Statement from Acting Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz
Arlington National Cemetery and the Navy Annex Land Exchange
For several years, Arlington County, the Department of the Army and the Virginia Department of Transportation have worked together on a potential roadway realignment and land exchange in the area of the former Navy Annex site.
The existing Navy Annex property is separated from Arlington National Cemetery and is split into three parcels by the state and local road network. This limits its usefulness for expanding the Cemetery and increasing interment space. Several years ago, the Army approached Arlington County, asking that we work with them to improve the configuration through a road realignment and land exchange.
Arlington County and the Commonwealth have committed to finding a solution that allows the Cemetery to significantly increase their interment capacity.
All three entities have sought to reach an agreement. All three want to achieve a solution that would allow large parts of the former Navy Annex site and public road network to be used for interment space.
I am pleased that all parties have recently agreed to a conceptual roadway realignment that achieves a number of these important objectives. Under the agreed upon road network realignment, the 23 acres of existing state and local roadway would be reduced to just over 9 acres and shifted south to maximize land contiguous to Arlington National Cemetery. That would make more than 38 acres of land available for interment space, a 250% increase in acreage over what is now available on the former Navy Annex site.
In exchange, Arlington County will receive the land located south of a realigned Columbia Pike for County or public use. While work remains to finalize the details of a land exchange agreement among the parties, I am encouraged by our recent progress and remain confident that a final agreement is within reach.
Arlington National Cemetery is one of our national treasures, providing a final resting place for those who have given so much for our nation. Arlington County is honored to be a partner in taking the actions necessary to allow the Cemetery to expand for years to come.