Alexandria, Arlington divide Route 1 streetcar project into two phases

Aubrey Whelan

Alexandria and Arlington officials agreed Saturday to split their planned Route 1 streetcar project into two phases — which allows both jurisdictions to use different funding options for the project, according to a release from the county.

Officials from each jurisdiction were divided on how to fund the project, which will connect at least two metro stations in the region.

Arlington preferred to fund the project through local and state funding while Alexandria wanted to apply for federal funds. Dividing the project into two phases allows both jurisdictions to fund the project as they see fit, officials said.

The first phase will begin next year, when Arlington begins "preliminary engineering" for a streetcar line running from Crystal City to Alexandria's Potomac Yard metro station. That project could be finished by 2019 or earlier.

Alexandria, in the meantime, will conduct an environmental study on the project that will ensure the city is eligible to recieve federal funds. Streetcars in Alexandria could hit the streets by 2021.


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