With Amazon’s Arrival, Will Crystal City Get Its Bridge to the Airport?

by Nena Perry-Brown

Aerial rendering of the proposed Crystal City-DCA bridge. Click to enlarge.

A year ago, the Crystal City Business Improvement District (BID) put forth an ambitious proposal to make the city's proximity to National Airport more functional with a pedestrian bridge. It seems that bridge is part of what sold Amazon on Northern Virginia.

Rendering of the terminus of the proposed Crystal City-DCA bridge. Click to enlarge.

Earlier this week, news came that Amazon decided to split its second headquarters between "National Landing" (a new neighborhood knit from sites in Crystal City, Potomac Yard and Pentagon City) and Queens, New York. The decision came with a host of announced partnerships and amenities — including language about the bridge, which could turn the current half-hour walk between Crystal City and the airport into a 3-5 minute trip. 

The Crystal City BID completed a feasibility study on the "CC2DCA" connection in February, finding either a bridge or a tunnel is doable at an estimated cost of $16-38 million. 

"A new pedestrian connection would strengthen Arlington’s long-term economic sustainability, help Crystal City attract additional rail service operations like Amtrak and Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC), and cement the airport as an “aerotropolis” connecting an estimated 10,000 airport passengers to Crystal City per month," the feasibility study states.

Rendering of the proposed Crystal City-DCA bridge above the freeway. Click to enlarge.

The most feasible alignment of the pedestrian connection would go from the Metro terminal and Parking Garage C at the airport to 2011 Crystal Drive, a building owned by JBG Smith (which is also the only real estate company in the CC2DCA working group). Although the feasibility study keeps both a bridge and a tunnel connection on the table, press releases and the plans for National Landing seem to imply that the bridge is a foregone conclusion, as it would be the only option with a direct connection to both the Mount Vernon Trail and a new VRE Railway platform.

Rendering of the approach to the pedestrian connection. Click to enlarge.

For more of a taste of what likely sold Amazon on National Landing as a campus site (and perhaps what inspired the name "National Landing"), read the feasibility study excerpt below:

"DCA sits at number seven on the list of airports closest to their downtowns—but that report measures the distance from DCA to Washington, DC. If you instead measure the distance from DCA to Crystal City, DCA would be nearly three times closer to its 'downtown' than the top airport. None of the airports listed have the type or scale of office and retail space accessible within a 15- to 20-minute walk that Crystal City offers."

Funding for the early planning stages of the project was included in Arlington County's Fiscal Year 2019-2028 Capital Improvement Plan, which the board approved in July. The timeline for this project puts its completion at least 6 years out, following a year of planning, 2-3 years of design and environmental work, and an additional two years for permitting and construction. The project is also meant to coincide with VRE's planned station improvement project. We'll see if Amazon's impending arrival expedites this process.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/with-amazons-arrival-will-crystal-city-get-its-bridge-to-the-airport/14690

DC Real Estate Guides

Short guides to navigating the DC-area real estate market

We've collected all our helpful guides for buying, selling and renting in and around Washington, DC in one place. Visit guides.urbanturf.com or start browsing below!

Northern Virginia

Profiles of 14 neighborhoods across Northern Virginia

Looking to Give People A Reason to Stay Past 6pm
Happily Straddling the Line Between City and Suburb
Columbia Pike
Arlington’s Neglected Stepchild is Getting a Makeover
Crystal City
Turning Lemons into Lemonade
Lyon Village
Developing An Air of Exclusivity?
Hitting Its Growth Spurt
An Urban Village Hitting Its Stride
Del Ray
Virginia’s Small Town Near the Big City
Eisenhower Avenue
The Vibrancy Might Take a Few Years
The Quiet Neighborhood By the Beltway
Old Town
Mayberry By The Potomac
132 Commerical-Free Acres
Downtown Falls Church
Staying the Same in the Midst of Change
Tysons Corner
Radical Change Could Be On The Way

See more Northern Virginia »


Profiles of 14 neighborhoods in suburban Maryland

Small-Town Living in the State Capital
Bedroom Community Gets Buzzing Cache
Cabin John
In With The New While Maintaining the Old
Chevy Chase
Affluence, Green Lawns and Pricey Homes
Downtown Silver Spring
Experiencing a Resurgence After a Bumpy History
A Suburb on Steroids
Rockville Town Square
Despite the Dynamism, Still Somewhat Generic
Takoma Park
More Than a Little Bit Quirky
A Foodie Magnet on the Verge of Change
Capitol Heights
Kudzu, Front Porches and Crime
Glass Half Full or Half Empty?
Mount Rainier
Artists, Affordable Homes and A Silo Full of Corn
National Harbor
A Development Rises Next to the Potomac
Riverdale Park
A Town Looking For Its Identity

See more Maryland »

Northwest DC

30+ neighborhood profiles for the city's biggest quadrant

16th Street Heights
DC's Sleeper Neighborhood
Where (Almost) Everyone Knows Your Name
AU Park
One of DC’s Last Frontiers Before the Suburbs
DC’s Northern Neighborhood on the Cusp
DC’s 535 House Neighborhood
Cathedral Heights
Do You Know Where That Is?
Chevy Chase DC
Not to Be Confused With the Other Chevy Chase
Cleveland Park
Coming Back After A Rough Year
Columbia Heights
DC’s Most Diverse Neighborhood, But For How Long?
An Island of Serenity East of the Park
Dupont Circle
The Best of DC (For a Price)
Foggy Bottom & West End
Where the Institutional Meets the International
Forest Hills
Ambassadors and Adventurous Architecture
Foxhall Village
350 Homes Just West of Georgetown
Friendship Heights
A Shopping Mecca With a Few Places to Live
History, Hoyas and H&M
Glover Park
One of DC’s Preppier and More Family-Friendly Neighborhoods
A Posh View From Embassy Row
LeDroit Park
A Quiet Enclave in the Middle of the City
Logan Circle
Trendy Now, But Not By Accident
Mount Pleasant
Sought-After Homes Surround Main Street in Transition
Mount Vernon Triangle
From Seedy to Sought-After
The Long, Skinny Neighborhood at the City’s Northwest Edge
Park View
It’s Not Petworth
Penn Quarter/Chinatown
DC’s Go-Go-Go Neighborhood
Getting a Vibrancy of Its Own
The Duke’s Former Stomping Ground
Shepherd Park
DC’s Garden of Diversity
Spring Valley
A Suburb With a DC Zip Code
Not To Be Confused With Takoma Park
Not Quite Like Its Neighbors
U Street Corridor
The Difference a Decade Makes
Woodley Park
Deceptively Residential
Adams Morgan
No Longer DC’s Hippest Neighborhood, But Still Loved by Residents

See more Northwest DC »

Southwest DC

The little quadrant that could

Southwest Waterfront
A Neighborhood Where A Change Is Gonna Come

See more Southwest DC »

Northeast DC

Profiles of 10 neighborhoods in NE

New Development Could Shake Up Pastoral Peace
A Little Bit of Country Just Inside the District’s Borders
Not to Be Confused With Bloomingdale
Fort Totten
Five Years Could Make a Big Difference
H Street
A Place To Party, and To Settle Down
The Northeast Neighborhood That Few Know About
Michigan Park
A Newsletter-On-Your-Doorstep Community
Evolving from a Brand to a Neighborhood
Ripe for Investment Right About Now
The Difference 5 Years Makes
Big Houses, A Dusty Commercial Strip and Potential

See more Northeast DC »

Southeast DC

6 neighborhoods from Capitol Hill to East of the River

Capitol Riverfront
Still Growing
Hill East
Capitol Hill’s Lesser Known Neighbor
Congress Heights
Gradually Rising
Notable for Its Neighborliness
Historic Anacostia
Future Promise Breeds Cautious Optimism
Eastern Market
A More European Way of Living

See more Southeast DC »