Will Crystal City Get a Walkway to DCA?

Advocates call the proposed bridge a game changer.

A rendering of the proposed pedestrian bridge. Photo courtesy of Crystal City BID

They may be adjacent to each other, but crossing from Crystal City to Reagan National Airport isn’t exactly a walk in the park. The trek involves crossing major roads and traversing unpaved trails. “The airport is so close…yet so far away,” says Robert Mandle, chief operating officer of the Crystal City Business Improvement District (BID). “So, how do we bridge this very short distance, not just physically but psychologically?”

Perhaps with a literal bridge. Late last year, the BID announced a proposal for an elevated pedestrian bridge that would connect the neighborhood to an airport security gate, cutting the walking time (from the Crystal City Metro) from roughly a half-hour to five minutes. Taking walkers over the George Washington Parkway, this handy piece of infrastructure would be a boon not only for vacationers and business travelers, but also for daily commuters, by providing easier access to Metro and a proposed relocated VRE station.

It’s not a done deal. There are still roadblocks, including omnipresent funding questions and getting the county, state and feds—both the GW Parkway and the airport are federally managed—all on the same page. But if it does happen, Mandle says, it’ll be a game changer: “[DCA] is one of the closest airports to a community anywhere in the country. This could have a tremendous economic impact on Crystal City and Arlington. It’s an enormous opportunity.” crystalcity.org

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