Arlington National Cemetery Expansion Prompts Land And Road Changes

The planned expansion of Arlington National Cemetery to the south and add around 50 acres for future burials is moving forward but first, roads need to be reworked and the land prepared.

The proposed expansion of Arlington National Cemetery (image courtesy Arlington County)

“We are going to realign Columbia Pike, moving it from where it is today, farther south,” said John Martin, consultant project manager of what’s called the Arlington National Cemetery Defense Access Roads (DAR) Project.

Columbia Pike currently has a narrow sidewalk along four lanes of traffic.

Martin said that although the road will remain four lanes wide, there will some additional 8-foot-wide sidewalks on both sides and a 10-foot-wide cycle track to the north side.

The project, which seeks to add 60,000 burial plots, will also involve replacing Southgate Road with a new section of South Nash Street, expanding Foxcroft Heights Park, modifying the Route 27(Washington Boulevard) interchange at Columbia Pike, and installing new streetlights.

The design at the moment is 35% complete, but they hope to finalize it by fall this year. Construction is set to begin in Spring 2021 and continue until summer 2025.

Although the project does not involve relocating any homes, at a public hearing on Tuesday evening, some residents raised concerns about traffic and parking. Some were also concerned about the future of popular outdoor concerts held at the U.S. Air Force Memorial.

“The Air Force Memorial truly will be integrated into the cemetery project,” Martin said.

A rendering from the plan showed the memorial at the end of a walk through a future columbarium area.

Martin said the goal is to keep the memorial open to the public throughout construction.

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Charity W.

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Charity W. is a professional and skilled writer with a diploma in Mass Communication. When she is not glued to her computer screen, Charity spends her time reading, traveling, and watching movies. She is an expert on Arlington Virginia and keeps current with local events and occurrences.