Update at 4:30 p.m. — Police say the 35-year-old man who fell at the construction site has been pronounced dead at Virginia Hospital Center. Police remain on the scene as part of the investigation. OSHA is on the way to the scene to conduct its own investigation.
Earlier: Medics are performing CPR on a construction worker who fell two stories at a construction site on Columbia Pike.
The worker fell about 20 feet at the Rosenthal development site at the corner of Columbia Pike and S. Glebe Road. He is reported to be unconscious and bleeding from the ears, according to scanner traffic.
A technical rescue team has been dispatched from the scene and is discussing using a crane to extricate the worker from the site.
Police have shut down all southbound lanes of Glebe Road at Columbia Pike due to the emergency response. Arlington County detectives and state occupational safety investigators are en route to the scene.
Yorktown Ranked #17 in Preseason — Yorktown High School’s football team is 17th in the Washington Post’s Top 20 preseason rankings. The team was undefeated in last year’s regular season, but was defeated in the regional championship. Meanwhile, Yorktown senior running back M.J. Stewart is the only Arlington player to make the 2013 All-Met preseason team.
Second Pike Farmers Market to Launch — The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization is planning a second farmers market, to be held on the grounds of the new Arlington Mill Community Center. The center is located at the corner of Columbia Pike and S. Dinwidde Street, in the Columbia Heights West neighborhood. Organizers believe there are enough residents on the Pike to support two farmers markets. [Patch]
Clerk Prefers Online Juror Submissions — Clerk of the Circuit Court Paul Ferguson wants those who receive jury duty questionnaires next month to fill the form out online. Ferguson says opting for the electronic form is safe and convenient and saves time. [Sun Gazette]
Moran: Inequalities Remain — The country commemorated the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and the 93rd anniversary of the enactment of the 19th Amendment this week, but Rep. Jim Moran cautions that the country has taken “troubling steps backward” in recent years. “Inequalities remain, and misguided efforts that will take us backwards continue,” he writes in his weekly editorial. [Falls Church News-Press]
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
A new bus shelter has been installed on Columbia Pike at the corner of S. Barton Street.
The shelter was installed Aug. 22 and replaced the previous structure, which was removed by WMATA Aug. 1. The shelter is only a temporary replacement until a long-term “Super Stop” is installed at the location, according to Arlington Department of Environmental Services spokeswoman Laura G. Smith,
“The old shelter was removed because the sidewall panel was missing and the structure itself was rusting,” Smith wrote in an email. “The deteriorated condition is due to age of the shelter (at least 20 years), which is well beyond its useful life.”
Smith said the new shelter is only temporary because it cannot serve multiple buses at one time and does not have real-time passenger information. Nearly a dozen bus lines service the stop.
“With 300+ average daily boardings at this bus stop, the new shelter has a very limited waiting area and does not meet maximum passenger demand, especially during peak hours,” she said.
The cost to install the bus shelter was about $12,500, according to Smith, or 1.25 percent of the $1 million Walter Reed Super Stop. Barton Street is one of the 23 locations where future Super Stops are planned, but the whole project is under review following the controversy surrounding the cost of the first Super Stop, which drew national media attention.
“The permanent transit station is on hold while the county conducts the community consultation, technical design and financial/performance assessment portions of the Columbia Pike Super Stop Review,” Smith said.
The $36 million Arlington Mill Community Center is only weeks away from opening.
County Board Chairman Walter Tejada and county staff members gave members of the media a preview tour Monday afternoon, showcasing the county’s newest community investment.
Arlington Mill’s construction “will definitely be under budget,” according to George May, Department of Environmental Services bureau chief for facilities design and construction, and the five-story, 67,000-square-foot building will start hosting programs Sept. 3, and hold a grand opening Sept. 21. The project’s expenditures are at about $35 million, May said.
Located at 909 S. Dinwiddie Street, the community center sits at a corner of Columbia Pike where there once stood a Safeway. Purchased by the county in 1996, the land remain unused for years while the economy crashed and the county had to reconfigure its plans for a community center in the area.
“It took a huge effort,” Tejada said. “When the economy tanked, it looked like it might not move forward and the community was very disappointed.”
Tejada had on a perpetual smile during the tour, seeing years of negotiations and false starts come to fruition. He was especially excited at the foosball table, which was covered by a piece of cardboard and he gleefully removed to spin the handles.
The facility will be free and open to the public from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. weekdays, 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. Saturdays and 1:00 to 9:00 p.m. Sundays.
The only uses that will require fees are the fitness center and the parking garage after four hours. It was Tejada’s hope that the garage be completely free, but, in a controversial decision, he and county staff compromised on four hours of free parking, to prevent the garage from becoming a “haven for commuters,” according to the Sun Gazette.
The gymnasium has two full basketball courts and lines painted for volleyball and pickleball, which Facility Manager Rob Carter said was the most-requested activity in community meetings.
Arlington Mill also has a satellite office of the Arlington County Employment Center, classrooms, multipurpose rooms available to reserve, a room for the Project Family service and a rooftop garden. The center will have WiFi and, on the first floor, Pan American Bakery and Café. However, the bakery won’t be open for a few months after the center itself opens.
Next door, the Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing is still in construction on its apartment building, on land leased from the county. The window to apply for the waiting list for the building opens today and closes Saturday, Aug. 31. The fourth floor of the center is currently unoccupied, and is part of 9,900 square feet of the facility that is designated for future use.
When asked what he would tell critics who say Arlington Mill has been a vanity project, Tejada responded, “I would invite them to come here and meet the diverse people who will use this center, and then we can chat them up.”
The incident happened around 6:00 last night. Police say Arlington resident Jose Sanchez, 56, was seen masturbating behind a shopping center on the 4800 block of Columbia Pike, while watching children at a nearby playground.
Sanchez was apprehended by Arlington County Police and charged with indecent exposure. Detectives are now trying to determine whether Sanchez could be linked with other, similar cases.
“Our Special Victims Unit will be reviewing similar cases from the past to see if this individual is related to any of those,” police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck told ARLnow.com.
Photo courtesy ACPD
The Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing will start accepting applications for its new Arlington Mill Residences affordable housing development starting Tuesday, Aug. 27.
Applications for the four-story, 122-unit rental community at 901 S. Dinwiddie Street submitted between Aug. 27 and Aug. 31 will be entered into a lottery to determine waiting list priority, according to APAH. Applications submitted after Aug. 31 will be placed on the waiting list on a first-come, first-served basis.
Those interested in applying can print out the application form and submit it to the leasing office — temporarily located at 1001 S. Frederick Street, Apt. 1031, Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. – or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All Arlington Mill units will be affordable to individuals and families earning at or less than 60 percent of the Area Median Income, or about $64,000 for a family of four, according to APAH. Ten percent of the units will target households earning at or below 40 percent of AMI.
Arlington Mill Residences is scheduled to open this December. The building is adjacent to the new Arlington Mill Community Center.
Audi of Alexandria and all of its employees will relocate from 1704 Mt. Vernon Avenue in Alexandria’s Del Ray neighborhood to the Arlington land previously occupied by the Brown’s Used Car Super Center (3200 Columbia Pike), which closed in 2011.
According to an employee at the dealership, the move should happen in late September, but no firm date has been set yet. The employee indicated that both the service and sales hours would likely expand after the move, but that hasn’t been definitely determined.
The dealership is owned by Rosenthal Automotive Group. The County Board has approved rezoning the Rosenthal Jeep/Chrysler property down the street from the new Audi dealership for the development of a multi-family residential complex.
Pines of Florence abruptly closed up shop in Virginia Square in late June and was replaced quickly by the planned Water and Wall restaurant, operated by the owners of Maple Ave Restaurant in Vienna. On Sunday, the Italian restaurant and pizza shop launched a soft opening at 3207 Columbia Pike.
Pines of Florence owner Shafi Khan said he was forced to leave his old location after an acrimonious eviction battle with his landlord, which included Khan suing to stay in his old space and taking the landlord to court.
“For me, that location was the best for delivery, it was very centrally located,” Khan said. “I had to let 10 people go. That hurt me more than anything else.”
The Columbia Pike location is smaller — with a capacity for 61 customers upstairs and 38 downstairs — than the 115-seat Virginia Square space, Khan said, but he promised that the menu will be unchanged. The space was previously occupied an Ethiopian restaurant and by Sangam Restaurant, an Indian restaurant that closed last summer. Khan and his staff worked long hours the past few weeks trying to get it ready to open.
Khan said Pines of Florence is offering customers 50 percent off of their total bill — not including alcohol — until Sunday, Aug. 18. The deal is intended to bring customers back to the business after its brief hiatus, a point of concern with the new storefront.
“I’m very worried about our future here,” Khan said. “This is a very difficult time for business, people are very health- and money-conscious. We just have to keep offering good food at fair prices, but it’s going to take some time to get the customers to come back.”
The Navy Annex, once an expansive Department of Defense office complex, has been reduced to a pile of rubble.
The military started tearing down the offices, first built in 1941, last fall. The demolition will make way for an expansion of Arlington National Cemetery and, eventually, a realignment of Columbia Pike.
(Arlington County is still in negotiations with the military regarding the exact land swap plan necessary to accomplish both objectives.)
Demolition of the last of the 7 wings of the Navy Annex started on June 19 and appears to be mostly complete. No structure on the site is still standing; rather, piles of rubble and lower portions of the building are awaiting additional demolition and will be hauled away over the next month, we’re told. Additional debris removal is taking place across Columbia Pike, at the Navy Annex’s former parking lot.
Grass and meadows are expected to be planted on the 42-acre site in September, according to Rep. Jim Moran’s office. Before and after photos from the demolition can be found above.
Construction on the Arlington Mill Community Center along Columbia Pike is expected to wrap up early next month, with recreational classes planned to start in early September and a planned ribbon-cutting on Sept. 28.
While it hasn’t opened yet, Arlington County has just given residents a taste of what they’ll get when the center opens its doors. The county posted a host of photos to Flickr Tuesday morning, previewing the new $36 million facility. It includes a basketball court, conference rooms, an outdoor plaza, a green roof, gathering places and more.
In addition to the recreational facilities, Pan American Bakery will be moving into the space in the fall with a full-service café on the ground floor.
Photos via Flickr
Exhibit Looks at Civil War Soldier — The Arlington Historical Society has a new exhibit highlighting the life of “everyman” soldier that was stationed in Arlington during the Civil War. About 10,000 soldiers were stationed in Arlington at any one time, compared to the population of Arlington at the time: 1,400. [Sun Gazette]
Streetcar Supporters Throw Party — About 100 people turned out at the Party for the Pike, an inaugural event organized by the pro-streetcar group Arlington Streetcar Now. The chairman of the group says he’s seeing growing support for the streetcar, especially among younger residents. [Patch]
Arlington Capital Bikeshare Video — Arlington County has produced a video highlighting the expansion of the Capital Bikeshare system in the county and encouraging more residents to use it. Arlington even offers classes for residents who need to learn how to ride a bike. [YouTube]
The road will be closed between S. Quinn Street and S. Orme Street from 9:00 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2 to 4:00 a.m. Monday, Aug. 5, the Virginia Department of Transportation announced today. The closure is part of the ongoing Washington Blvd interchange project.
VDOT is building a new bridge for Washington Blvd over Columbia Pike, a $51.5 million project that’s expected to be completed by summer 2015. This latest closure will allow crews to place steel beams for the new bridge over the Pike. Subsequent closures will be needed during the demolition of the old bridge.
Columbia Pike traffic will be able to get around the closure by following the on-ramps to Washington Blvd to a temporary traffic signal. More detailed detour information, from VDOT:
- Columbia Pike traffic, including pedestrians and bicyclists, will be detoured around the work area to a temporary signal at Washington Boulevard.
- Northbound Washington Boulevard to westbound Columbia Pike will be detoured to Second Street South interchange and back to Columbia Pike via South Courthouse Road.
- Southbound Washington Boulevard to eastbound Columbia Pike will turn left at the temporary signal on Washington Boulevard and follow the detour back to Route 244.
- South Queen Street will be closed at its intersection with Columbia Pike.
Arlington: Top ‘City’ For Successful, Educated, Single Women — Arlington is the top “city” in the country for women who are college graduates, who have a high income, and who are single, according to the real estate website Redfin. As an added bonus to the single, successful women, there are 6 percent more single men than women. [Redfin]
Homeless Twins Still Recovering from Assault — Two homeless, 26-year-old twins are still recovering from a vicious attack that took place outside Arlington Central Library last month. Through donations and determination, they are attempting to overcome their injuries and get their lives back on track. [Washington Post]
Pike Business Owners Waiting for Streetcar — Though it’s controversial with residents, many Columbia Pike business owners are counting on Arlington County’s plan to build a streetcar system along the corridor. Among those business owners is Adriana Torres, owner of Cafe Sazon, who recently had to take a full-time job at Home Depot to pay the business’ bills. [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by Lawrence Cheng Photography
Four Arlington transportation projects were approved for funding in Fiscal Year 2014 last night by the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority.
The authority approved funding for the Columbia Pike Multimodal Improvement Project, the Crystal City Multimodal Center, four additional ART buses and improvements to the Boundary Channel Drive/I-395 interchange; a total of $18.835 million.
In addition, the NVTA approved $5 million for the design of WMATA traction power improvements on the Orange Line, and $7 million for 10 new buses on Virginia Metrobus routes.
The package approved was the first to be directly allocated funding from the controversial transportation bill, HB 2313, passed by the General Assembly in the spring. About $270 million is estimated to come to Northern Virginia in funding this fiscal year, $190 million of which was available to be allocated by the NVTA.
The other $80 million will be distributed directly to localities. Arlington is projected to receive $11 million in direct funding, which it expects to direct to its Transportation Capital Fund.
The NVTA voted unanimously to approve $116 million in pay-as-you-go funding and more than $93 million in bond funding, pending a bond validation. Of Arlington’s approved projects, only $4.3 million for the Boundary Channel Drive/I-395 interchange will go through the bond process.
The state began collecting funds for the projects July 1 when a series of tax increases and other funding measures took effect. Over the next six years, HB 2313 is expected to raise more than $1.5 billion total for the region and close to $200 million for Arlington alone.
Other projects that were approved for funding that could have an impact for Arlington residents include $838,000 to the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission for the study of transit alternatives on the Route 7 corridor between King Street and Tysons Corner and five new DASH buses in Alexandria.
Two projects that impact Arlington — a $4 million VRE Crystal City platform extension and $5 million for upgrades to interlocking and platform girders at the Reagan National Airport Metro stop — were denied funding by unanimous vote.
One project that did not come up in the discussion was the Columbia Pike Streetcar project. Critics of the streetcar were calling the lack of funding another loss for the controversial project, but Arlington officials did not submit it for consideration.
The screen is currently out of service, with a large note apologizing for the problem.
“Due to the extreme temperatures, our monitor displaying bus arrivals is not operational,” the sign says. “We are working on the problem.”
Arlington County spokeswoman Laura G. Smith says technicians have ordered a new cooling fan for the display.
“It should be fixed within the next two weeks,” she said. In the meantime, the sign has instructions telling bus riders how to look up bus arrival times on their smartphone.