Crystal City to Reagan National Airport Multimodal Connection (CC2DCA)
This project explores the possibility of providing a context-sensitive multimodal connection between Crystal City and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) for use by people walking, biking, and using micromobility devices. The study includes environmental reviews required by the federal NEPA review process.
The CC2DCA connection could provide residents, visitors, and business travelers of all ages and abilities with a safe and convenient way to reach the airport from Crystal City. Not only could the project provide pedestrian and bicycle access to a national air travel hub, it could also potentially create and enhance multimodal connections among the airport, the relocated Virginia Railway Express (VRE) commuter rail station, and the multi-use Mount Vernon Trail.
In May 2023, the Arlington County Board endorsed the location of the Preferred Alternative for the CC2DCA Multimodal Connection.The Preferred Alternative would connect to the east side of the south entrance of the future VRE Crystal City Station located at 2011 Crystal Dr. and span the rail corridor perpendicularly before crossing the George Washington Memorial Parkway at a slight angle. A specific alignment across DCA property is yet to be defined.
National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) efforts for the CC2DCA connection began in spring 2022. Initial activities included data collection, agency coordination and public outreach which aided in the development of the Purpose and Need statement for the study. Currently, the study is in the process of evaluating a range of alternatives for a potential connection.
Map of study area(JPG, 1MB) (full size)
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What to expect during the environmental review process
CC2DCA would use federal funds and could impact federal lands. Therefore, it is subject to NEPA and the County must develop alternatives and conduct an environmental analysis before identifying a preferred design concept. We anticipate this process will take approximately three years to complete.
This work will be done in collaboration with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and other regional, state and federal agency partners. The potential environmental impacts of the alternatives will be evaluated in a NEPA document. This document is now anticipated to be an Environmental Assessment (EA) which would be published in late summer or early fall 2023. The study also will advance the production of required documentation and approvals by appropriate federal agencies.
A preferred alternative, including a specific type of facility and alignment, will be identified in the EA, which will also list environmental commitments to avoid, minimize, or mitigate adverse impacts on the environment from the project. After the NEPA process is complete, all necessary federal permits and authorizations will be obtained.
Arlington County will further advance the design of the selected connection in preparation for the next phase of the project (final design and construction). This work will be completed under a different contract and is not part of the study.
Public involvement is pivotal to the NEPA process; opportunities to engage with the study will be provided throughout its development. The County has developed a comprehensive public participation plan in accordance with NEPA requirements and consistent with the County’s Six Step Public Engagement Guide for Capital Projects.
July 2021 Community Meeting
A virtual community meeting was held on July 15, 2021, to present the study to the public and solicit initial comments on the potential CC2DCA connection.
An online form was available from July 15 to Aug. 15, 2021, for providing input to help define the project’s purpose and need.
In November 2021, the project team kicked off the 2nd public engagement checkpoint for the CC2DCA Study, covering the process from Purpose & Need to preliminary feasibility for project corridors and initial concept designs. This public engagement window was open from November 29, 2021 to January 9, 2022.
The online feedback form guided participants through a high-level overview of the study's progress to date, and asked for your feedback along the way. Here's a summary what we heard in the feedback form:
Virtual Question & Answer Session
The project team hosted a virtual Question & Answer session on December 7, 2021 from 7:00pm to 8:00pm. The project team answered questions about the study's progress, and about the engagement materials that are part of this public comment period.
Key Engagement Resources
The project team prepared a set of pre-recorded presentations to update you on our progress and walk you through the process so far. You can watch the entire presentation (approximately 30min) or watch segments covering each part of the engagement. These videos formed the basis for this public engagement opportunity.
Learn more about each of the 14 corridors analyzed and screened for the study in this set of 1-page factsheets.
Learn more about each of the initial concepts for the multi-modal connection analyzed and screened for the study in this set of 1-page factsheets
In October 2022, the project team kicked off the third public engagement opportunity for the CC2DCA Study, covering the process from initial concept designs to a recommended preferred alternative. This public engagement window was open Oct. 4, 2022 to Nov. 6, 2022.
Online Feedback Summary
Virtual Question & Answer Session
The project team hosted a virtual public meeting for the recommended preferred alternative on Oct. 25, 2022 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. The project team answered questions about the study's progress, and about the engagement materials that are part of this public comment period.
Pre-Recorded Meeting Materials
The CC2DCA environmental assessment is now available for public review. The public had the opportunity to provide feedback online in six different languages, an in-person, and mailing or emailing comments to the project team. Click the accordion to see the documents.
About the Project
In 2010, Arlington County adopted the Crystal City Multimodal Transportation Study. The study made transportation improvement recommendations for the Crystal City area including the construction of a pedestrian and bicycle connection to the airport.
The Crystal City Business Improvement District (now known as the National Landing BID) initiated a feasibility assessment in 2017 that looked at how to connect Crystal City and its myriad transportation options to the airport. The study evaluated various alignment and facility types to serve existing development and planned growth in Crystal City.
During development of its FY 2019-2028 Capital Improvement Plan, the County created a new project in the Crystal City, Pentagon City, Potomac Yard Streets Program to continue alternatives analysis and preliminary planning for a connection between Crystal City and DCA. The project had limited funding due to budget constraints.
In late 2018, with the announcement of an agreement to bring Amazon’s HQ2 to Crystal City, the Commonwealth of Virginia identified a CC2DCA connection as one of five transportation projects to be fully or partially funded by the Commonwealth.
VDOT added the project to its Six-Year Improvement Program in 2019. This included an allocation of $9.5 million in federal funding for project planning, NEPA documentation and preliminary engineering.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is the lead agency for the environmental review on this project, while VDOT is the joint lead agency for the purposes of preparing the NEPA document. Concurring, cooperating, and participating agencies will be identified and formally invited in these roles after the NEPA process kicks off. To date, the National Park Service, Federal Aviation Administration, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, US Army Corps of Engineers, and the US Environmental Protection Agency have agreed to participate in the study as potential concurring and cooperating agencies.
At its December 2019 meeting, the County Board approved an agreement with VDOT to allow the County to administer the project’s planning, environmental review and preliminary engineering phases.
On June 30, 2020, the County advertised a request for proposals to select a consultant to complete the project’s environmental documentation and conceptual design. The County Board approved a professional services contract at its March 20, 2021, meeting.