County Manager Proposes $2.8 Billion 10-Year Capital Improvement Plan

Published on May 17, 2016

  • Fulfilling commitments to Lubber Run, Long Bridge Park projects
  • Planning for Columbia Pike premium transit
  • Maintaining existing infrastructure
  • Remaining within debt, financial policies
  • Continuing support for APS

Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz today presented a $2.8 billion 10-year Proposed Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for Fiscal Year 2017-FY 2026 that maintains existing infrastructure and fulfills commitments to design a new fire station, construct the Lubber Run Community Center and the Long Bridge Park Aquatics and Fitness Center.

"Our priorities are clear," Schwartz said. "We will fund a premium transit network for Columbia Pike that will bring many of the benefits of a streetcar, at  less cost, to that heavily traveled corridor. We include substantial funding for Schools capacity needs and the Superintendent's proposed CIP priorities. We also will address our community's growing need for recreational facilities and open space by replacing the aging Lubber Run Community Center and moving forward with the Long Bridge Park Aquatics and Fitness Center and surrounding 10 acres of parkland within existing funding. We also will fund the design of a new fire station to replace Lee Highway's obsolete Fire Station No. 8."

The proposed CIP is a 4.4 percent increase over the FY 15-FY 24 Adopted CIP of $2.7 billion. It includes more than $1.3 billion in funding for transportation over the next 10 years. Some of that money would be used to expand the County's successful Arlington Transit (ART) bus system, adding 25 buses to the 65-bus fleet by FY 2022. Another $421 million is proposed for water-sewer infrastructure funding over the next 10 years. Also included is funding to acquire the Buck property, on N. Quincy Street, and $6 million to build an on-line payment portal and supporting systems. Funding for the Neighborhood Conservation Program remains at $12 million -- the same amount as two years ago. A new item is a $12 million joint County-Schools project bond to build a parking structure at the Thomas Jefferson Middle School site, where a new elementary school is planned.

CM FY7-FY26 Proposed CIP Manager's Presentation

Proposed CIP includes Columbia Pike premium transit network 

The proposed plan, the first since the County cancelled the planned Columbia Pike and Crystal City-Potomac Yard streetcar system in November 2014, reallocates money from the cancelled project into a premium transit network for Columbia Pike that eventually will offer a one-ride trip from the west end of the Pike to Potomac Yard.

The Superintendent of Arlington Public Schools proposed a $492 million CIP to the School Board on May 5; the proposed referenda for November 2016 for Schools is $142 million. View the Superintendent's Proposed Capital Improvement Plan.   A joint work session of the County Board and School Board is scheduled for May 24 to discuss the proposed Schools CIP.

Financial sustainability

The proposed CIP is within the County's debt and financial policies, which are critical to maintaining the County's triple-Aaa bond ratings. The CIP was developed with conservative financial assumptions — annual revenue growth of 2.0 to 2.5% in the early years and 3% in the latter years of the plan.

CIP funding comes from a variety of sources, including bonds, pay-as-you go funding, dedicated taxes for transportation & stormwater investments, and water-sewer user fees. A significant portion of the plan comes from general obligation bonds which are authorized by the Arlington County Board and subject to approval by Arlington County voters.

Proposed 2016 bond referenda

The County Manager's proposed 2016 bond referenda totals $177 million; highlights include:

  • Metro and Transportation - $59 million
    • Metro — fulfilling our ongoing commitment - $30 million, a 31 percent increase from the 2014 referenda ($23 million).
    • Paving — maintaining our roads - $24 million a 27 percent increase over the last CIP


  • Parks and Recreation - $19 million
    • Maintenance capital of $12 million;
    • Land acquisition of $3 million a 50 percent increase over the prior CIP


  • Government Facilities - $70 million
    • Design for Fire Station 8 (Completion of the Fire Station 8 Task Force work will inform a construction referenda request in 2018)
    • Facilities Maintenance capital $11 million
    • Construction of Lubber Run Community Center - $46 million
    • Barcroft Gymnastics Expansion - $3 million


  • Community Conservation - $17 million
    • Continued support of Neighborhood Conservation - $12 million
    • Construction of the Nauck Town Square - $5 million


  • Joint County Schools - $12 million
    • Parking structure at Thomas Jefferson site

Arlington's bond referenda questions will appear on the Nov. 8, 2016 ballot after consideration and approval by the County Board. Please note that the County Manager's proposed 2016 bond referenda does not include the recommended 2016 referenda for Arlington Public Schools.

Public process and upcoming dates

The County Manager's proposed CIP reflects comments from the community about its priorities. In April, the Manager held three CIP community meetings, and hosted an online Engage Arlington forum that resulted in more than 430 comments. The County Board will hold multiple work sessions and a public hearing on the proposed CIP before adopting it in July.

Key dates in the CIP process


  • May 24— Joint County Board /School Board work session
  • May 31, June 16, 28, and July 12 — County Board work sessions on proposed CIP
  • June 22— Public hearing — 7:00 p.m., County Board Room, 2100 Clarendon Blvd., 3rd floor, Arlington, VA
  • July 19— County Board adoption of CIP and bond referenda language


 A decade of progress

The proposed CIP continues the significant progress the County has made in its Capital Improvement Plan. In the past two years, the County has completed and opened the new Homeless Services Center and the Crystal City — Potomac Yard Transitway. The County has re-paved more than 160 lane miles of streets, and acquired 0.63 acres of land for new parks and open space. The County continues to make progress on parks and facilities maintenance capital investments.

Capital improvements over the past 10 years include:

  • 168 Neighborhood Conservation projects
  • 160 Complete Streets projects
  • 18 stormwater management projects
  • 19 acres of new parkland (5 new parks created)
  • 2 new fire stations (#3 and #5)
  • 1 new school; 25 expanded/renovated schools
  • Expansion and upgrade of Water Pollution Control Plant


More Information

The County prepares and the County Board adopts the CIP every two years. For more information, visit the County website.