Since August 2017, the Crystal City Business Improvement District (BID) has undergone a feasibility study in order to learn if it is possible and beneficial to create a pedestrian connection between Crystal City, Virginia, and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. This Thursday, the study was published, and it reports that the connection, which would only take approximately
15 five minutes to cross, is feasible.
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport has more than 23 million annual passengers and 9,000 workers, according to the study. With this, the Crystal City BID is hoping that this bridge will further incentivize Reagan Airport passengers and workers to travel to Crystal City. The connection could help Crystal City’s hotel district further succeed. The city houses approximately 5,800 hotel rooms, making it the largest hotel district in the region outside of Downtown D.C.
Additional positives to this new pedestrian connection include that it would allow travelers to avoid road congestion and long waits on the Metro.
The connection plans on linking 2011 Crystal Drive with the airport’s Parking Garage C for a bridge or tunnel option. Construction costs for a 900-foot-long bridge total $16 million to $26 million, while a 900-foot-long tunnel could cost between $28 million and $38 million. Yearly maintenance would cost approximately $20,000 for an open-air bridge, $70,000 for a covered, climate-controlled bridge, and $120,000 for a tunnel.
Inspiration for the design of the connection ranges from an uncovered, basic bridge, similar to the Mount Vernon Trail Overpass near Theodore Roosevelt Island, or an uncovered, truss bridge, similar to the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail Bridge. There are also plans for the connection to be covered or partially covered in a High Line-esque design. Currently, there is no recommended typology for the bridge.
To complete the feasibility study, the Crystal City BID held two public meetings and engaged with a “working group” that included AMTRAK, the Arlington County Department of Environmental Services, Arlington Economic Development, Arlington Convention and Visitor Services (ACVS), CSX Transportation (CSXT), Crystal City Civic Association (CCCA), JBG SMITH, the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA), National Park Service (NPS), National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC), the Office of Congressman Don Beyer, Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT), Virginia Railway Express (VRE), and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA).
• CC2DCA:Envisioning a 21st Century Flight-Connected City [Feasibility Study]