On Saturday, the public will be introduced to the new Long Bridge Park — just north of Crystal City — when county leaders hold an 11:00 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony.
First-time visitors will be pleasantly surprised to find that the 18-acre park is quite a sight to behold. A year and a half after construction on the park began, what was once a muddy brown field is now a welcoming green space, with picturesque views of Reagan National Airport, the Roaches Run Waterfowl Sanctuary, the Crystal City skyline and the Washington Monument.
The esplanade runs parallel to a pair of CSX railroad tracks, used by freight trains, Amtrak passenger trains and VRE commuter trains. Lined with cherry trees, the esplanade will be utilized by walkers, joggers, cyclists and people who just want a scenic place to sit and relax.
Getting to the park will be somewhat of a challenge. Visitors coming to the Crystal City Metro station will have a bit of a hike before reaching the esplanade entrance, at the bend where Crystal Drive becomes 12th Street S. Those arriving by car will be able to use Long Bridge Drive — formerly Old Jefferson Davis Highway — to reach a modest surface parking lot. While Long Bridge Drive was recently renamed, it remains the worst public road in Arlington — with big bumps, ruts and potholes for most of the stretch between 12th Street and I-395/Boundary Channel Drive.
Find out more about the park’s first phase via Arlington County. A second phase of park construction, currently in the planning stage, will add a large new aquatics, health and fitness center, with an Olympic-sized pool and a 10-meter diving platform.
More photos, after the jump.
The Department of Environmental Services may be Arlington County government’s largest single department.
With about 375 full-time employees and an operating budget of more than $70 million, the department is in charge of maintaining the county’s streets, street signs, street lights, water lines, and sewers. It also collects your trash and leaves, runs the county’s snow plows and operates transit programs.
A new video (above) from Arlington County explores the many ways DES is a part of our every day lives.
The video contains a number of staggering facts about the infrastructure within our 26 square mile county, the smallest self-governing county — geographically — in the United States.
For instance, Arlington maintains 961 lane miles of roads, some 100,000 traffic signs, 526 miles of water lines, and enough sanitary sewer lines to stretch from here to Boston, Mass. Also featured in the video: a new remote-controlled camera that searches sewer lines for pipes that have broken due to tree roots and other factors.
Memphis Barbeque, a new restaurant that’s starting to wrap up construction in Crystal City, is now hiring.
The restaurant (320 South 23rd Street) recently posted a help wanted ad on Craigslist seeking bartenders, servers, cooks, and hostesses. The ad also described the concept behind the $750,000 restaurant.
“We are Metropolitan Washington’s first upscale-casual BBQ restaurant featuring authentic hickory-pit smoked barbeque and live hickory grilled meats, fish and seafood,” the ad said.
Memphis Barbeque is taking the place of the shuttered Mackey’s Public House.
A Chick-fil-A restaurant is under construction at 6108 Arlington Boulevard, not far from the Target store that anchors the shopping center. The 3,700 square foot restaurant is expected to open in April 2012, according to the Falls Church News-Press. Like last year’s Chick-fil-A opening in Crystal City, chicken fans can expect the restaurant to give away free food for a year to the first 100 people in line at the store’s opening.
Next to Chick-fil-A is Cafe Rio, which will be the second Northern Virginia outpost of the Utah-based Mexican restaurant chain. Cafe Rio says its restaurants “offer the highest quality, freshest food you will find anywhere.” As proof of the freshness, the company points out that its restaurants do not have freezers or microwaves.
Interior construction at Cafe Rio still appears to be underway. According to a counter on the Cafe Rio web site, the restaurant is expected to open on Wednesday, Nov. 16.
The Willston Center is located just across the Arlington border in Falls Church.
Photo courtesy Clarendon Culture
In this week’s Arlington County crime report, a man exposed himself to a female jogger along a bike path in Rosslyn. The incident took place around 10:00 p.m. last Wednesday.
EXPOSURE, 10/26/11, 1400 block of Lee Highway. On October 26, at 10 pm, a woman was jogging on a bike trail near the Key Bridge. She witnessed a man hiding behind a sign shining a flashlight on his genitalia as she ran past. The suspect is a Hispanic or African American male with a light complexion. He was wearing a suit, and covered his face with pantyhose or a stocking.
The rest of the crime report, after the jump.
Norwood Found Guilty of Murder — A Montgomery County jury has found Brittany Norwood guilty of the brutal murder of Rosslyn resident Jayna Murray. Murray was found beaten and stabbed to death in a Bethesda Lululemon yoga store in March. [ABC 7]
Cain Accused of Sexual Harassment in Crystal City — Republican presidential frontrunner Herman Cain has been facing accusations that he sexually harassed female employees while serving as head of the National Restaurant Association. The latest accuser alleges that one incident of harassment happened at an (unnamed) restaurant in Crystal City. [Politico]
‘Puzzle Fest’ This Weekend — Arlington Public Library is hosting its first-ever Arlington Puzzle Festival on Saturday. From 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Central Library (1015 N. Quincy Street) puzzle enthusiasts can compete in crossword and Sudoku tournaments. There will also be speakers and a scavenger hunt. [Library Blog]
Flickr pool photo by Maryva2