Arlington Halts Super Bus Stop Construction

$1 Million stop opened earlier this month at Columbia Pike and Walter Reed Drive

Saturday, Mar 30, 2013  |  Updated 10:56 AM EDT
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NBCWashington.com

The Super Stops would have served buses running along Columbia Pike in Arlington.

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Arlington County has called a halt to the planned construction of 24 so-called "Super Stops" after a public outcry over the first station, which opened earlier this month at a cost of $1 million.

The Super Stops were designed to serve passengers on buses along Columbia Pike, as well as Arlington's planned streetcars. The first stop, near the intersection of Columbia Pike and Walter Reed Drive, took 18 months to build and was criticized for its roof design, which some said would not keep waiting commuters dry in wet weather. The stop also boasts features like heated pavement to reduce snow and ice and an electronic display of real-time bus schedules.

Commuters were stunned when told of the million-dollar price tag, telling The Washington Post the cost was "ridiculous" and "an outrage."

In a statement released Friday, Arlington County Manager Barbara Donnellan said that the county would "[reassess] the design and timing of the roll out [sic].

“Super Stops are a key long-term transit investment for our County," Donnellan's statement read, in part. "We have to get them right. Although our Walter Reed Super Stop is a prototype, and has only been operating for about a week, I’ve heard the community’s concerns about its design and cost. I have asked staff to pause the program while we look for ways to improve the design and reduce costs of future Super Stops.

“This project took longer and cost more than it should have,” Donnellan continued. “We have an obligation to the taxpayers of Arlington, the Commonwealth and the nation to ensure that our infrastructure projects are delivered in a timely, cost-effective manner. We will do better.”

The station's construction was managed by Metro and built primarily with federal and state transportation funds. Construction of future stops would have been overseen by the county.

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