- Region's first right-of-way dedicated to premium bus operations
- Faster, more reliable transit along congested Route 1 corridor
- $10.3 million contract awarded to W.M. Schlosser Company
ARLINGTON, Va. – The Arlington County Board today approved a construction contract for the Crystal City Potomac Yard Transitway, the Washington metropolitan area's first right-of-way dedicated to premium transit operations. A joint effort with the City of Alexandria, the 4.5-mile Transitway will connect the Crystal City and Braddock Road Metrorail stations and provide faster, more reliable transit travel.
Arlington's section of dedicated transit lane and seven new stations in Potomac Yard and Crystal City are scheduled to open in early 2015. The stations and transit-only roadway built for the Transitway also will be used for the planned Crystal City streetcar, which will add capacity to support residential and job growth in this corridor long-term.
“The Transitway will help bus riders avoid congestion,” said Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette. “This is a landmark project for the County's vision of supporting growth with highly functional, attractive transit options.”
The Board voted unanimously to approve awarding the contract. To read the staff report, visit the County website. Scroll down to Item #12 on the Agenda for the February 22, 2014 Regular County Board Meeting.
Transitway station amenities will include real-time arrival information; a higher curb for easier vehicle boarding; canopies for weather protection; seating; lighting; wayfinding information, and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility. These amenities are meant to encourage transit use along this heavily travelled corridor, a vital commercial area with a population of more than 17,000 that is expected to grow nearly 50 percent by 2040.
Dedicated lanes mean faster service
Arlington's Transitway section will include an all-day dedicated transit lane in Potomac Yard, with the section in Crystal City using curb lanes dedicated to transit during peak travel periods. Separating transit service from traffic will reduce the travel time for a trip from one end of the corridor to the other by 1-1/4 to 10 minutes for riders, depending on direction and time of day.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) will introduce its new Metroway premium bus service along the length of the corridor between the Crystal City and Braddock Road Metrorail stations. Metroway will use off-vehicle fare payment for faster boardings, operate at high frequency during peak hours and serve a consolidated number of stations.
“The City is very excited about the Crystal City Potomac Yard Transitway project, and we can't wait for service to start in Alexandria later this summer,” said Alexandria Mayor William D. Euille. “The Route 1 corridor was designated as a priority transit corridor in Alexandria's Transportation Master Plan, and it's rewarding to see this innovative project come to fruition. Not only does this project represent our continued investment in regional infrastructure, but it also encourages transit as an essential mode of transportation by providing a high-quality option for travel within the corridor.”
Contract awarded to W.M. Schlosser Company
The $10.5 million contract, which includes roadwork and new stations, was awarded to W.M. Schlosser Company, a Maryland-based firm. The total budget for Arlington's Transitway section is $21.3 million, which includes planning, design, construction, management, contingencies and an extension to Pentagon City. Seventy-five percent of the project will be paid for by state and federal transportation funding, and twenty-five percent will be paid for locally, through a dedicated transportation tax on Arlington's commercial properties.
The project also represents a successful public-private partnership, with property owners in Potomac Yard contributing land for the dedicated transit lanes.
Addressing Growth in a Smart Way
In addition to population growth, 35,400 more jobs are expected in Crystal City and Pentagon City by 2040—growth that current transit options would not be able to sustain. The Transitway is part of new infrastructure planned to support redevelopment in Crystal City and high-density growth in Potomac Yard. Projects include expanding bus capacity, building a new east entrance at the Crystal City Metrorail station, transforming Crystal City streets for multimodal use (pedestrian, bicycles, transit users and drivers and adding the planned streetcar line that will connect with the streetcar line planned for Columbia Pike.