Traffic is backing up on I-395 South as confused drivers slow down at what is usually the busy exit to Route 1. Instead of an exit, commuters are encountering orange barrels.
Even though Arlington County road crews have opened up one left lane of southbound Jefferson Davis Highway (Rt. 1) in Crystal City following last night’s water main breaks, VDOT is keeping the I-395 exit closed, perhaps out of worries about the thoroughfare being able to handle rush hour commuter traffic.
Arlington County says the middle lane of southbound Jeff Davis should open around 6:00 p.m. tonight. The far right lane “may also open later.”
The faulty water pressure regulator that caused last night’s water main breaks has been turned off, according to the county. Meanwhile, crews are still working to repair a water main break on South Eads Street.
Jorge “George” Torrez, a 21-year-old Marine stationed at Fort Myer’s Henderson Hall, was arrested over the weekend and charged in the Feb. 10 attempted abduction of a woman from the 1700 block of N. Quincy Street.
Torrez is also suspected in the abduction, sexual assault and near-fatal beating of a woman from N. Wakefield Street in Ballston early Saturday morning, according to police.
Now police are suggesting that Torrez might have been involved in an assault that occurred just an hour before Saturday’s alleged abduction. The assault occurred in the 4500 block of N. 4th Street at 3:00 a.m., according to police. That’s less than a mile from where the Ballston abduction took place, at 4:00 a.m.
Police say a man followed a woman up to her house, forced her inside, then used a stun gun on her. The woman yelled, waking up her roommate, and the suspect fled, according to investigators. Police say the assault is “believed to be connected” to Torrez.
Update at 2:10 p.m. — South Eads Street, which runs parallel to Route 1 from Pentagon City to S. Glebe Road, is not a viable option as an alternate route past 23rd Street. Eads is currently closed between Ft. Scott Drive and S. Glebe Road while crews work to fix another water main break.
Arlington County is warning that only one lane of southbound Jefferson Davis Highway (Rt. 1) in Crystal City will be open in time for tonight’s evening rush hour. The continued lane closures will likely cause major backups for commuters throughout South Arlington.
A series of water main breaks last night caused sections of Route 1 between 23rd St. and 27th St. (near the ramp to Reagan National Airport) to collapse. The breaks have been fixed, but road repair work has gone more slowly than originally anticipated.
Late last night, the county said they were working to reopen southbound Route 1 by the morning rush hour. This morning, engineers said they hoped to have all lanes open by 4:00 p.m. Now, we’re told that one left lane will be open, hopefully by 3:30 p.m.
In otherwise light traffic this afternoon, the closure pushed cars onto side streets, backing up exits and turn lanes off of northbound Jefferson Davis Highway.
Drivers should consider the George Washington Parkway or I-395 as an alternate route tonight, but those already-busy thoroughfares will likely see backups due to increased traffic volume.
South Clark Street, which can be accessed via the I-395 South exit to Boundary Channel Drive, is another option, but it too will likely be backed up.
Commuters coming into Virginia via I-395 can also consider taking Arlington Ridge Road to S. Glebe Road to Route 1 as an alternate route.