Potomac Yard Metro Station’s southern entrance gets scaled back

Potomac Yard Metro Station’s southern entrance gets scaled back
The Potomac Yard Metro station has been delayed in opening. (File photo)

By Missy Schrott | mschrott@alextimes.com

City council voted unanimously to simplify the design of the southern entrance of the Potomac Yard Metro Station at its legislative meeting Tuesday.

Council’s decision directs staff to work with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to scale back the design plan so that instead of $75 million, it would cost close to $50 million.

The southern entrance of the Metro station has become a highly debated topic in the city in the past year. While southwest access had long been part of the plans for the station, City Manager Mark Jinks announced in May 2018 that the planned southern entrance had been removed from designs. In the months that followed, residents expressed frustration over the change and a lack of trust in city officials.

In November, following Amazon’s announcement that its HQ2 would be based in Crystal City, the state announced it would provide $50 million in funding to reinstate southwest access to the station. Since then, city staff, WMATA and the Potomac Yard Metrorail Implementation Work Group have been working together to establish a new design.

On May 31, Jinks sent a memo to PYMIG stating that all of the potential design plans were over budget.

Council’s decision Tuesday, which reflects PYMIG’s recommendation, directs Jinks to request that WMATA and its contractors advance the design of the southwest entrance pavilion and bridge, scaling it back by around $25 million to bring the cost of the project close to, or within, available funding.

Potential changes will likely involve removing escalators, reducing the pavilion’s footprint or reducing mechanical and electrical components, according to staff’s presentation.

(Traffic and Parking Board votes for Seminary Road to remain four lanes)