Alexandria: Compromise on Waterfront Barging

Alexandria: Compromise on Waterfront Barging

After a long tug-of-war between local residents and waterfront property developer EYA, acting City Manager Mark Jinks announced an agreement with EYA to use barging instead of trucking to transport materials to and from the South Robinson Terminal development.

“The City heard the neighborhood’s clear concerns about the impact of truck hauling, and staff worked diligently to reach an alternative,” said Mayor William Euille. “We thank the community and the members of the Ad Hoc Monitoring Group on Waterfront Construction, including EYA, for their input and cooperation.”

The agreement will be included with the City’s staff recommendation, which will be considered at the Planning Commission public hearing Thursday, April 9, 7 p.m. in City Council Chambers. Following the public hearing, the Planning Commission will make a recommendation to City Council, which is scheduled to be discussed at a second public hearing on April 18.

“There has been great community concern around the issue of barging fill and excavation material for the remapping of the flood plain and ultimate garage excavation,” said Robert Youngentob, president of EYA, in a written statement following the decision. “In light of these concerns and after careful consideration of the significant cost premium, EYA believes that it is in the best interest of the project, the community and the city to barge this fill and excavation material. Any construction activity required to build out Robinson Terminal South in accord with the City’s waterfront plan will have impacts on the surrounding neighbors. The decision to barge the fill and excavation material will help to lessen this impact.”

Barging is expected to cost EYA $1.6 million more than the estimated 7,000 truckloads, offset by the city’s recommendation that the developer be allowed to add up to four multi-family units to the 92 currently planned at the site by reducing the size of other units in the building.

“The wear-and-tear on those streets and underground utilities as well as vibration damage to nearby homes would have been very costly to the City as well as to residents with homes on the streets the trucks would have traveled over,” said Bert Ely and Mark Mueller, co-chairs of the Friends of the Alexandria Waterfront in an email. “The Friends of the Alexandria Waterfront applauds EYA, the developer of the South Robinson Terminal, for agreeing to utilize barges rather than trucks to move dirt from and to the terminal site during the development process.”