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No Funds For Potomac Yard South
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No Funds For Potomac Yard South

— There were some major projects the city will hope to fund with its upcoming Smart Scale grant application. At the June 26 City Council meeting, staff announced the city is hoping to gain $60 million in funds for the West End Transitway Corridor, and another $10 million for transit improvements around Landmark Mall. But much of the discussion about the grant application was about what wasn’t in the application: the Potomac Yard southern station entrance.

The entrance was eliminated from the project design as costs continued to climb. City officials, like Vice Mayor Justin Wilson and Mayor Allison Silberberg, both pledged to make restoring the southern entrance a top priority. But during the grant funding application process, city staff said the project was ineligible for funding currently.

The Potomac Yard Metro station is fully funded, in large part due to the southern entrance elimination. This paradoxically makes the project ineligible to seek further funding from the state unless the southern entrance is made a completely standalone construction project. However, staff said going forward, the Smart Scale grant could be a potential source of funding in future cycles. The grants operate in two-year cycles, so there’s no chance of having the funding restored before construction begins on the station.

“We would be wise to commit to southern entrance,” said Silberberg. “Easy accessibility would make a huge difference for use.”