Based on a preliminary assessment, the State of Virginia could be poised to fund a parking garage for a proposed Potomac Nationals (High A; Carolina League) ballpark.
The proposal for the deck calls for it to serve as a commuter garage and to provide parking for P-Nats home games. The 1,400-space garage, along with related proposal to widen Neabsco Mills Road, both came in with high marks on a Virginia Department of Transportation assessment.
In order to have one or both proposals funded by the state, Prince William County officials needed to deliver a strong case. The results of the test validate the proposal on some levels and, while it does not automatically trigger state funding, the assessment is a major component of completing the projects, according to county supervisors Frank Principi and Marty Nohe. More from the Prince William Times:
The assessment scores projects on aspects such as safety, congestion relief, economic development and cost in an effort to fund projects that make the best use of limited state transportation dollars.
Neither the parking garage nor the Neabsco Mills widening project are a done deal. The Commonwealth Transportation Board will hold public hearings and make its final decisions later this spring.
Nohe, who serves as chairman of the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority, said he wasn’t surprised by the projects’ high score. Commuter parking garages are relatively inexpensive compared to most transportation projects and have the potential to remove hundreds of cars from Interstate 95.
It’s expected the garage would serve as a stop for local OmniRide and OmniLink commuter buses serving the Pentagon and the Springfield Metro station, although those details have yet to be worked out. It’s also likely to become yet another waypoint for riders and drivers who use Northern Virginia’s informal carpooling system known as “slugging.”
For the county and the P-Nats, this could clear up some issues related to funding the ballpark. Under a revised proposal that was made public in December, Prince William’s Industrial Development Authority would issue bonds to help fund the facility. Some Prince William County officials have previously expressed doubts about that proposal, particularly with the funding for the parking deck in flux.
State funding is not an automatic but, if it does come through, it would be one more step toward helping the ballpark comes to fruition. The P-Nats have been looking to replace Pfitzner Stadium for years, and first proposed this facility–which would be located at Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center–in 2012.
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