Work is kicking off this week on an extension to the Crystal City-Potomac Yard transitway.
The project will eventually extend a dedicated corridor for rapid bus transit to Amazon’s HQ2 and the Pentagon City Metro station. Construction is now getting underway on the first segment of the extension.
The work will include the installation of two new transit stations at Crystal Drive and 15th Street S. and 12th Street S. and Long Bridge Drive, as well as street improvements along 12th Street S. stretching from Crystal City to Pentagon City.
Construction is expected to take a year, according to the county, and should be completed in April 2023.
The Transitway extension to Pentagon City will add more than a mile to the existing 4.5 mile corridor, including center-running transit-only lanes cutting through 12th Street.
The two new transit stations that will be built over the next year are among four others that are scheduled for construction. The stations will be similar in appearance to the existing Transitway stations on Crystal Drive and Clark Street.
Impact on commuters is supposed to be minimal, with work taking place Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Portions of the northbound curbside lane along Crystal Drive, between 12th Street S. and 15th Street S. and up to Long Bridge Drive, will be inaccessible due to it being used as a construction staging area.
Existing street parking on that side of Crystal Drive will eventually become a transit-only lane, though the county has not given an exact timetable for when that might happen.
The street improvements will focus on the stretch of 12th Street S. from S. Eads Street to S. Clark Street in Crystal City and the intersection of 12th Street S. at Crystal Drive.
The work will include sidewalks, streetlights, pedestrian ramps, and new crosswalks at Army Navy Drive. There will also be a two-way bicycle facility under the Route 1 overpass, the first step in linking a planned bike track extending from Army Navy Drive to a multi-use path along S. Bell Street that will eventually go to the Crystal City Metro station. The design phase for that is nearly complete, with construction coming potentially this year.
The Transitway is the dedicated infrastructure for the Metroway rapid bus transit line that debuted in 2014. It was the first of its kind in the region and hailed as a public transportation achievement.
The transit line was designed to provide covered stations, more frequent service and newer buses, driving along a route connecting Arlington and Alexandria. The $42 million price tag was split evenly between Arlington and Alexandria.
While intended to boost bus ridership and provide accessibility to neighborhoods that are rapidly developing, the line has achieved only some of those goals and has been plagued by lack of riders. Additionally, planned features like off-board fare collection have not yet been implemented, and confused motorists sometimes drive the wrong way in the bus-only lanes.
Despite those issues and questions about the impact on commuting from remote work trends, local officials continue to say that the Transitway is a wise investment for the future.
The planned extension to Pentagon City will tack on more than a mile to the corridor at a cost of nearly $28 million. Most of that is being paid by the state and the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, though Arlington is contributing about $1.8 million.
After the first phase of the extension is potentially completed next spring, the project will move to the next two segments.
The next focus on 12th Street S. from Long Bridge Drive to S. Hayes Street, with construction anticipated to start in the summer of 2023 and be completed within a year, a county spokesperson said. The final segment will focus on S. Hayes Street from 12th Street S. to Army Navy Drive. That’s in the conceptual stage and a construction timeline has not yet been set.
Good Wednesday evening, Arlington. Let’s take a look back at today’s stories and a look forward to tomorrow’s event calendar. 🕗 News recap The following articles were published earlier today…
A new draft of Plan Langston Blvd, which envisions a tree-lined, walkable, densely developed Route 29, dropped last week with a splash.
Say hello to Chico, the newest Adoptable Pet of the Week! This little guy is currently in foster through the Animal Welfare League of Arlington. Here is what his friends…
Arlington County is in the early stages of designing a multi-use trail facility along Long Bridge Drive. Now through mid-October, the county is gathering input on how people currently use…
RSCP is a part-time, play based preschool in North Arlington for children ages 18 months to 5 years old.
OUR SCHOOL: We follow the Reggio Emilia approach of learning through play. Our preschool focuses on children’s intellectual, social, and emotional growth through active play. We offer:
• Experienced and caring teachers
• Opportunities for each child to explore and gain confidence
Our 9th Annual Jennifer Bush-Lawson 5K & Family Fun Day is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 18, 2023, from 9:00am-1pm at the Knights of Columbus, 5115 Little Falls Rd, Arlington.
During a morning of celebration and health-focused activities — emceed by