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Mount Vernon Trail widening project to take a small step forward, with construction still two years away

State-funded safety improvements to the Mount Vernon Trail are one step closer to getting underway.

The Arlington County Board is set to review on Saturday a memorandum of agreement with the Virginia Department of Transportation, the National Park Service and the Federal Highway Administration governing the roles of the respective agencies throughout the project.

Some five miles of trail between Rosslyn and Tide Lock Park in Alexandria are set to be widened so that users have 5.5 feet of space in each direction, as opposed to the current 3.5 feet. One bridge near Theodore Roosevelt Island, the infamous wood plank Trollheim Bridge, and two bridges in Alexandria will also be rebuilt and widened.

Lastly, the S-curve at Daingerfield Island and four intersections — near Theodore Roosevelt Island and the Humpback Bridge, Crystal City connector and Four Mile Run trails — will be realigned to reduce conflicts. Construction is set to start in the 2026-27 fiscal year.

Four years ago this May, NPS, which administers the Mount Vernon Trail, released a study detailing its current conditions and recommending substantial upgrades. The study found that pedestrian and cyclist conflicts are significant along narrow and congested portions of the trail through Arlington County, particularly near Rosslyn and Crystal City.

The study also determined the intersection with the Four Mile Run Trail has high crash potential and recommended straightening the sharp S-curve at Daingerfield Island.

A few months later, the Arlington County Board gave the green light to apply for state funding for some these recommended upgrades. In 2021, the state awarded the project $29 million from its discretionary transportation capital funding program.

NPS will chip in $4 million to cover the difference between estimated project costs and the state’s allocation and will cover any budget overages. Already, it has conducted public engagement on the project and will continue to do so as the project progresses through the conclusion of design and into construction, the county report says.

The agreement set for review this weekend must be approved for NPS to access the funding, according to the county.

As part of the agreement, Arlington County will appoint a project manager tasked with making sure the project stays within the scope of what the state approved. The county will also approve the final designs, which are nearly 30% complete so far.

Additionally, the County Board will review a separate agreement that includes Alexandria, pertaining to the trail portions that fall within its city limits.

Scope of Mount Vernon Trail improvements (via VDOT)

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It is the decision of the United States Department of Defense (DoD) Washington Headquarters Services (WHS) to implement the Proposed Action: the 2024 Pentagon Reservation Master Plan Update (Pentagon Master Plan) as the framework to guide future decisions regarding land use and infrastructure at the Pentagon site and Mark Center. The Pentagon Master Plan aims to provide an update to the existing conditions at the Pentagon and Mark Center and presents projects and revisions to land use categorizations that will address the specific needs to reduce the Pentagon’s environmental impacts and advance sustainability, security, and resilience. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review has been completed through preparation of a Final Environmental Assessment (EA) to evaluate environmental impacts arising from implementation of the projects. WHS has concluded that no significant impacts to the human or natural environment will result from implementation of any projects, and recognized negative effects will be reduced by adherence to standard best management practices, applicable permit and consultation conditions, and standard operating procedures. This decision is further documented in the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) signed on March 20, 2024.

This notice announces the availability of the FONSI to implement the 2024 Pentagon Reservation Master Plan Update.

For further information and to request a copy of the Final EA or FONSI, please contact Brian King, Environmental and Sustainability Program Manager, WHS/Facilities Services Directorate/Standards and Compliance Division/Environmental and Sustainability Branch; (703-614-3658 or [email protected]). Please include “Pentagon Master Plan Final EA and FONSI” in the subject line.

Submit your own Announcement here.

The 3rd Annual Arlington Fair Housing Conference will feature Thomas Silverstein, renowned Fair Housing expert and Associate Director of the Fair Housing & Community Development Project at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Come hear the latest news about fair housing enforcement, policy, and programs within Arlington County, Virginia, and across the country! Our expert panelists and guest speakers include fair housing advocates, elected officials, and government officials tasked with advancing housing equity at the local, state, and federal level.

Arlington has made substantial strides in advancing housing equity and improving fair housing policy with the adoption of the Regional Fair Housing Plan in 2023. Come learn what’s next to fight housing discrimination, incorporate equity for marginalized populations in our housing policies and programs, and increase awareness of fair housing rights under state and federal law.

We’ll have updates from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing federal rule, a panel discussion of fair housing progress at the General Assembly and across Virginia, and a panel of local experts discussing the progress Arlington has made and what remains to be done.
Please RSVP in advance to ensure you receive your free lunch at the conference. Free and open to the public.

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Submit your own Announcement here.

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