Executives hedge bets on Intersect project funding

Arlington County officials are expected to seek $10 million in federal funding to improve an interchange on Arlington Boulevard and Washington Boulevard, while seeking a similar amount from the state government as a safety net in case the money federal would never materialize.

The proposal aims to reconfigure two existing interchange ramps and create a straighter two-way ramp with signage.

County officials had previously planned to seek funding for the project through the state government’s SMART SCALE grant program, but believe funding could be secured more quickly through a new pot of federal money, which is aimed to disburse funds in the next 12 to 18 months.

If Arlington receives less than the $10 million in federal funding sought — or none at all — it could apply for state funds to make up the difference.

SMART SCALE funding does not require local matching, while federal funding would require localities to inject 20%. County officials say funding could come from the state program or from local sources.

At the July 16 county council meeting, council members are to ask staff to apply to federal and state programs for the $10 million, as well as request an additional $3.9 million per through the SMART SCALE program to extend the left-turn lane from westbound Arlington Boulevard to southbound Manchester Street by 230 to 500 feet and extend the left-turn lane from eastbound Arlington Boulevard to Manchester Street northbound from 75 feet to 175 feet to improve safety at the intersection.

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