The bridge, which has been under construction since 2012, was built to replace the previous structure. The old bridge was built in the 1940s as part of the original Pentagon Roadway Network and had been in “poor condition,” according to VDOT.
Construction on the project is still expected to wrap up at some point in 2015, according to VDOT’s project website.
Lane closures will continue on Columbia Pike into 2014 while the new bridge is finished and the old bridge is demolished. Demolition is expected to happen as soon as January.
Two water mains in south Arlington broke this morning, requiring major repairs and closing roads and county buildings in the process.
A 16-inch water main burst on S. Arlington Mill Drive at the entrance to the Village at Shirlington early Tuesday, closing the road from S. Randolph Street to S. Taylor Street. The break caused Abingdon Elementary School and Fairlington Community Center to close for the day.
Some neighborhoods around the area lost water service this morning, but according to Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services (DES) spokeswoman Myllisa Kennedy
water has since been restored to all residents, as well as the school, as repairs continue. The line is being excavated and repairs are expected to last until late afternoon, Kennedy said.
A separate, smaller water main also broke in Nauck this morning. Repairs have closed S. Monroe Street between 24th and 25th Streets as a result.
Update at 3:55 p.m. — Repairs on the 16-inch line are taking longer than expected. Residents in Fairlington will have little or no water pressure until the repairs are complete, according to DES spokeswoman Robyn Mincher.
The leaked 16 inch pipe has been exposed and workers found a long split. It may take another 5 to 6 hours from now to complete repairs. The traffic on Arlington Mill Drive will remain closed through early evening. The north entrance from Arlington Mill Drive to the garage located in Harris Teeter will be open by 4 p.m. to accommodate the tree lighting event. The attempts to open the other feed to Fairlington area were not successful. More repairs on valves will be done at a later date. As of now, Fairlington has no water or may be experiencing very low pressure. This situation will last until the 16 inch main is repaired.
Update at 7:15 p.m. — Repairs are continuing, Mincher says, but might stretch into Wednesday.
The intersection from Arlington Mill Drive to the north entrance of Harris Teeter’s Garage will remain closed. The traffic will stop at S. Randolph St. on Arlington Mill Drive.
The repair has run into complications with excessive water draining from the pipe that required more time to pump out. The replacement will be for two sections of pipe instead of one. These complications have added time to completion. The projected time of completion is approximately 5 ½ hours from now. The crew is complying with 16 safe-hour limit and will stop to continue in the morning if work is not completed by 10 pm. Night crew is working on a valve repair to restore water to Fairlington. If they finish early, they will supplement work on the pipe repair.
Update at 10:15 p.m. — County repair crews are calling it a day. Repairs will resume after rush hour tomorrow.
Crews will resume repair work tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. after the rush hour. This is due to the complications mentioned earlier and the 16 safe-hour limit. There will be one westbound lane open to traffic on Arlington Mill Drive and police will control the traffic throughout the night.
The Fairlington area will remain on low water pressure until the valve on the other line can be fixed.
From 4:00 to 10:00 p.m., Campbell Avenue, from Arlington Mill Drive to S. Quincy Street and S. Randolph Street, from Arlington Mill Drive to the alley behind Charlie Chang’s Restaurant (roughly the 3000 block), will be closed for the event.
During that time, vehicles will not be allowed to leave Harris Teeter’s covered parking lot onto Campbell Avenue. Parking in the area is also restricted, so drivers should be on the lookout for spaces with “No Parking” signs.
Light Up the Village will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The tree lighting should begin at 6:30, hosted by WTTG’s Allison Seymour. There will also be horse and carriage rides available for those donating non-perishable goods to the Arlington Food Assistance Center, photos with Santa at the UPS Store (2776 S. Arlington Mill Drive), free face painting and live holiday music.
Two passengers of a Red Top taxi cab were injured in a three-vehicle collision today.
The crash happened around noon in the southbound lanes of George Mason Drive, in front of the Army National Guard Readiness Center. Initial reports suggest an Arlington County work truck and the Red Top Cab sedan were stopped in the right-hand lane when the cab was rear-ended by an Advanced Towing truck. The cab was sandwiched between the other two vehicles, causing front- and rear-end damage.
An Arlington couple in their 60s were in the backseat of the cab at the time of the crash, according to Tanvir Ahmed, their son. Ahmed said his mother, who was returning home from cancer treatment at Virginia Hospital Center, suffered a head injury and was bleeding when she was taken via ambulance back to the hospital. His father suffered minor injuries, he said.
All three drivers remained on scene following the wreck. Only minor damage was visible on the rear bumper of the county truck. The tow truck had moderate front-end damage.
So far, there’s no official word from police regarding the cause of the crash. No other injuries were reported.
The race is hosted by Christ Church of Arlington. All 3,100 registration spots have been claimed, according to the church’s website.
Arlington police issued the following press release about closures associated with the event.
The Arlington County Police Department will close N. Pershing Drive between N. Fillmore Street and N. Glebe Road from 7:50 a.m. until approximately 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, November 28, 2013 for the 2013 Turkey Trot 5K.
Neighborhood roadways north and south of N. Pershing Drive will be affected briefly as the runners move through the course. It is anticipated N. Pershing Drive will be reopened completely by 9:30 a.m.
Additionally, certain areas will be designated as “no parking” along the route between midnight and 10:00 a.m. on November 28, 2013. These areas are identified below:
- N Highland Street between N Pershing Drive & 7th Street N
- 7th Street N between N Highland Street & N Irving Street
- N Irving Street between 7th Street N & 9th Street N
- 9th Street N between N Irving Street & N Fillmore Street
Metro bus service will be temporarily unavailable along N. Pershing Drive. Routes have been adjusted to provide pickup at the intersection of N. Glebe Road and Washington Boulevard along N. Pershing Drive.
All questions should be directed to Lieutenant Robert Medairos at (703)228-4160.
Today is perhaps the busiest travel day of the year — in the middle of the busiest travel week of the year — travel experts have some advice for travelers to make their journeys home as smooth as possible.
For those flying on Thanksgiving, expect crowded airports and airport parking lots until Monday, Dec. 2, according to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. The peak times for holiday flights is early in the morning, between 5:30 and 8:00 a.m., and late afternoon, between 3:30 and 5:30 p.m.
Because of the heavy volume of passengers, MWAA recommends getting to the airport two hours early for domestic flights and three hours early for international flights. Because planes will be so full, MWAA recommends packing lightly to ensure carry-on luggage fits in on-board compartments and under the seats.
For those leaving the area in their cars, the Washington Post’s Dr. Gridlock writes that on the I-95 corridor, traffic will only begin to ease up tonight after 11:00 p.m., and it will start to get heavy again on Thursday at around 9:00 a.m.
Those going south on I-95 should remember that there’s a 29-mile work zone south of Springfield, so drivers can take a 20-mile workaround by taking I-66 West to Route 28 South in Centreville, then to Route 17, which meets up with I-95 around Fredericksburg.
The accident happened right in front of the on-ramp from the George Washington Parkway. Multiple lanes were blocked as fire trucks and police cruisers responded, but the cars have been moved so they are blocking only the right lane.
No significant injuries were reported.
Updated at 4:08 p.m. — All lanes of Washington Blvd are now open to traffic.
The southbound lanes of Washington Blvd are temporarily closed near the Arlington Blvd overpass due to an accident involving a bicyclist.
Initial reports suggest the cyclist was struck by a vehicle and suffered a broken left leg. The southbound lanes are closed due to the emergency response.
Drivers should avoid the area if possible.
In the Virginia gubernatorial race, Democrat Terry McAuliffe defeated Republican Ken Cuccinelli by a margin of about 56,000 votes. Arlington, meanwhile, contributed about 33,000 surplus Democratic votes to that total.
Arlington’s importance to securing Democratic victories in statewide races cannot be underestimated, county Treasurer Frank O’Leary told the party faithful at last night’s Arlington County Democratic Committee meeting.
“We are exporting votes that are desperately needed… throughout Virginia,” he said, lauding the party’s get-out-the-vote efforts, which helped lead to McAuliffe’s 72 percent to 22 percent shellacking over Cuccinelli in Arlington.
O’Leary said the nearly 67,000 votes cast in the governor’s race in Arlington were a record, smashing the previous record of about 57,000 and pointing to an overall upward trend in overall turnout for statewide, congressional and presidential races in Arlington. (Turnout in purely local elections — County Board, etc. — remains flat.)
Arlingtonians cast about 7,250 absentee ballots this year, a record for a non-presidential year. The previous record was 7,077, set in 2006. While some of the increase can be attributed to a broader upward trend in absentee voting, O’Leary said the federal government shutdown also played a significant role.
“An interesting thing happened in early October,” O’Leary said. “A whole lot of people were furloughed… and they were mad as hell and weren’t going to talk it any more.”
“My theory that the absentee vote was swollen by angry federal workers, using their unappreciated furlough to come in and vote, may be sustained by the fact that McAuliffe received 79.5% of their vote versus 70.6% in the 52 precincts,” O’Leary said in a subsequent email. “Thus, McAuliffe garnered 650 more votes at the absentee level than might have been expected based on his performance in the precincts.”
The Libertarian candidate running for governor in Virginia, Robert Sarvis, captured about 6.5 percent of the vote statewide, and about 5.8 percent in Arlington. Contrary to the conventional wisdom of some Virginia political watchers, who argued that Sarvis largely siphoned off votes that would have otherwise gone to Cuccinelli, O’Leary said he has reason to believe Sarvis actually hurt McAuliffe in Arlington.
“In my opinion, Mr. Sarvis actually cost our gubernatorial candidates some votes,” he said.
Two cars collided in front of Virginia Hospital Center this morning, and two people involved in the crash were taken inside with injuries.
Just before 11:30 a.m., the two black sedans crashed at the intersection of N. George Mason Drive and 17th Street. According to police on the scene, a black Lincoln collided with a Mitsubishi Lancer as it was trying to turn left out of the hospital.
The Lincoln’s driver was uninjured, while the driver of the Mitsubishi and a passenger in the Lancer were suffering from non-life-threatening injuries.
One lane of northbound George Mason Drive was closed while police investigated the accident and waited for the tow trucks to remove the cars.
The Tuckahoe/H-B Woodlawn 5K will close down streets on Saturday from 7:30 to 10:00 a.m. Sunday morning, the same roads will be closed from 8:00 to 10:30 a.m. for the National Race Against the Odds 5K. According to the Arlington County Police Department, the following road will be closed:
- Williamsburg Blvd will be closed to eastbound traffic from N. Underwood Street to N. Sycamore Street.
- Little Falls Road will be closed from N. Sycamore Street to Washington Blvd.
- 26th Street N. will be closed from N. Sycamore Street to Washington Blvd.
- N. Underwood Street will be closed from 24th Street N. to Williamsburg Blvd.
Racers can still sign up for the Tuckahoe/H-B Woodlawn 5K this evening (Friday) from 3:00 to 6:00, or tomorrow, before the race begins at 8:00 a.m. Proceeds will go to H20 for Life. Registration for the Race Against the Odds — which raises money for pediatric brain cancer research — has closed.
Flickr photo by Diltch1
(Updated at 11:40 a.m.) A Ferrari crashed and caught fire on the GW Parkway this morning, prompting an emergency response that then led to an accident involving a fire department vehicle.
The first wreck happened around 9:30 a.m., in the southbound lanes of the GW Parkway under I-66, according to Arlington County Fire Department spokeswoman Lt. Sarah Marchegiani.
The Ferrari lost control on the rain-slicked road and struck the bridge, coming to rest on the side of the parkway. The Ferrari then caught fire, quickly becoming fully engulfed before the flames were extinguished by firefighters. The driver was uninjured, according to Marchegiani.
Just past 10:30 a.m., a pickup truck rear-ended an Arlington County Fire Marshal’s truck that was stopped in the northbound lanes of the GW Parkway, adjacent to the first wreck. A third vehicle was also hit but no injuries were reported, Marchegiani said.
The dual wrecks shut down lanes and caused major backups for GW Parkway commuters. Two trucks are currently on scene to haul away the vehicles involved.
Video (above) courtesy David Johnson. Photos (below) courtesy @Chief288.
(Updated at 5:50 p.m.) The westbound lanes of Route 50 were blocked during Wednesday night’s rush hour due to an overturned vehicle.
The accident occurred at the intersection with Park Drive, near the Arlington Forest Shopping Center. Initial reports suggest an SUV was heading westbound on Route 50 when it hit a median, ran into a pedestrian crossing signal, clipped a van and flipped on its roof. Firefighters had to use the Jaws of Life to free a person who was trapped in the overturned vehicle.
The person freed from the vehicle was transported to the trauma center at Inova Fairfax Hospital.
As of 5:40 p.m. one westbound lane of Route 50 had reopened, but outbound traffic was very heavy due.
(Updated at 3:55 p.m.) Two workers were rescued by firefighters after their scaffolding collapsed at a Columbia Pike apartment building this afternoon.
The incident happened just before 3:00 p.m., at 2200 Columbia Pike. Fire department officials say the men were lowering the scaffolding when one of the sides caught and the scaffolding “went vertical.” One worker was caught in netting in the scaffolding, while the other was saved by a safety harness and was hanging from a rope.
Firefighters set up netting below the workers to catch them in case they fell. It wasn’t needed, however. Firefighters using a ladder truck were able to pluck the workers from the side of the building within 10 minutes of arriving on scene.
The workers suffered only “very minor” injuries and did not require transport to a hospital. They were doing masonry work on the building, a fire department spokesman said. Virginia occupational safety officials are now investigating the incident.
Columbia Pike was shut down in both directions during the rescue. The Pike has since been reopened.
A Blue Top Cab driver drove his taxi into a light pole this morning (Friday) in Ballston.
The driver struck the concrete pole at about 10:45 a.m. on Fairfax Drive at the intersection with N. Quincy Street. The pole broke in half and shattered onto the street.
There were no passengers in the car, according to police, and the driver was up and talking to the responding officers. The traffic signal at the intersection was still operational and traffic wasn’t impeded.