Once construction is complete, trail users will be able remain on the trail rather than detouring on busy streets in Shirlington and Park Fairfax in Alexandria, which also would shave off minutes from trail commutes.
Allen Muchnick points out
the primary advantage of the new route is the reduction in distance and time. The new direct trail route will be about 0.8 miles shorter, and trail users will no longer be delayed at at least three signalized intersections or have to climb up to the pedestrian overpass of I-395.
It's sad, however, that Arlington County took NINE years to approve the construction contract to build its "number one priority trail project", after this project was supposedly fully designed and funded in 1998. With luck, the new trail may open by spring 2009.
The new, direct connector will run along the Four Mile Run stream channel under both I-395
(Shirley Highway) and West Glebe Rd, starting from the W&OD zero mile marker at Shirlington Rd. Roughly half of the $7 million construction cost is for the trail connector itself and about half is to install a new sewage line that will lie beneath the new trail.
This was a project that made my initial Christmas Wish List.
Construction was suppose to begin in 2002 and again in the first half of 2005, but still nothing has been done.