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Alexandria Haggles Metro to Acceptable Price for Southwest Potomac Yard Access

(Updated 6:15 p.m.) The long squabble between the City of Alexandria and Metro over the Potomac Yard Metro station’s southwest access entrance has ended with an agreement within the initial $50 million framework.

Over the last year, the City has been in dispute with Metro over whether or not southwest access to the station could be achieved within the $50 million in funding from the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Federal Transit Administration.

“We appreciate the community’s patience as we navigate the lengthy process necessary to change the station’s construction contract,” said Mayor Justin Wilson, who serves on the Potomac Yard Metrorail Implementation Group, in a press release. “We have worked hard to incorporate community feedback while ensuring the best value for taxpayers. We are looking forward to a new station that will make everyone proud.”

Initial estimates from Metro on each of the three options presented by the City of Alexandria came back as higher than $50 million, which the city and the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation both challenged as far overpriced. According to City spokesman Craig Fifer, the two options now on the table consist of the ramp that’s in the current special use permit and the bridge and pavilion that is the least expensive of the three options.

“Now that additional discussions have been completed, all agencies agree that the contractor’s newest estimate is fair and reasonable,” the city said in a press release. “The proposed bridge and pavilion are priced within the $50 million of funding made available for enhanced southwest access by the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Federal Transit Administration. The ramp option would cost approximately $10 million to $15 million less.”

Meetings of the Potomac Yard Metro Implementation Group [PYMIG] are canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and PYMIG members have been asked to gather input from stakeholders on whether the ramp or bridge option is preferred. Staff will collect the input and the options will be considered at the April 14 City Council meeting.

Image via City of Alexandria

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