23rd Street South between South Eads Street and Crystal Drive
The 23rd Street pedestrian tunnel was closed permanently on Sept. 3, 2019, and the tunnel’s above-ground structures were deconstructed.
This project will be constructed in two phases. On April 25, 2020, the County Board approved a $1.33 million contract with Ardent Company LLC for Phase 1, to improve pedestrian access and safety on both sides of 23rd Street South between Route 1 and South Eads Street.
- Anticipated construction start - Summer 2020
- Anticipated construction completion - Fall 2021
What to expect during Phase 1 construction:
- Lane closures will be limited to non-rush hours (between 9 am and 4 pm) with normal operations at all other times.
- Temporary sidewalk closures will be required. When necessary, detours will be marked directing pedestrians, bicyclists and other traffic safely around the work zone.
About the Project
Phase 1 is between Route 1 and South Eads Street. This phase will widen the sidewalk and retail parking areas on the south side of 23rd Street. Lane widths will be reduced, but the number of travel lanes will remain the same as today.
Phase 2 is from Crystal Drive to Route 1, including the intersection at Route 1. This phase will be triggered by redevelopment along the north portion of 23rd Street. The project will realign the roadway to eliminate the wide median island so the building pad sites on the north portion of 23rd Street can be built in accordance with the Crystal City Sector Plan.
In spring 2018, County staff briefed the following commissions and civic associations on the project's status and removal of the pedestrian tunnel - presentation:
- May 9, 2018 - Aurora Highlands Civic Association
- May 15, 2018 - Disability Advisory Commission
- May 31, 2018 - Transportation Commission
- June 13, 2018 - Pedestrian Advisory Committee
- June 14, 2018 - Crystal City Citizen Review Council (CCCRC)
In summer 2018, staff solicited feedback regarding the demolition and removal of the tunnel underneath Route 1. Many members of the community agreed that the tunnel should be removed due to safety issues and the facility's lack of accessibility.
Phase 1 is primarily funded by a regional grant from the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority.