Alexandria, VA – After decades of making deals and finalizing plans, the Potomac Yard Metro station broke ground on Thursday, Dec. 19. Flanked by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, local politicians and transportation officials, Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson said that the occasion was long overdue.
“This has been a long, long process. There have been many, many near-death experiences for this project as we’ve gone along the way,” Wilson said. “But today we gather to celebrate the realization of a plan that is not remotely little and will shape the trajectory of our city for generations.”
The groundbreaking for the $320 million station was held in the parking lot of the Regal Potomac Yard movie theater, which will become a thing of the past due to the Metro and Virginia Tech Innovation Campus developments. The station is slated to open in 2022 on Metro’s blue and yellow lines between the Braddock Road station and the Reagan National Airport station.
Northam said that he will continue to work with the General Assembly to increase funding to Metro.
“It’s clear that Virginians want more public transportation options, and that public transportation continues to be a smart investment,” Northam said. “This station will help accommodate growing demand on the Route 1 Corridor, and it will serve Virginia Tech’s innovation Campus, along with Amazon HQ2, along with new businesses that want to be near the project.”
Metro Board Chair Paul Smedberg, a former member of the Alexandria City Council, congratulated former and current politicians, members of the community, and transportation officials who helped make the groundbreaking possible.
“As a member of the Alexander City Council for 15 years, it has been a privilege and sometimes rollercoaster to be closely involved with bringing the Potomac yard Metro station to life,” Smedberg said. “Thank you to all the government agencies, contractors, consultants, organizations, and stakeholders who have worked so hard to get us here today.”
The groundbreaking was not without a small protest for Metro to reinsert the station’s southern entrance. The notion was backed by former Alexandria Mayor Allison Silberberg, who participated in the groundbreaking.
“This has been a long time coming,” Silberberg said. “It’ll be another great transportation option for people who live and work around here, and for those who want to visit. I certainly want to see the southern entrance put back.”