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A map of the National Landing redevelopment in Arlington and Alexandria, with Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and the Potomac River in the background. (JBG Smith)

A long-sought proposal to connect Crystal City via pedestrian bridge to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport took a jump forward as the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority agreed to kick in $18 million for the project.

“This will bring us closer to both the design and construction of this bridge,” said County Board member Katie Cristol, calling it “really critical” both as a transportation option and for economic vitality in the Crystal City area.

While being just a half-mile from the airport, Crystal Drive has no convenient pathway for pedestrians or bicyclists to safely connect to it. Once the project is completed – expected in 2025 or 2026 – it will make Crystal City “just a few steps away from DCA,” said Cristol, referring to the airport’s aviation code.

The bridge will take pedestrian traffic above the George Washington Memorial Parkway and will connect to Crystal Drive at 20th Street South, roughly two blocks from the Crystal City Metro station.

As part of its efforts to woo Amazon to the local area, the state government earlier had committed $9.5 million to the project, whose estimated total cost is $36 million.

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