Location of Potential Potomac Yard Metro Station in Question | NBC4 Washington

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Location of Potential Potomac Yard Metro Station in Question



    (Published Friday, April 25, 2014)

    Build it, and the Metro station will come. At least, that's at least what several Alexandria homeowners were hoping when they bought into the Potomac Yard neighborhood.

    Residents have been expecting a new Potomac Yard Metro station on the Blue and Yellow lines that run nearby -- but the location of that station is now in question.

    Brian Walsh bought into the neighborhood early.

    "There was only one street, or two or three streets that had been built at the time," Walsh said. "So yeah, we've watched the whole thing rise around us."

    Drive Route 1 through Alexandria's Potomac Yard, and you'll see it's booming with construction. New homes span what was once an old rail yard. Walsh and some of his neighbors sensed the potential of this location, especially the possibility of a Potomac Yard Metro stop.

    "...It was a future investment, in hoping that Metro would obviously raise their property values...." Walsh said.

    But in the midst of studying the station's impact on the environment, the National Park Service and Federal Transit Administration are suggesting another option. The agencies want the city to explore the idea of shifting part of the existing Metro rail into the CSX right of way.

    It's reportedly due to a scenic easement that would be encroached upon by a new station.

    But city leaders said the shift would cost tens of millions of dollars, and would delay the expected 2017 opening until at least 2020.

    "That's ridiculous," Walsh said. "The Metro line's already in place. All you got to really do is build a stop and a little bit of infrastructure versus having to spend hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayer money. It's silly."

    Another Potomac Yard resident, Annette Fancher, admitted that Metro wasn't always a guarantee.

    "Well, they didn't promise it, but yes, they talked about it as if it was in the works and everyone was hoping it would come," Fancher said.

    Alexandria Council member Paul Smedburg said Friday morning that he's confident that one way or another, Metro will come to Potomac Yard.

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