Open house next week highlights major changes planned for King Street rail hub

A VRE train crosses a bridge over King Street (Staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Like one of the many oversized trucks stuck there over the years, a regional partnership will impact the long-troubled Virginia Railway Express (VRE) bridge over King Street and other nearby infrastructure projects.

At an open house next week, the City of Alexandria, the VRE and Virginia Passenger Rail Authority (VPRA) are planning to discuss the broad range of projects around the area where the rail lines cross over King Street and Commonwealth Avenue.

The VRE bridge has been the scene of a few collisions as vehicles hit the structure while trying to pass under it, but a new project proposed last year could involve full replacement of the bridge. According to the city’s website:

The Virginia Passenger Rail Authority (VPRA), in collaboration with CSX, will design and construct replacement rail bridges over King Street and Commonwealth Avenue in Alexandria. The intent is to improve safety and reduce maintenance for these structures. Construction is expected to begin in Spring 2024 and finish in mid-2026.

That project is currently in the design phase.

King and Commonwealth infrastructure investments (image via City of Alexandria)

It isn’t the only infrastructure overhaul planned for the area, though. The VPRA is working on an Alexandria Fourth Track project to add six miles of railroad track between Arlington and Alexandria and add capacity to the regional railway bottleneck.

According to the website:

The Alexandria Fourth Track project will design and construct 6.0 miles of a fourth railroad track and related infrastructure between Arlington, VA, and Alexandria, VA. The project will connect to the southern end of the Long Bridge Project and will construct one additional track within existing railroad right-of-way to accommodate more railroad capacity between Northern Virginia and the District of Columbia. Construction is expected to begin in Spring 2024 and finish in early 2027.

The open house event is scheduled from 5-7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 4, at the Platform of Alexandria VRE Union Station (110 Callahan Drive).