Status of Potomac Yard Metro Station
On September 9 the Del Ray Citizen’s Association was briefed by Deputy City Manager Mark Jinks on the current state of planning for the Potomac Yard Metro Station.
Mr. Jinks said Alternative B is the preferred site as designated in the City’s 2010 Potomac Yard Land Use Approvals. Alternative B is located behind and just to the south of Target, on the far side of the CSX tracks, between the CSX tracks and the GW Parkway –- see the attached map for the exact position. Alternative B was designated as the preferred site because it is cost-effective, it does not interfere with commercial flight paths, and because there is plenty of Potomac Yard land within half a mile of the site that can be developed to maximize station usage.
However, the National Park Service (NPS) has raised objections to Alternative B because construction might require disruptive access from the GW Parkway, because Metro tracks may require use of some NPS land, and because tracks would interfere with an NPS scenic easement on City-owned land at the north end of Potomac Greens. To mitigate NPS concerns City and Metro officials have devised a construction access plan that would not require access from the GW Parkway, and this appears likely to resolve the access issue. City officials are also exploring with Metro and CSX whether CSX tracks could be moved westward onto the Regal Potomac Yard theater property so that no NPS land is needed for the Metro Station. This western option for Alternative B would place the station slightly closer to Auburn Village. NPS has expressed appreciation for the City’s flexibility and is open to further negotiation.
Mr. Jinks was asked whether NPS objections amount to a speed bump or a deal-breaker. Jinks said finalizing a plan for the Potomac Yard Metro Station is “closer than it’s ever been,” but at the same time NPS objections and the need to get a large number of stakeholders to share the same vision means there’s a lot of work ahead. The next step is to complete the Environmental Impact Statement, a landmark step that was expected to be completed in September but now will be delayed until late fall as NPS concerns are addressed and stakeholders consulted.
For further information refer to these two sites:
alexandriava.gov (go to left box and click on Potomac Yard Metrorail Implementation Working Group.)
(This summary was submitted by Dick Christenson after it was reviewed and approved by Deputy City Manager Jinks.)