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County Board mulls more funding for second Pentagon City Metro elevator amid delays

The Pentagon City Metro Station’s second elevator project is now facing yet another delay and a request for more funds.

At its meeting this Saturday, the Arlington County Board is set to discuss adding another $4.4 million in local funds to construct a second Metro elevator on the west side of S. Hayes Street.

If approved, the project’s total cost would jump from $12.8 million to $17.3 million, marking the second budget amendment in less than two years due to construction delays, per a county report. The project is backed with federal, state and local funds.

The new funding is projected to extend the project’s duration by six months. During this time, the county plans to review the construction contract and seek to “recover liquidated damages” for the continued delays, the report said.

The Pentagon City Metro station has one of the highest ridership rates in Northern Virginia, the report says. To access an elevator, however, pedestrians need to cross six lanes of traffic to access one on the east side of S. Hayes Street, opposite the Pentagon City mall. The project aims to provide a safer alternative for pedestrians, particularly those with mobility issues.

Awarded the contract in February 2021, Maryland-based W.M. Schlosser Company began construction on the second elevator later that year. The initial project estimate was $6.4 million and was scheduled for completion in spring 2022.

In November 2022, unforeseen site conditions and supply chain issues prompted the county to increase the project’s budget to $12.8 million, following a request from W.M. Schlosser to extend the deadline to this summer.

Just over a year later, W.M. Schlosser is again seeking to extend its contract to October 2025. The company predicts the construction could be finished by October 2024 but is asking for extra time and funds to cover potential further delays.

County officials, however, allege that the contractor has failed to provide adequate evidence justifying an extension beyond six months, per the staff report. Without adequate justification for further delays, the county says it has notified the contractor of its intention to seek damages for the late completion.

So far, the county has invested about $8 million, which could increase to about $12.4 million if a six-month extension is granted.

W.M. Schlosser disputes the county’s allegations, per the report. The company did not respond to a request before publication.

While construction is set to continue, the county says it will limit its use to a “minimal amount of contingency” funds as the county attorney reviews the terms of the county contract with W.M. Schlosser.

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