The U.S. Army has informed Arlington County that it will no longer pursue a land exchange with the county. The Army has said it will use the entire former Navy Annex site, along Columbia Pike, to expand Arlington National Cemetery.
The Army’s decision means it intends to retain all federal land at the former Navy Annex. It also will acquire for the cemetery about five acres of public land now owned by Arlington County and more than seven acres of public land now owned by the Commonwealth of Virginia that support the existing transportation network. The Army originally had proposed, and Arlington had worked for years to achieve, a land exchange agreement. The agreement would have provided Arlington with land south of a realigned Columbia Pike that the county had hoped to use to meet a variety of public facility needs.
The realigned Southgate Road will carry traffic coming to and from Joint Base Myer Henderson Hall. The Realigned Columbia Pike will be rebuilt in a manner consistent with the county’s Columbia Pike Multimodal Project, as a four-lane roadway with a sidewalk and a shared-use path, improved landscaping, enhanced lighting and undergrounding of utilities.
Arlington National Cemetery is projected to run out of burial space in the early 2040s. The roadway realignment and the land that will be acquired from Arlington County and the Commonwealth will provide 38 more acres of contiguous burial space to accommodate approximately 50,000 more burial spaces, extending the closure date of the cemetery until the mid-2050s, based on the current demand and interment rates.