- Officials from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) and the city of Alexandria, Virginia, on Monday announced that the authority has awarded Potomac Yard Constructors — a joint venture between heavy civil construction management company Halmar International and infrastructure, design-build and engineering firm Schiavone Construction Co. — a $213.7 million contract to build the new $320 million Potomac Yard Metrorail station in Alexandria.
- The original budget for the project was $268 million, but, according to the city of Alexandria, based on higher-than-anticipated 2017 bids, officials decided to alter the design in order to lower costs to the current $320 million. Revised proposals included the elimination of one entrance and the revision of another to facilitate access from both north and south sides of the station, and the design will allow for the future additions.
- Officials estimate that new development around the station will produce almost $890 million in new tax revenue during the next 30 years. Funding for the project will come from tax revenue generated by new development, contributions from developers and money from two new special tax districts, as well as federal, regional and state grants. Construction should begin in spring of 2019 and wrap up by early 2022.
A great deal of planning goes into rail station design and construction with passenger comfort in mind, but also with the end goal of increasing ridership. It's all about easy and convenient access. According to the Washingtonian, the Metro came under fire for choosing to eliminate one of the entrances from the Potomac Yard station because it means a longer trek for some passengers and an inconvenient surprise for those who purchased homes or opened new businesses near the now-nonexistent entrance.
Station redesign also came into play when the Metropolitan Bay Transportation Authority had to scale down the $2.3 billion Green Line light-rail extension project in order to shave more than $600 million from its bloated budget and preserve a $1 billion funding commitment from the Federal Transit Administration. In fact, approximately $400 million of savings came from the dialing down of station features and revamping the design of walking and biking paths.
To save the project, authority officials decided to do away with station fare gates, escalators and three elevators. However, the consortium that transportation officials chose to design and build the projects, GLX Constructors, said it could find additional savings elsewhere and add some of these features back in during construction.