A little noticed but very important event took place this week. Pulte Homes, the developer at Potomac Yard, began the demolition of one of the old railway bridges over Four Mile Run.
When we think of Potomac Yard we tend to think of development. The project, however, is far more than constructing dwellings and Alexandria will be far better off for the community planning that has been done.
If you climb on a train at Alexandria station and travel north into Pennsylvania and New Jersey you see the results of the retreat of heavy industry in the United States. There are hundreds of abandoned and deserted industrial sites along the tracks. It is a picture that is more than unsightly. It is unsafe and environmentally unfriendly.
That is not the case in Alexandria where Potomac Yard, which could have had a similar fate, is now resurgent with new homes and stores.
As part of the redevelopment, Alexandria and Arlington have undertaken the restoration of Four Mile Run. The Run will become an attractive place for citizens of both jurisdictions to gather. Pulte will replace the railroad bridge with an urban deck that will bring amenities to the residents of Potomac Yard.
We need to take a moment to thank the hundreds of citizen volunteers who labored over the Four Mile Run Plan and the local officials, elected and appointed, who helped bring it to fruition. A special thank you should go to Congressman Jim Moran who was able to secure some significant Federal funding for the project.
We are fortunate to live in a city with a very desirable location. We are more fortunate to live in a city where so many residents are willing to work to make it better and to have elected officials who do listen to those residents and help them achieve what they want.