Alexandria gets $75 million for Duke Street Transitway project

The City of Alexandria, Virginia, will receive $75 million in funding from the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority for construction of the first phase of the Duke Street Transitway project in 2025, according to a news release.

The Duke Street Transitway will create dedicated bus-rapid-transit lines along one of Alexandria’s heaviest traveled corridors, adding capacity and infrastructure improvements to the segment of Duke Street between the King Street-Old Town Metro Station and the former Landmark Mall site.

The project is the only one Alexandria for which Alexandria sought funding.

According to the project’s description:

The transitway is a high priority in the City’s Master Plan. The conceptual design, developed as part of the Transitway Corridors Feasibility Study (adopted by City Council in 2012), recommended a phased approach to construction/operation of the transitway. This initial phase is primarily for stations/shelters, buses, limited ROW, and utility relocation. It includes dedicated transit lanes along the corridor where six lanes exist today (between Landmark Mall and Jordan St. and between Roth St. and Diagonal Rd.). In the remaining section of Duke St. (between Jordan St. and Roth St., transit will operate in mixed flow, and include queue jump lanes, and Transit Signal Priority (TSP) along the entire corridor to improve speed/reliability. The project will include new stations and pedestrian access and safety improvements at transit stations/intersections, and bike facilities as feasible.”

The $75 million is expected to provide complete funding for the $87 million project.

Alexandria previously received $12 million from NVTA for planning and design of this corridor. The project is expected to start this fall.

“NVTA’s investment in the Duke Street Transitway is a tremendous opportunity to transform that corridor and support the City’s goal of providing frequent, reliable transit service in high-density areas of Alexandria, both now and in the future,” said Mayor Justin Wilson, a member of the Authority, in the release.

The project will go along Duke Street. (Courtesy NVTA)

The project was identified as one of three high-capacity transit areas in the 2008 Transportation Master Plan, along with the U.S. Route 1 Metroway and the West End Transitway.

While Alexandria approved concept plans during a 2012 Feasibility Study, the release said that staff will work with the community to re-envision Duke Street and determine how enhanced transit can be accommodated along the corridor.

The city is currently installing additional improved traffic signals along the corridor as well. These will allow the network of signals to better detect vehicles and automatically adjust their timing to improve traffic flow, the release said.

Because Duke Street was identified as a high-crash corridor through the studies, the staff is working to provide safety upgrades along this corridor.

The regional revenues awarded to Alexandria for the Duke Street Transitway project are part of NVTA’s six-year program, which provides funding for regional projects from 2020 to 2025. The plan was approved on July 9 and will invest $539 million in transportation projects across Northern Virginia, aimed at benefiting the region at large.

See all of the NVTA’s approved projects in an interactive map.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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