The Columbia Pike streetcar project is getting a boost from Virginia Department of Transportation, with an increased investment that should advance the project by a year.
Virginia Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne notified Arlington and Fairfax County officials that the commonwealth will increase its funding by up to $65 million, using new funding available for fixed-guideway projects.
The streetcar corridor will stretch 4.9 miles, from the Skyline area of Fairfax to Pentagon City in Arlington. It's one of two segments of a planned 7.4 mile streetcar system.
The new funding means the project will not need Federal Transportation Administration New Starts funding.
“This additional state funding is great news for the streetcar,” said Arlington County Board Chair Jay Fisette on Friday. “It is both a strong vote of confidence that the streetcar is a transit investment that will benefit the entire Commonwealth, and brings funding certainty that significantly boosts our efforts to build the Columbia Pike segment more quickly, at reduced cost.”
The state’s total contribution to the project should account for up to half of the streetcar’s design and construction costs, according to a Fairfax County release.
Despite years of planning, opposition to the project has grown thanks in part to an organized group of streetcar opponents.
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