Construction of the Alexandria portion of the Crystal City-Potomac Yard transitway along Route 1 will begin later this month, bringing plenty of changes to the corridor.
The Bus Rapid Transitway in Alexandria will consist of exclusive bus lanes in the median of Route 1 between Potomac Avenue and E. Glebe Road. The transitway will eventually connect the Braddock Road and Pentagon City Metro stations and will be constructed in concert with Arlington County.
The BRT will offer fast, reliable and safe bus service, project planners said at a community meeting in April. Council approved the transitway in May and made provisions to monitor traffic and parking on streets near the transitway.
With new northbound lanes now in service, the former lanes will be repurposed with concrete for a two-lane bus way. There will be 12-foot landscaped medians on either side of the BRT lanes that will taper near intersections with signalized left-turn lanes.
Abi Lerner, deputy director of Alexandria’s Department of Transportation and Environmental Services, told Patch the work that began on Route 1 earlier this month is related to the Potomac Yard development. BRT construction will begin soon, with plans for completion in fall 2013.
The transitway is scheduled to open in December 2013.
Lerner said detours onto Potomac Avenue or into Del Ray are not expected during construction. He said there “might be a need for a temporary closing” but that “Route 1 will continue to be open.”
The BRT will permanently alter several Route 1 intersections. The traffic signal at Hume Avenue will be removed and the intersection will become right-in, right-out only. Right-in, right-out also will be required at Raymond, Windsor and Bellefonte avenues.
Lerner said he didn’t anticipate those intersection changes happening until “late spring next year.” He said a more detailed schedule would be posted on the city’s website in the future.
Intersections at Potomac Avenue and E. Glebe Road will be altered to allow the buses to connect and exit the BRT lanes.
The Alexandria portion of the Crystal City-Potomac Yard transitway is being funded by $8.5 million in federal stimulus money. The MetroBus 9S route will utilize the transitway, as will a new 9X route.
Within the Alexandria segment, the transitway will have seven stations—three on the northbound side and four on the southbound side.
The stations—which will include display boards showing real-time arrivals—are being built on a separate contract. Concept designs for the stations will go before Planning Commission and City Council in the fall.
In June, Alexandria and Arlington County reached an agreement to potentially bring streetcars to the Arlington section of the transitway by 2019 and the Alexandria section by 2021.