Concrete Falling From Bridge — A local bike blog reports that chunks of concrete seem to be falling off the I-66 bridge over Lee Highway, near Lyon Village. Concrete chunks large and small have been accumulating on the sidewalk below the bridge. [Windy Run]
Orange, Blue Line Delays This Weekend — Due to track work and work to mitigate tunnel leaks, Metro trains on the Orange and Blue lines will run every 16 minutes this weekend, instead of the normal 12 minute intervals. [WMATA]
Arlington SAT Scores Rise — The Arlington Public Schools Class of 2o13 had an average SAT score of 1645 this year, up from the two previous years. The state average this year was 1528 while the national average was 1498. Among Arlington students, females averaged 1654 while males averaged 1635. [Sun Gazette]
Flickr pool photo by Ddimick
The hearing will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 13 at the VDOT Arlington headquarters at 1426 Columbia Pike. The project manager, Edwin Woo, is also soliciting comments via email for the next three weeks.
The bridge, which was built in 1941 and carries 3 lanes of traffic in each direction, is structurally deficient, according to VDOT. The replacement will be widened by 9 feet, to 105 feet, to accommodate an 14-foot shared use path and an 8-foot sidewalk on either side of the bridge — an improvement over the existing, narrow concrete sidewalks.
The bridge will also be lengthened, to 485 feet, and will also allow a slightly higher clearance: 16 feet 6 inches compared to 15 feet 4 inches. It will still carry three vehicle travel lanes in each direction.
Construction on the $20 million project is tentatively expected to start in 2014 and wrap up in 2015. At least two traffic lanes will be maintained on Washington Boulevard and Route 110 during the duration of the project, with the exception of some temporary nighttime closures, according to VDOT.
The bridge carries more than 100,000 vehicles per day, VDOT figures suggest.
VDOT crews have started tearing down the bridge from Courthouse Road to eastbound Route 50, leading to numerous closures, detours and delays in the area.
Today through Sunday night, traffic on westbound Route 50 is being diverted onto 14th Street N., up to Wilson Boulevard, down Barton Street and back to Route 50 via 10th Street. This afternoon, a long line of traffic was observed before the detour, which is in place to allow for the two-day demolition of the bridge.
Through August, when construction of a new bridge is expected to be completed, eastbound Route 50 drivers heading to Courthouse will have to drive past Courthouse and take the Rhodes Street bridge to 14th Street.
Drivers in Courthouse seeking to get on to eastbound Route 50, who used to be able to use the Courthouse Road bridge, will now have to take the Rhodes Street bridge to the Arlington Boulevard service road that leads to the difficult blind merge with Route 50 near the U.S. Marine Corps (Iwo Jima) memorial. Temporary traffic lights have reportedly been placed at the Arlington Boulevard/N. Meade Street intersection, before the entrance ramp, to help with traffic flow.
The bridge demolition is part of the $39 million Route 50/Courthouse Road interchange project. The project is scheduled for completion in October.
(Updated at 2:15 p.m.) The heavily-used Courthouse Road bridge, which connects Courthouse with eastbound Route 50, will be torn down in two weeks.
The bridge is expected to close on Friday, Jan. 25. VDOT is planning to block and reroute westbound I-50 in the Courthouse area from Jan. 26-27 to allow for the bridge demolition work. That weekend, westbound traffic will be directed around the closure via 14th Street, Wilson Boulevard, Washington Boulevard and 10th Street.
From Jan. 25 to late August, when construction of a new Courthouse Road bridge is expected to wrap up, drivers trying to get from eastbound Route 50 to Courthouse will have to drive past the former bridge and instead take the N. Queen/Rhodes Street bridge, turning left on 14th Street to eventually reach Courthouse Road.
The bridge demolition is part of the $39 million Route 50/Courthouse Road interchange project. The project is scheduled for completion in October.
Photo courtesy (bottom left) Keith Hall
The Pike will be closed between S. Quinn Street and S. Orme Street from 9:00 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 2 to 4:30 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 5. The closure will be in place while crews demolish part of the Washington Boulevard bridge over the Pike as part of VDOT’s ongoing interchange project.
“Motorists on Columbia Pike will follow detour signs as will motorists heading from Washington Boulevard to Columbia Pike,” VDOT said in an email. “The closure is part of the bridge replacement project at Washington Boulevard (Route 27) and Columbia Pike. Visit the VDOT project page for more information.”
County leaders and VDOT officials officially marked the end of construction on the new Glebe Road bridge over Route 50 yesterday (Wednesday) morning.
The new bridge is 27 feet wider than the old bridge, and features a northbound turn lane onto Route 50, improved “sight distance” for drivers making right turns from Route 50 to Glebe Road, a 17-foot shared use path and a 11-foot sidewalk on either side of the span, decorative green wrought-iron fencing, brick medians, gateway pillars and new LED lighting. The project cost $6 million, according to VDOT.
“Getting this project to construction and improving safety at this location has been a top priority for VDOT,” Garrett Moore, VDOT’s district administrator for Northern Virginia, said in a statement. “We are pleased to deliver a safer, more attractive bridge that will attract more pedestrians and cyclists.”
In the video above, from the county’s “Arlington TV” crew, Moore says he hopes the bridge will last at least 70 years before it needs to be replaced.
A ribbon cutting ceremony has been scheduled to celebrate the completion of the new Glebe Road bridge over Route 50.
The event will be held Wednesday morning near Thomas Jefferson Middle School, just to the southeast side of the 100-foot-long bridge. Among those expected to ribbon cutting are County Board Chair Mary Hynes, state Sen. Barbara Favola, Del. Patrick Hope, and officials from VDOT, which oversaw the project.
The $6 million project replaced the once crumbling bridge with a wider, more structurally-sound span. Construction began last summer and is expected to wrap up today. The project resulted in frequent lane closures on Glebe Road which often backed up traffic in the area.
The new bridge features a northbound turn lane onto Route 50, a 17-foot shared use path and 11-foot sidewalk on either side of the span, decorative green wrought-iron fencing and new LED lighting.
Drivers coming to and going from Courthouse on eastbound Route 50 will have to find another route later this summer. VDOT is planning to demolish the busy Courthouse Road bridge as part of the ongoing Route 50/Courthouse Road interchange project.
VDOT spokeswoman Jennifer McCord says the agency is currently planning on closing and tearing down the bridge either in late August or early September. She said the exact timing of the demolition is contingent on some other work, including the completion of new ramps to and from westbound Route 50 and Courthouse Road.
Once the closure is in place, eastbound Route 50 drivers will be directed to the next exit — Rhodes Street — and detour signs will point them back to Courthouse Road. McCord said engineers are still working on a detour for those trying to get on eastbound Route 50 from the Courthouse area.
A new Courthouse Road bridge is expected to be complete by Spring 2013, McCord said.
Another interchange project-related closure is planned for Monday. Workers are planning to close Fairfax Drive, which runs parallel to Route 50, from N. Taft Street to N. Scott Street. The closure is expected to remain in place until project completion in fall 2013.
Photo courtesy Keith Hall
It’s sayonara for the 10th Street bridge over Route 50.
Assuming rainy weather doesn’t interfere, the bridge is set to be torn down this weekend. Police closed the bridge this morning in anticipation of the demolition, which is being done as part of the Route 50/Courthouse Road interchange project. As a result of the demolition, drivers heading east on 10th Street will now only be able to take the ramp to westbound Route 50, instead of being able to take the bridge over to the eastbound lanes of Route 50 toward D.C.
Drivers should plan for westbound Route 50 to be closed throughout Saturday and Sunday, during this weekend’s demolition. VDOT is advising motorists to avoid the area and, if detoured, to use Washington Boulevard as an alternate route back to Route 50.
Rehabbed Bridge to Be More Ped-Friendly — Arlington County is preparing to rehabilitate the Carlin Springs Road bridge over George Mason Drive, and the bridge’s chosen design will make it much more pedestrian-friendly. Currently, the bridge only has a pair of 5 foot sidewalks. The new bridge will have 8 foot sidewalks and 5 foot bike lanes on either side, but with narrower lanes for cars and no center divider. [Greater Greater Washington]
Arlington HQ’d Firm Gets New Name — The security contractor formerly known as Blackwater — now headquartered in Arlington — has a new name. The company’s name was changed to ‘Xe’ about three years ago, amid controversy over Blackwater’s role in civilian deaths in Iraq. On Monday the name was changed again, to ‘Academi.’ [Washington Post]
Wakefield Grad Dies in Crash — Casey Noriega, a 2000 graduate of Wakefield High School, was killed in a single-vehicle crash on Saturday in Fairfax County. Noriega, 29, was the mother of a 7-year-old son. [Kingstowne Patch]
Flickr pool photo by wfyurasko
Grass Gets Mowed After Article — High grass that had been obstructing the view of drivers on the already-dangerous ramp from eastbound Columbia Pike to northbound Washington Boulevard was mowed yesterday, one day after ARLnow.com published an article about it.
Potomac Avenue Bridge Opens — One can now drive from Potomac Yard to Crystal City without having to hop on Route 1. The Potomac Avenue bridge over Four Mile Run has opened to traffic, making Arlington’s Market Square shops and restaurants more accessible for residents in the new Potomac Yard housing developments in Alexandria. [Patch]
Trick or Treating at Pentagon Row — Dozens of Pentagon Row merchants will be greeting little trick-or-treaters Saturday afternoon. Some stores will also be offering Halloween specials for shoppers. [Facebook]
Republicans Optimistic About State Senate Race — Arlington Republicans are becoming more optimistic about the 32nd District state Senate race between Patrick Forrest (R) and incumbent Janet Howell (D). “People are realizing this is a very close race,” one operative told the Sun Gazette. Meanwhile, the Arlington County Republican Committee raised $8,404 in October, which is $8,400 more than it raised in September.
Drivers heading across the Glebe Road/Route 50 bridge are now encountering lane closures and heavier traffic during the day.
The bridge that carries Glebe Road traffic over Route 50 is being replaced over the next 15 months. Initially, we had been told that “any lane closures or shifts… will occur between 9:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.” and that there would be “no major construction impacts… during the day.”
The lane closures, construction activity and traffic backups we saw on either side of the bridge today seem to dispute those initial statements.
Update at 11:50 a.m. — We’re hearing on Twitter that VDOT told attendees at a public meeting that the work underway now — removing the medians leading to the bridge — would possibly take place during the day.
The agency says construction on the new bridge will begin this summer and will wrap up in fall 2012 — a bit later than originally anticipated. The entire 100-foot-long bridge deck will be replaced with pre-cast concrete panels, and will be 27 feet wider than the existing bridge. The extra width will be used to install a 10-foot wide sidewalk, a 17-foot wide shared-use path and a new northbound turn lane. There will also be new traffic signals, “decorative wrought-iron picket fencing” and LED lighting.
On Thursday, June 2, at 7:00 p.m., VDOT will hold a ‘pardon our dust’ meeting for community members at Thomas Jefferson Middle School (125 S. Old Glebe Road).
The agency says traffic impacts for Glebe Road drivers should be minimal, with virtually no impacts during the day and lane closures at night. There will, however, be “intermittent detours” on Route 50 beginning in August. Traffic will be diverted to George Mason Drive and Washington Boulevard during the detours, which will be announced in advanced.
The Glebe Road bridge over Route 50 carries about 35,000 vehicles a day, according to VDOT. There have been several reported incidents of concrete chunks falling from the bridge over the past two years.
Update at 2:40 p.m. — Part of the front of the car was hanging over northbound lanes of Route 110, which were closed while a wrecking crew worked to hook the car up to a tow truck. The car has since been hauled away and all lanes have reopened. Damage is visible on the north side of the bridge.
A car is reported to have two wheels hanging over Route 110 after a single-vehicle crash on a bridge.
The accident happened on southbound Washington Boulevard, just past the Pentagon. According to police radio traffic, the car smashed partially through the barrier on the side of the bridge, which runs over Route 110. All southbound lanes of Washington Boulevard were closed while the driver of the car was loaded onto an ambulance and taken to the hospital.
Emergency responders on scene have requested that the structural integrity of the bridge be checked.
DCA Tower AWOL as Planes Land – Two airline pilots landing at Reagan National Airport were unable to make contact with the lone air traffic controller on duty in the tower early Wednesday. The FAA is now investigating what caused the tower to go silent for nearly half an hour. Meanwhile, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has ordered a second air traffic controller to start working the overnight shift at DCA. [Washington Post]
School Board Opposed Strict Misconduct Guidelines – Should teachers be forbidden from sending text messages to students? What about becoming Facebook friends? Those are two questions the Arlington County School Board may have to answer if the Virginia School Board approves a set of sexual misconduct guidelines today. Last month School Board Chair Libby Garvey wrote the Virginia Dept. of Eduction to oppose a stricter, more prescriptive set of guidelines. [Arlington Connection]
Meade Street Bridge Redesign Options Discussed — Earlier this week Arlington County staff members sat down with residents to discuss options for improving safety on the Meade Street Bridge, which connects the area near the Iwo Jima memorial to Lynn Street and Rosslyn. Among the options being considered are narrowing vehicle lanes, widening the pedestrian sidewalk and adding decorative “luminous bodies” to the side of the bridge. [Ode Street Tribune]