ALEXANDRIA, Va. (ABC7) — If you look north, east, or west from the Eisenhower Avenue Metro station platform, you see everything from tall apartment buildings to commercial buildings to government agencies – and none of it was there when the station opened in 1983.
The Eisenhower Avenue Metro station has played a role in luring a lot of new development to Alexandria in recent years, and that’s why it appears the summer shutdown of the station will have an outsize impact on the area surrounding it.
About 15 years ago the Eisenhower Avenue station helped lure the U.S. Patent and Trade Office to Alexandria; more recently the National Science Foundation moved across the street from the station’s entrance.
Although it has the fewest daily riders of the six stations that will shut down from May 25 through September 8, perhaps no other station is surrounded by so much recent development that it played a role in attracting and that is so dependent on it.
Metro records indicate that in 1984, an average of 981 people boarded the train at Eisenhower Avenue every day. In 2018 that number stood at 1,919.
In 2009 daily boardings reached a record high of 2,496. Since then, the military’s Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) initiative led to a loss of jobs that caused the numbers to drop. But those numbers are now rising again.
Before reaching 1,919 daily boardings in 2018, the Eisenhower Avenue station had only seen 1,346 in 2017. Currently more large buildings are being constructed close to the station, which is likely to lead to continued increased use of it.
The stations that will shut down starting later this month are Franconia-Springfield, Van Dorn Street, Huntington, King Street-Old Town, Braddock Road, and Eisenhower Avenue.