The Commonwealth Transportation Board, which oversees transportation projects and initiatives for the Commonwealth of Virginia, has awarded more than $34 million to the City of Alexandria for five transportation projects. The funding, most of which will be made available in 2022, will be used to expand transit access and bicycle/pedestrian mobility in Alexandria’s West End, support bus service improvements, and implement technologies that will reduce traffic congestion.
The five projects slated to receive funding are:
• Phase 1 of the Backlick Run Trail expansion, which will lengthen the existing bicycle and pedestrian trail (currently beginning at Ben Brenman Park and ending at Armistead Boothe Park) to the Van Dorn Street Metrorail station – $5 million
• The DASH Bus Facility and Fleet expansion, which will provide funding for the purchase of six new DASH buses and expand the existing facility to accommodate long-term system growth – $11.1 million
• The Traffic Adaptive Signal Control project, which will reduce traffic delays by using data to adjust the timing of traffic signals according to conditions – $7.7 million
• The West End Transitway– Southern Towers Alignment, a vital segment of the planned 5.3-mile Bus Rapid Transit system that will connect transit centers at the Van Dorn Street Metrorail station, Landmark Mall, Mark Center, Southern Towers, Shirlington and the Pentagon – $10 million
• Resurfacing of major City arteries, including U.S. Route 1, North Van Dorn Street and Duke Street, through an approved Primary Extension grant for Fiscal Year 2018 – $1 million
The projects were included in the Board’s Six-Year Improvement Plan (SYIP) for Fiscal Years 18-23, which was approved on June 20. The SYIP includes transportation projects that were evaluated and recommended for funding under a prioritization process called “SMART SCALE, Funding the Right Transportation Projects in Virginia.” This is the first time the City has received funding for construction of the West End Transitway, a project that will contribute to redevelopment along the Van Dorn/Beauregard Corridor. The SYIP includes $10 million for design and construction of the portion of the Transitway within the Southern Towers apartment community.
In addition to the City projects, Virginia Rail Express (VRE) received $18.4 million for the design and construction of a pedestrian tunnel that will connect Alexandria Union Station to the King Street-Old Town Metrorail Station, improving safety and access between the two stations.
Dash Bus will receive $11.1 million to purchase six new buses and expand the existing facility to take Alexandria’s local transportation into the future.