Four potential sites for Alexandria’s Potomac Yard Metro station

During the planning process, Alexandria has evaluated about three dozen options for a Metro station at Potomac Yard. Now that the project is halfway through a federal environmental review process, the list has been narrowed to four options. The city is expected to select one early next year, with construction slated to begin in 2016.

Alternative A: Between the CSX railroad tracks and the north end of the Potomac Greens neighborhood. The station would be at-grade with a side-platform layout (putting platforms outside the tracks). Additional facilities would include two pedestrian bridges from the station over the CSX right-of-way to the planned development in Potomac Yard and pedestrian access to the Potomac Greens and Old Town Greens neighborhoods. This option would cost an estimated $209 million and would probably have the smallest effect on the view from the George Washington Memorial Parkway. But the station would be far from the existing Potomac Yard retail center and the densest area of Potomac Yard.

Alternative B: Between the GW Parkway and the CSX tracks, north of Potomac Greens and east of the existing Potomac Yard Retail Center and CSX right-of-way. The station would be at-grade, with a side-platform layout. Additional station facilities would include two pedestrian bridges from the station over the CSX right-of-way to the planned development in Potomac Yard and a pedestrian bridge to provide access to Potomac Greens and Old Town Greens. This option would cost an estimated $268 million. It also appears to be the preferred option, but it would put the station partly on National Park Service land and intrude on a scenic easement.

Alternative B-CSX: The most challenging option. It would put the station at the site of the Regal Potomac Yard movie theater, which means construction could not start until January 2019, after the theater’s lease expires. It would also require a realignment of existing railroad tracks and the relocation of utilities. The station would be closer to Potomac Yard development but would still affect scenic views from the GW Parkway. The estimated cost is about $351 million.

Alternative D: Just west of the CSX right-of-way, near the existing Potomac Yard retail center. The station would be elevated, with a center-platform layout (putting the platform between the tracks). A pedestrian bridge over the CSX right-of-way, constructed separately from the station, would connect Potomac Greens and Old Town Greens to Potomac Avenue at East Glebe Road. The pedestrian bridge would parallel the Metro station’s structure. This is the most expensive option, at an estimated $493 million, and the elevated station would probably be the most visible from the GW Parkway.

Luz Lazo

Source: City of Alexandria

Luz Lazo writes about transportation and development. She has recently written about the challenges of bus commuting, Metro’s dark stations, and the impact of sequestration on air travel.
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