- Enhancing pedestrian crossings, widening sidewalks, undergrounding utilities
- Creating a safer, more accessible Columbia Pike
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Arlington County Board today approved up to $5.6 million for additional design services within an existing contract for the Columbia Pike Multimodal Project. The action allows the County to develop the final design of street improvements along 3.5 miles of Columbia Pike. Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc. is the contractor.
The multimodal project will make Columbia Pike a safer, more accessible route for all users. As part of an ongoing effort to revitalize the Pike, Arlington is transforming this main thoroughfare into a complete street that balances all modes of travel and supports high-quality, high-frequency transit service.
Improvements above, below roadway
In addition to visible improvements to the road, extensive work is occurring below the roadway – to replace aging and leak-prone water and sewer pipes and to bury existing overhead utilities underground. One segment of the Pike has already been completed, and two more are under construction. The County is working hard to minimize disruptions to business owners and adjacent neighborhoods as each segment is completed.
“This multimodal project is key to Arlington's long-term effort to transform Columbia Pike into a pedestrian and transit-friendly Main Street, that will also have a better traffic flow and left turn lanes that will benefit motorists,” said Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette. “The additional design work approved by the Board today will advance improvements along the entire corridor, so Arlingtonians will more quickly see the benefits of the new Columbia Pike.”
Kimley-Horn will develop final engineering and construction documents, including utility undergrounding design, and provide assistance with right of way acquisitions and technical specifications. This will allow the County to obtain construction bids and begin the street and utilities improvements.
The Board voted 5 to 0 to approve the contract amendment.
The $79 million Columbia Pike street and utility design and construction program (which includes the $5.6 million contract with Kimley-Horn), is funded by regional sources and local commercial real estate tax revenues that can only be spent for new transportation projects.
A safer, more accessible Columbia Pike
In 2009, County staff began to analyze existing and future transportation conditions on Columbia Pike and create a preliminary design for street improvements. The analysis, which also built upon work done by resident groups such as the Columbia Pike Street Space Planning Task Force, resulted in the following recommended improvements:
- A street cross-section with travel lanes, medians and left-turn lanes
- Signalized and un-signalized intersections
- More on-street parking
- Enhanced pedestrian crossings
- Landscaped medians and street trees
- Preparations for existing and future transit services (wider sidewalks, curbs, gutters and utility undergrounding)
- Parallel bicycle routes on 9th and 12th Streets just north and south of the Pike (bike boulevards)
The project ultimately will widen sidewalks and underground utilities for the entire length of Columbia Pike. New left turn lanes will be installed at four intersections (South Quincy, South Randolph, South Taylor/Thomas and South Frederick Streets) and water and sewer lines will be upgraded to accommodate current and planned development.
Improvements between South Oakland and South Garfield Streets were completed in fall 2009. Work between South Wakefield Street and Four Mile Run is underway and expected to finish this fall. Improvements at the Washington Boulevard Bridge interchange are proceeding as part of a separate VDOT project, which is scheduled for completion in spring 2015. The additional design services approved today by the County Board will accelerate completion of the project.
Final design for the remaining Columbia Pike segments is expected to be complete by summer 2016. Construction for the street improvements and utility undergrounding will proceed in phases through spring 2019. To read the staff report on this item, visit the County website. Scroll down to Item No. 58 on the September 23, 2014 Recessed County Board Meeting.