is within state right-of-way and requires significant VDOT coordination and approvals. VDOT staff also has expertise in structural work required on Lynn Street over I-66.

VDOT will be providing construction management and inspection services that Arlington would otherwise have had to contract for separately.

Under the agreement, the state would be allowed to invoice Arlington for up to $5.7 million for construction services. Construction is anticipated to begin in fall 2017.

VDOT is expected to award a construction bid for the project this winter and begin construction in the fall of 2017. Construction is expected to last about two years and will include some traffic impacts along Lynn Street.

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