The completion date for the King Street-Old Town Metro Access Improvements Project has been delayed, but it’s not clear for how long.
The project, which has nearly completely taken over the entrance to the Metro station, redirected bus bays and eliminated the metered parking and kiss & ride areas.
The first phase of the project was initially supposed to wrap up next month, but construction was delayed two months and did not get off the ground until November 2018. Now the city is re-calculating the completion dates for the phased project, which is being done in coordination with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
“Staff is working now on a schedule update,” Alexandria spokesman Craig Fifer said. “The City is closely monitoring the project’s progress and working with the contractor to ensure construction is completed as quickly, safely and responsibly as possible.”
The first phase of construction — eventually resulting in the opening of a brand new bus loop — was slated to be completed this spring. A second phase includes lighting and landscape improvements, a new kiss & ride, and areas for car shares, taxis and shuttles.
Phase I also included the relocation of bus bays to the outskirts of the station on Diagonal Road, Daingerfield Road, Cameron Street and King Street. Two new pedestrian paths to the station have been sectioned off from the construction so that passengers can get to the station on foot.
Alexandria’s Metro stations have seen their fair share of construction. Throughout last summer, all stations south of Reagan National Airport were closed for platform improvements. This project, however, has no impact on train service and has been in the works since 2006. The city council and planning commission approved the design concept in 2012, and the project is part of the city’s Vision Zero initiative by aiming to provide a safer and visually appealing environment for pedestrians, cyclists and transit riders.
Gary Davis is ambivalent to news that the work is delayed. The student at Northern Virginia Community College lives in Maryland and frequently takes Metro all the way to the King Street station, where he descends an escalator and walks through a pedestrian path through the large construction project to wait for his DASH bus on Diagonal Road.
“Hopefully it will finish soon and doesn’t take too much time,” Davis told ALXnow. “It’s not really that inconvenient — aside from the noise and the traffic.”