Alternatives

The Draft EIS identifies and evaluates alternatives that meet the project’s purpose and need. The Draft EIS includes a “No Build Alternative”, which describes what would happen if no station was built. The No Build Alternative provides a baseline to compare impacts. The Draft EIS considers the following alternatives: a No Build Alternative, three Metrorail build alternatives (Build Alternatives A, B, and D), and a design option of Build Alternative B (B-CSX Design Option).

Following the public comment period on the Draft EIS, the Alexandria City Council adopted Build Alternative B as the Preferred Alternative for the project on May 20, 2015. For Alternative B, the Council selected Construction Access Option 2 (no access from the George Washington Memorial Parkway). Click here to view the full City Council resolution. The preferred alternative is evaluated in the Final EIS.




No Build Alternative

The No Build Alternative includes planned transportation projects expected to be finished by 2040, except the Potomac Yard Metrorail station. These No Build projects include completion of the Potomac Yard street network and multi-use trails; future pedestrian/bicycle bridge between Potomac Yard and Potomac Greens; and expansion of local bus services.



Metrorail Station Build Alternatives (Draft EIS):


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Build Alternative A
Build Alternative A is located along the existing Metrorail tracks between the CSX Transportation (CSXT) railroad tracks and the north end of the Potomac Greens neighborhood, generally within the “Metrorail Reservation” identified as part of the City of Alexandria’s Potomac Yard/Potomac Greens Small Area Plan (1999).

The Build Alternative A station platform would be constructed at the same level as the existing Metrorail tracks, with elevated entrance mezzanines providing two pedestrian bridges from the station over the CSXT railroad tracks to Potomac Yard. Build Alternative A would provide 24-hour pedestrian/bicycle access between Potomac Yard and Potomac Greens via one of its two pedestrian bridges.


Build Alternative B
Build Alternative B is located between the George Washington Memorial Parkway and the CSXT railroad tracks north of the Potomac Greens neighborhood, and east of the existing Potomac Yard Shopping Center. Portions of Build Alternative B would be located within the Greens Scenic Area, a National Park Service (NPS)-administered easement located within the City’s Potomac Greens Park.

The Build Alternative B station platform would be constructed at the same level as the existing Metrorail tracks, with elevated entrance mezzanines providing two pedestrian bridges from the station over the CSXT railroad tracks to Potomac Yard. Build Alternative B would provide 24-hour pedestrian/bicycle access between Potomac Yard and Potomac Greens via one of its two pedestrian bridges.


B-CSX Design Option
B-CSX Design Option is located east of the existing Potomac Yard movie theater on land currently occupied by the CSXT railroad tracks. This design option of Alternative B would require relocation of the CSXT tracks to the west, providing the room necessary for the station and realigned Metrorail track to avoid George Washington Memorial Parkway property and the Greens Scenic Area easement.

The B-CSX Design Option station platform would be constructed at the same level as the existing Metrorail tracks, with elevated entrance mezzanines providing two pedestrian bridges from the station over the CSXT railroad tracks to Potomac Yard. Under B-CSX Design Option, a separate pedestrian/bicycle bridge providing 24-hour pedestrian/bicycle access between Potomac Yard and Potomac Greens would be constructed as part of a separate City of Alexandria project.


Build Alternative D
Build Alternative D is located west of the CSXT railroad tracks near the existing Potomac Yard Shopping Center. The alternative would require the construction of elevated tracks starting north of Four Mile Run, crossing over the CSXT tracks into Potomac Yard, and then crossing over the CSXT tracks again to reconnect to the existing Metrorail line behind Potomac Greens.

Build Alternative D would include the construction of an elevated station platform with a ground floor mezzanine entrance. Under Build Alternative D, a separate pedestrian/bicycle bridge providing 24-hour pedestrian/bicycle access between Potomac Yard and Potomac Greens would be constructed as part of a separate City of Alexandria project.




Metrorail Station Preferred Alternative (Final EIS):


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Preferred Alternative
The Preferred Alternative is the Metrorail station alternative identified by the City of Alexandria as best meeting the project purpose and need and other factors. Following the public comment period on the Draft EIS, the Alexandria City Council adopted Build Alternative B as the preferred alternative for the project on May 20, 2015. For Alternative B, the Council selected Construction Access Option 2 (no access from the George Washington Memorial Parkway). The Preferred Alternative incorporates further design and refinement of Build Alternative B to minimize community and environmental impacts.

Two station design options are presented in the Final EIS to compare relative visual and ground-level resource impacts:

  • Station Design Option 1 uses retaining walls adjacent to the realigned track and leaves the eastern station wall (side facing the Parkway) exposed down to grade level below the level of the track. The walls would be more visible from the east than earthen berms.


  • Station Design Option 2 uses earthen berms to support the realigned track and screen the lower part of the eastern station wall. The berms would have a wider footprint than the retaining walls and, thus, more impacts to ground-level resources such as wetlands, floodplain, and NPS property.


The final design may incorporate elements of both options. Chapter 2 of the Final EIS, Section 2.5.2, presents more details of the Preferred Alternative, including the two design options.



Comments

The Potomac Yard Metrorail Station EIS team wants to hear from you! If you have questions, suggestions, or comments — or if you would like to be added to the project e-mail list — please contact us at:


comments@potomacyardmetro.com