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Virginia commits to fund the Columbia Pike streetcar

The Commonwealth of Virginia will dedicate funding for up to half the cost of the Columbia Pike streetcar project.


Photo by Fairfax County on Flickr.

Virginia Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne announced $65 million in dedicated streetcar funding today, above and beyond state money Arlington and Fairfax had already hoped to receive.

More state funding means Arlington and Fairfax won't have to rely on the cumbersome federal New Starts funding process. That will speed up construction by a year, and save at least $25 million in costs.

Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette has repeatedly said that Arlington would not finance the project using homeowner property taxes. This new money guarantees Arlington can stick to that promise.

Canaan Merchant was born and raised in Powhatan, Virginia and attended George Mason University where he studied English. He became interested in urban design and transportation issues when listening to a presentation by Jeff Speck while attending GMU. He lives in Falls Church.  

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1. Sharon Bulova was stumping for TMac from early on. This is crucial for Fairfax Cty - not only because it is a key to redevelopin Bailey's Crossroads, but also because it makes possible rail on the rte 7 corridor from Bailey's to Tysons. Which will impact the redevelopment of Seven Corners, and the urbanization of Tysons Urban District. This has always been about more than South Arlington.

2. The region is moving steadily ahead on many projects that looked very uncertain only a few years ago. SL phase 2, now UC, Purple Line -now in the procurement phase - and now PikeRail, which can move soon to procurement I guess.

by AWalkerInTheCity on Jul 11, 2014 1:29 pm • linkreport

So where do things stand then? Is the thing ready to go out for bid, or are there other procedural roadblocks that need to be overcome?

by Eric on Jul 11, 2014 1:33 pm • linkreport

Excellent news!

by h st ll on Jul 11, 2014 2:18 pm • linkreport

It will be embarrassing when this is completed before the H Street streetcar. Other than that, great news for Arlington and the DC region.

by 202_Cyclist on Jul 11, 2014 2:48 pm • linkreport

Not that there was any guarantee that the issue was ever going to come up but I wonder if this will take the wind out of the sails of those hoping to get the general assembly to step in re: the referendum.

The Foster guy running for Delegate in McLean said he's going to force the issue if he wins but that depends on if he can pull an upset against the Democratic opponent.

by drumz on Jul 11, 2014 2:56 pm • linkreport

Eric, I'm by no means an expert but I suspect they have at least 1 year of site and design work ahead of them before bid and maybe construction will be done a year after that so I'd say 2017 would be an optimistic start date.

by BTA on Jul 11, 2014 3:28 pm • linkreport

@Drumz- The "Foster guy" opposed to the streetcar is from Arlington. His Democratic opponent who supports the project is from McLean. The district covers parts of both.

by In the 48th on Jul 11, 2014 9:23 pm • linkreport

Excellent. Elections matter.

by Jasper on Jul 12, 2014 12:53 pm • linkreport

And Sullivan supports a referendum

by Breastaurant on Jul 13, 2014 12:56 am • linkreport

Sullivan probably supports a referendum because it's the in vogue thing to do at the moment - out of fear of another Republican winning an election.

by Janel on Jul 14, 2014 10:44 am • linkreport

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