Manassas is getting some grant help with a project aimed at increasing pedestrian connections with the Broad Run Virginia Railway Express station.
The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ Transportation Planning Board has approved a $74,000 grant for the city to develop the preliminary design for a shared-use path and pedestrian tunnel that would complete a connection from the Cannon Branch development to the new station platform when the Broad Run VRE expansion is finished.
“This project will provide the last missing link for a safe and direct bicycle and pedestrian access from the city to the expansion of the Broad Run Station,” the planning board recommendation reads. The final products will include a survey, preliminary design plans and typical sections for the trail, and a cost estimate for the final design and construction.
Matt Arcieri, community development director for Manassas, said the path would go from the new platform and parking deck to Residency Road, Redoubt Road and then Wakeman Court, where it would connect with the Gateway Trail. That project, slated to go to construction next summer, will construct a 10-foot wide shared-use trail from Gateway Boulevard across Route 234 and on to Wakeman.
Arcieri said the funding would pay for planning and preliminary engineering for the project, which should take about a year.
“The thinking behind it is when VRE does the Broad Run extension, this would provide pedestrian access, bicycle access from the Cannon Branch and some of those neighborhoods over to the new expanded platform … without having to go over the tracks,” Arcieri told InsideNoVa.
The VRE project will increase capacity at the station by shifting the passenger platform east of its current location as well as adding a new parking deck and a third main track to minimize conflicts between VRE, Amtrak and freight rail along the Norfolk Southern right-of-way that VRE’s Manassas line uses. It’s scheduled to be completed by 2025.