Monday, July 23, 2012

Arlington County streetcar funding outlined

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The Arlington County Board in Virginia voted Saturday to spend $2.4 billion during the next decade for numerous infrastructure projects, including investment in its two streetcar lines, each extending from Metrorail's Pentagon City Station.

The move follows approval earlier this month by the Arlington Transportation Commission.

Arlington voters will be asked Nov. 6 to approve $153.4 million in general obligation bonds to finance some of those projects in the 10-year plan, which will be reviewed and possibly adjusted biennially. Voters will be able to approve or deny ballot proposals in each of four categories, with transportation projects totaling $31.9 million of the total. But voters will vote on a total package within each category, including road and rail modes in the transport section. That has angered streetcar opponents, who sought to parse out the modes.

The County Board is scheduled to vote Monday on whether to endorse the construction of a streetcar line along Columbia Pike, with approval anticipated. Approval would allow county staff to apply to the Federal Transit Administration for funding assistance with the project, currently estimated to cost $199 million.