Rising regional construction costs and are making Alexandria planners rethink a number of capital improvements, including the city’s extensive waterfront plan.
“We are in a highly volatile construction market, and it has been very challenging,” Deputy City Manager Emily Baker told city council in a budget work session on Feb. 26. “And it’s been very challenging for us to keep coming to you and saying, ‘Well, you know, we thought the project was going to cost X and now it’s going to cost some multiple of X.'”
Staff are now determining which projects would be shifted or reprioritized. There has been a 26.7% increase in construction costs in the greater Washington region over the last five years, according to the Engineering News-Record Construction Cost Index. Another study showed construction costs increasing 18% between 2013 and 2018.
City Councilman John Taylor Chapman said that public engagement will be key as the city will have to update its planning on capital projects.
“We haven’t really communicated with the public, ‘Hey, there’s a large change X times the amount for every project we’ve talked to you about the last 10 years,'” Chapman told staff at the meeting. “If we’ve talked about schools, that cost is going through the roof. If we’ve talked about City Hall, that cost is going through the roof. If we’ve talked about the waterfront plan, that’s going through the roof, and frankly I don’t think it does us well… to say to the public, ‘We’ve blown through these numbers and we’re going to do them over.'”
Chapman added, “I don’t think that’s a realistic path forward. At what point do we talk about re-prioritizing stuff, moving stuff out of the CIP, drastically changing the scope of different projects?”
Baker responded, “That is something we are doing right now.”
The $2.1 billion, fiscal year 2021-2030 Capital Improvement Program covers city and school system improvements, including the $122 million waterfront plan, the eventual renovation of city hall, $7.5 million for bridge repairs and refurbishments, $17.6 million to support Metro’s capital improvements and $30.5 million toward flood mitigation along the waterfront.
“No shovels are in the ground,” Terry Suehr, the city’s director of project implementation, told council. “We haven’t moved toward construction, and so it is a perfect opportunity for us to say, ‘Okay, there’s things changing in the industry. There’s things changing in our world, and we have very high costs. Let’s take a step back and take a look at what were the decisions and why were those made.'”
Suehr said that the city remains committed to the vision, values and principles that have been laid out in the Waterfront Small Area Plan.
“There’s been a lot of long term plan a lot of civic engagement that’s gone into that plan,” Suehr added. “And we understand that the value is a walkable waterfront that honors our history that provides us a very significant public amenity that gives an active waterfront for people to come to embrace.”
Three West End neighborhood associations say that a proposed residential development at 1900 N. Beauregard Street will create too much density. The Seminary West Civic Association (SWCA), Seminary Heights Condominium…
Good Monday morning, Alexandria! 🌤 Today’s weather: Clear throughout the day. High of 51 and low of 35. ⛅ Tomorrow: Partly cloudy throughout the day. High of 59 and low…
It was a busy week for the Alexandria Fire Department. Today, AFD responded to a two-car crash on Seminary Road, which temporarily shut down westbound traffic on the street. On…
(Updated 2:50 p.m.) The westbound lanes of Seminary Road between the 4600 and 4700 blocks — near Francies C. Hammond Middle School — have reopened following a two-vehicle car crash that…
Alexandria Women for Good donated $6,720 to Alexandria’s Community Lodgings from their first donation cycle! They toured one of the learning centers, met some of the staff and kids, and handed over a big check.
Alexandria Women for Good is a newly formed local Grapevine Giving Circle composed of local Alexandria women who make the commitment to give back to the local community regularly and intentionally. Each quarter they raise money to give to local nonprofits making a difference.
For more information visit: https://www.grapevine.org/giving- circle/3y6h4Ay/Alexandria-Women-for-Good
Pictured left to right: Laura Herron, Laura Turner, Kate Wiley from Community Lodgings, and Laura Bloodgood
Hi, my name is Moneim Z., and I am a blind male with chronic kidney disease, who needs a living kidney donor for a transplant. My blood type is B+, and I can accept a kidney from individuals who have blood types B and O.
To read my story, please see the attached letter.
To contact me directly, please email me at [email protected] or call at 571-428-5065. My living donor coordinator at INOVA Hospital, Amileen Cruz can be reached at (703) 776-8370 , or via email at [email protected]
Del Ray Dog Fest & Yappy Hour
The 1st Annual Del Ray Dog Fest is a fun outdoor event that will include dog-centered activities, dog menu items, live music, vendors and food on Sunday, April 2 from 11am- 3pm at the George Washington Middle School parking lot.
SONOVA presents: Scheherezade and Gala
The Symphony Orchestra of Northern Virginia presents their Anniversary Gala Celebration and Concert on Saturday, March 18, 2023 at 6:30pm at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial.
The gala (including light refreshments and a silent auction) will begin at 6:30pm at the