The Dept. of Justice has filed a civil action that would seize nine acres of county land on the eastern end of Columbia Pike by eminent domain, in order to expand Arlington National Cemetery.
The suit appears to be part of the long-standing plan to expand the cemetery around the Air Force Memorial, and includes no indication of resistance from the county. Arlington endorsed the federal proposal in April, which realigns and upgrades a portion of Columbia Pike in exchange for the county-owned land next to the cemetery.
As of Tuesday morning neither the Justice Department nor the county responded to requests for comment by ARLnow.
The action was announced Monday, with the DOJ touting it as a win for both military veterans and local residents.
“When completed, the Arlington National Cemetery Southern Expansion Project will provide for approximately 60,000 additional burial sites, including an above ground columbarium,” said a press release. “The expansion will extend the timeline for Arlington National Cemetery to continue as an active military cemetery.”
“The expansion project will benefit Arlington County and its residents by, among other things, burying overhead power lines and incorporating the Air Force Memorial and surrounding vacant land into Arlington National Cemetery,” the press release continues. “The project will transform Columbia Pike from South Oak Street to Washington Boulevard by re-aligning and widening it. The project includes streetscape zones with trees on both sides of Columbia Pike, adding a new dedicated bike path, and widening pedestrian walkways. The project also provides for the construction of a new South Nash Street.”
The full press release is below.
The Department of Justice filed today a civil action on behalf of the Department of the Army for the taking of roadways owned or operated by Arlington County, Virginia, by eminent domain for the purpose of expanding Arlington National Cemetery.
The taking and relocation of these roadways, together with future planned acquisitions from the Commonwealth of Virginia, will establish a single, contiguous parcel of land south of the existing cemetery. The incorporation of this land into the cemetery will create a 49-acre contiguous parcel available for cemetery development.
When completed, the Arlington National Cemetery Southern Expansion Project will provide for approximately 60,000 additional burial sites, including an above ground columbarium. The expansion will extend the timeline for Arlington National Cemetery to continue as an active military cemetery. The total project cost, including the related Defense Access Roads Project, is estimated at $420 million, and Congress already has appropriated $280 million in Project-related funding.
The expansion project will benefit Arlington County and its residents by, among other things, burying overhead power lines and incorporating the Air Force Memorial and surrounding vacant land into Arlington National Cemetery. The project will transform Columbia Pike from South Oak Street to Washington Boulevard by re-aligning and widening it. The project includes street-scape zones with trees on both sides of Columbia Pike, adding a new dedicated bike path, and widening pedestrian walkways. The project also provides for the construction of a new South Nash Street.
“Earlier this month, we recognized the 76th anniversary of D-Day and we remembered the heroism, service, and sacrifice of American servicemen and women in the defense of freedom,” said Jeffrey Bossert Clark, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division. “But every day the ultimate sacrifice of America’s men and women is commemorated at Arlington National Cemetery, our nation’s most hallowed ground. With today’s civil action, we are proud to assist with this important expansion of Arlington Cemetery, which may now continue to serve as a burial ground for America’s fallen well into the future.”
June 15, 2020 marks the 156th anniversary of Arlington National Cemetery, which was established as a military cemetery in 1864 during the American Civil War.
“As part of the Expansion Project, the Department of the Army and others worked to realign roads and real estate to ensure a much needed expansion of Arlington National Cemetery so that this space can continue being a hallowed resting ground for our nation’s service members,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “As someone whose grandfather will forever reside at ANC with so many of his friends, brothers, and sisters of the greatest generation, it is particularly meaningful to assist in facilitating this expansion and seek court approval for just compensation for Arlington County.”
Congress authorized the Department of the Army to acquire land, including acquisition by condemnation, if necessary, for the expansion of Arlington National Cemetery. Congress gets its authority from the U.S. Constitution that allows the taking of public county property for a public use. In turn, the government must pay just compensation for the property. Acquisition by condemnation is an open and transparent process that assures fair treatment for landowners and taxpayers alike. The government here is providing just compensation in the form of substitute facilities, including a realigned and redesigned Columbia Pike and the construction of a new South Nash Street.
In loving memory of Joseph Robert Kapacziewski, who passed away in 2023 at the age of 41.
In loving memory of James Stuart Edmonds, who passed away in 2023 at the age of 84.
A man was shot in front of a lounge on Columbia Pike early this morning, continuing a string of violent incidents.
Good Friday evening, Arlington. Today we published articles that were read a total of 17124 times… so far. 📈 Top stories The following are the most-read articles for today —…
YULA’s ultimate frisbee spring season is now open for registration. We offer programs for middle and high schoolers – open to all players, whether they are new or have previous experience.Middle SchoolIn the Middle School league, mixed-gender teams practice once during the week and have games on Sunday afternoons. Spring league is a fun, safe, and positive environment. The season begins mid-March and wraps up with a tournament in early June. There are several options for practice days, so we can often work around schedule conflicts with other sports & activities.High SchoolThe High School program is organized by school of attendance and teams are classified by gender. New players will learn the basics in a supportive, welcoming environment. Experienced players will continue to develop their skills, and enjoy competition with other high school programs. The season concludes with a state level championship tournament in late May.All players are guided by experienced coaches who emphasize sportsmanship and good spirit. Ultimate is a fun sport with great camaraderie!YULA does not want finances to limit anyone from participating. Our middle school program offers a “Pay What You Can” cost structure and our our high school program is offering a $50 discount to new players.Visit our website to register and learn more. Sign up with a friend, but don’t delay, the season starts in March!http://www.yula-ulti.org
The Arlington-Aachen High School exchange is returning this summer and currently accepting applicants.
The sister-city partnership started in 1993 by the Arlington Sister Cities Association, which seeks to promote Arlington’s international profile through a variety of exchanges in education, commerce, culture and the arts. The exchange, scheduled June 17th to July 4th, includes a two-week homestay in Aachen plus three days in Berlin. Knowledge of the German language is not required for the trip.
Former participants have this to say:
_”The Aachen exchange was an eye-opening experience where I was fully immersed in the life of a German student. I loved biking through the countryside to Belgium, having gelato and picnics in the town square, and hanging out with my German host student’s friends. My first time out of the country, the Aachen exchange taught me to keep an open mind, because you never know what could be a life changing experience.” – Kelly M._
Valentine gifts for someone special or for yourself are here at George Mason University from noon -4pm on February 14, 2023. Satisfy your sweet tooth with Kingsbury Chocolates, find a handmade bag from Karina Gaull, pick up treats from Village