Arlington County board approves National Cemetery’s expansion

The Arlington County, Virginia board unanimously approved two agreements with the federal government to move forward with the expansion of Arlington National Cemetery.

Board Chair Libby Garvey said during a Saturday meeting that expanding the cemetery will create more burial space but will require several county streets to be moved and realigned.

Notably, Columbia Pike will need significant redesigns to accommodate the project. Garvey said that the federal government will be paying for that portion of the expansion.

The second agreement has the county offering $500,000 to the federal government to design a multi-use trail to go along Washington Boulevard next to the cemetery.

This portion of the trail will serve as a connection from the Columbia Pike/Pentagon City area to Memorial Drive, Garvey said.

Roughly 50 acres will be added to the cemetery by the end of the project, making room for 60,000 more burial plots and sustaining the cemetery until 2050. No homes will be relocated in the scope of the project.

Columbia Pike will still be four lanes wide, but will add 8-foot-sidewalks on both sides and a 10-foot-wide bike path to the north of the roadway.

Construction for the project is slated to begin in spring 2021 and is expected to finish in summer 2025.

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