32°Fog

by ARLnow.com — March 27, 2013 at 4:25 pm 2,078 33 Comments

The $39 million Route 50/Courthouse Road/10th Street interchange project is apparently running behind schedule.

The project was originally slated for completion this fall but, in a new county-produced video, Greg Emanuel, Director of Arlington’s Department of Environmental Services, says the project is now slated to be complete by the summer of 2014.

The VDOT website now lists “mid-2014″ as the completion date, though a recently-updated Arlington County project page still lists “fall 2013.”

“It’s a multi-phased project,” Emanuel said in the video (above.) “It takes some time, because while it’s going on we need to maintain traffic.”

Arlington is contributing $1 million to the $39 million cost of the VDOT-led project. Construction started in April 2011. Recent work includes a realignment of the ramp from Courthouse Road to westbound Route 50, and the January demolition of the bridge from eastbound Route 50 to Courthouse Road.

The Courthouse Road bridge, and the 10th Street bridge that was torn down last year, were both originally built in 1954. No word yet on when they’ll be rebuilt, given the change in the project timeline.

Emanuel says the project will make the interchange safer and will help traffic flow more smoothly.

“Right now traffic is kind of complicated at these intersections,” he said. “This is going to provide new acceleration and deceleration lanes, and make it much safer for the traveling public that’s coming on and off these intersections.”

So far representatives from VDOT and DES have not responded to a request for comment.

by ARLnow.com — March 13, 2013 at 2:00 pm 777 6 Comments

Outdated flyer received by about 4,000 Arlington householdsAbout 4,000 Arlington households received a flyer in their water bill this month advertising a county E-CARE recycling event.

The only problem is, the flyer advertised the E-CARE event that happened this past October. A spokeswoman for the Arlington County Department of Environmental Services says the mix-up happened due to a printing error made by a county vendor. The flyer was supposed to advertise the spring E-CARE event that’s happening on April 20.

“The correct flyers are now being printed and will be sent out at no cost to the County,” spokeswoman Shannon Whalen McDaniel told ARLnow.com. “The flyers will be accompanied by a note explaining the error.”

E-CARE allows residents to safely dispose of electronics and hazardous household items. The next event will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 20, at Thomas Jefferson Middle School (125 S. Old Glebe Rd).

Photo courtesy @poiuytr

by ARLnow.com — March 5, 2013 at 12:15 pm 714 8 Comments

Snowy scenes around North Arlington 1/27/11The snow storm alternately known as “Snowquester” or “Winter Storm Saturn” will dump up to 8 inches of the heavy, wet snow on Arlington between this afternoon and early Thursday, according to forecasters.

Arlington County says it’s proceeding with a “full mobilization” of its snow-removal crews.

From Department of Environmental Services spokeswoman Shannon Whalen McDaniel:

Arlington County’s Department of Environmental Services is preparing today for a full mobilization to deal with the forecasted “[Winter] Storm Saturn.” The County will operate 46 of its trucks, and will secure six contract trucks or more as needed.

Staff are now hooking up equipment to the trucks in preparation for the storm, including plows, spreaders and chains. Starting at midnight, crews will begin working in 12-hour shifts (in compliance with safe practice standards) to treat and clear the streets. These shifts will continue through the storm and and extend into Thursday and Friday if necessary.

There are no current plans to haul or melt snow given the current forecast. This is subject to change depending on the storm.

Residents are encouraged to use the County’s online form to “Report a Snow Issue” 24 hours after the snow has stopped falling.

Stayed tuned to FacebookTwitter, and Snow and Ice Central for updates about snow removal operations.

Earlier this year the county released a video about Arlington’s snow removal process and ordinances governing snow removal requirements for property owners.

by ARLnow.com — February 15, 2013 at 11:55 am 65 Comments

Pothole on S. Glebe Road near 2nd StreetBy at least one measure, Arlington’s roads — all 376 miles of them  – are in better shape than they were last year.

Since Nov. 1, Arlington County crews have filled 1,007 potholes on county-maintained roads, according to Dept. of Environmental Services spokeswoman Shannon Whalen McDaniel. Compare that to the 2,184 potholes filled between the start of November and the end of February last year.

McDaniel attributed the big drop in potholes to the mild winter we’ve experienced so far.

Still, a report that came out last summer suggests that Arlington has plenty of room for improvement when it comes to street maintenance. On a scale of 0 to 100, the average Pavement Condition Index for Arlington’s roads was 68.9, down from a PCI in the low 80s about 10 years ago.

In general, how would you grade Arlington’s roads at the moment?

 

by ARLnow.com — January 24, 2013 at 5:20 pm 646 20 Comments

Repairs to a 30" water main (photo via Arlington DES) Repairs to a 30" water main (photo via Arlington DES)

Repairs to a large 30-inch water main will continue into the weekend, causing continued low water pressure in a number of Arlington neighborhoods.

A leak was discovered in a 30-inch water main near the intersection of Arlington Boulevard and N. Irving Street last Wednesday. The leak necessitated the replacement of a portion of the water main.

Installation of the last section of pipe started this afternoon. According to Arlington County Dept. of Environmental Services (DES) spokeswoman Jennifer Heilman, the repairs are expected to wrap up this weekend, “barring unforeseen circumstances.”

While the 30-inch main remains out of service, residents of Alcova Heights, Arlington Heights, Barcroft, Buckingham, Douglas Park, Lyon Park, Penrose and other neighborhoods may experience low water pressure during peak use hours.

“County crews are systematically working to adjust valves to reduce the area of low pressure impact while repairs are underway,” DES said in an email. “The potential will continue for customers to experience low water pressure during the morning (6-9 a.m.) and evening (5-9 p.m.) peak hours until the repairs are complete.”

“We ask our customers to help reduce peak demand by minimizing water usage when possible (Example: running dishwashers and washing machines during off-peak hours and only when full, and showering at different times),” DES said.

While repairs on the main continue, the cold temperatures are causing more problems for Arlington’s water infrastructure.

Just this morning, DES crews responded to reported water main leaks at 26th Street S. and S. Clark Street in Crystal City, and at S. Orme Street and Columbia Pike, near the Sheraton National Hotel.

“With extremely low temperatures forecast this week, we may see additional leaks further reducing pressure in the system,” DES said. “If you see a leak, or have other water concerns, contact the Water Emergency hotline at 703-228-6555.”

Photos via Arlington County Dept. of Environmental Services

by Katie Pyzyk — January 18, 2013 at 8:45 am 428 11 Comments

Water main break on Columbia Pike (file photo)The 30 inch water main that broke earlier this week at Arlington Blvd and S. Irving Street continues to cause water pressure trouble for residents in South Arlington.

Residents in Lyon Park, Buckingham, Douglas Park, Arlington Heights, Alcova Heights, Arlington Ridge and portions of Crystal City may be affected, along with portions of surrounding neighborhoods. According to the Arlington County Department of Environmental Services (DES), the worst pressure issues will likely be during peak times in the morning from 6:00-9:00 a.m., and in the evening from 5:00-9:00 p.m.

The county is asking residents to help reduce the pressure problems by minimizing water use at peak times. For example, run dishwashers and washing machines during off-peak hours or take a shower at a different time.

The affected water main is more than 60 years old and will remain out of service while the county brings in an expert who specializes in prestressed concrete cylinder pipes. County staff will also need to order or borrow the parts necessary for the repair. It’s unclear exactly how long the repair will take, but it could be up to a week.

Yesterday, low temperatures and the repair work prompted several leaks in neighborhoods near the water main, further reducing pressure in the system. Residents who see a leak or have other water concerns can contact the Water Emergency hotline at 703-228-6555.

“We appreciate the patience of Arlington residents as we continue to work through this challenging repair,” said DES Communications Specialist Myllisa Kennedy.

by ARLnow.com — January 16, 2013 at 12:15 pm 1,594 16 Comments

Water main break on Columbia Pike (file photo)This morning residents in various parts of Arlington reported low or no water pressure at their homes. Now we know why: a huge water main sprung a leak and needed to be repaired.

“A leak was discovered at midnight on a 30-inch main at a location just north of the intersection of Arlington Blvd and Irving,” Arlington County Department of Environmental Services spokeswoman Shannon Whalen McDaniel told ARLnow.com. “County crews worked during the night to repair the leak. During the isolation process of the repair, an area of the main was impacted resulting in low water pressure.”

“Pressure should be restored to normal levels now,” McDaniel said. “There will be additional repair work on the main this week (along Irving), however it should not impact pressure for customers.”

Water pressure problems were reported in neighborhoods like Buckingham, Arlington Forest, Nauck and Fairlington.

File photo

by ARLnow.com — November 21, 2012 at 10:05 am 2,200 21 Comments

Sewage has leaked from a private building into Doctors Run, also known as Doctors Branch, Arlington County said Wednesday morning.

The county is advising people and pets to avoid contact with the stream, a tributary of Four Mile Run, until further notice. From an Arlington Alert:

The Arlington County Department of Environmental Services reports the possible release of sewage from a private building into the storm drains system. They are advising that humans and pets avoid contact with the water in Doctors Branch from Alcova Heights Park located at South 8th st. and George Mason Drive to Four Mile Run at Barcroft Park for several days to allow flushing of the stream.

by ARLnow.com — October 15, 2012 at 11:55 am 1,727 11 Comments

Arlington County has deemed its latest Environmental Collection and Recycling Event (E-CARE) another success.

The event on Saturday attracted 1,239 residents who dropped off 41.5 tons of hazardous household materials and 11.5 tons of electronics for recycling.

The next E-CARE event will be held next spring. This past spring, E-CARE collected 35.5 tons of hazardous household materials and some 20 tons of electronics.

E-CARE is held biannually at Thomas Jefferson Middle School (125 S. Old Glebe Road).

by ARLnow.com — September 21, 2012 at 12:15 pm 7,566 62 Comments

The Arlington County Fire Department and the county’s Department of Environmental Services (DES) were called to Four Mile Run near Shirlington this morning for a report of a huge mass of foam accumulating in the creek.

It’s thought that the foam was caused by some sort of soap or detergent. Firefighters tested the foam using a chemical strip and determined that it was not hazardous, according to DES Office of Sustainability and Environmental Management Bureau Chief Jeff Harn. DES is now trying to figure out where the foam came from.

“County staff continue to investigate the issue and are trying to determine the source of the foam,” Harn told ARLnow.com. “However, the discharge that caused the foam is no longer occurring and no source has yet been identified.”

Courtesy photo

by Katie Pyzyk — July 30, 2012 at 12:00 pm 1,980 17 Comments

(Updated at 2:00 p.m.) County Manager Barbara Donnellan has announced a new director for the Department of Environmental Services.

Greg Emanuel has been named to the position, effective as of August 13. He will replace William F. O’Connor, who has held the position since October 2010, and is retiring from the county this month. Emanuel had served as the department’s deputy director since March.

“I am very pleased to have Greg join my Executive Leadership Team,” said Donnellan. “He has a proven track record of results, and a tremendous dedication and passion for our workforce and our community.”

Emanuel will be earning a salary of about $168,000 per year, according to Arlington County Human Resources Director Marcy Foster. That’s slightly less than O’Connor’s annual salary.

The department, which has more than 700 employees, manages the county’s infrastructure, transportation, the environment and capital investment.

In a press release, the county listed more of Emanuel’s experience and accomplishments:

During his time with the County, Mr. Emanuel led the effort for several major capital construction projects including Fire Station #3 on Lee Highway, Arlington Mill Community Center on Columbia Pike, Fire Station #5 in Aurora Hills, and Shirlington Library/Signature Theater. He also played an important role in partnering with the Department of Management and Finance on the development of three Capital Improvement Plans, each time increasing the scope, focus, and detail to demonstrate the full range and strategy of the County’s ambitious capital programs.

Prior to his experience with the County, Mr. Emanuel served 21 years with the U.S. Air Force, where he held a variety of engineering leadership positions around the world. While there, he managed multi-year capital improvement and redevelopment plans, significant construction projects and new initiatives while balancing political, cultural, regulatory and financial challenges.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from the U.S. Air Force Academy and a master’s of Civil Engineering in Construction Management from North Carolina State University. He is a registered professional engineer and a member of the Society of American Military Engineers and the American Public Works Association.

Mr. Emanuel, a fitness, cycling and swimming enthusiast, resides in Arlington with his wife and three children.

by Katie Pyzyk — May 1, 2012 at 10:35 am 1,589 3 Comments

The County Board has given the go ahead for renovating the building that will house the county’s Transit Operations Center.

The building, at 2900 S. Eads Street near Crystal City, was originally purchased by the county for use as storage space for the adjacent water treatment plant. It will now house the Arlington Transit (ART) operation center, which will contain administrative and management offices, dispatch and other operating functions, a break room for bus drivers and a classroom for training.

D&A Contractors won the contract, which is valued at a little more than $1 million. The board approved the measure at its meeting on April 21.

Interior renovations will be made to about 5,000 square feet of office space, and will involve HVAC upgrades and work to achieve Americans with Disabilities Act compliance. An emergency generator will also be installed, to keep bus dispatch services running during power outages.

The Department of Environmental Services Transit Bureau requested the upgrades for its ART bus operations staff, which has been operating out of a temporary office across the street at 2910 Jefferson Davis Highway.

Once the renovations are complete, the temporary office will be removed and a vehicle fueling and wash station installed. There will also be extra parking for buses.

by ARLnow.com — April 19, 2012 at 8:40 am 2,768 34 Comments

The Gangs of Arlington — As of 2011 there were 10 active street gangs in Arlington. According to a speaker at a panel discussion held earlier this week, the gangs often try to recruit youths who have recently immigrated to the country. Arlington, however, has an extensive gang prevention program that limits the influence of gangs within the county. [Washington Examiner]

National Drug Take-Back Day — The Arlington County Police Department will be participating in National Drug Take-Back Day next weekend. From 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 28, police will be collecting “expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs” — no questions asked — in an effort to prevent possible abuse and theft. Collection stations will be set up at fire stations 1, 8 and 9. [Arlington County Police]

Earth Day Twitter Chat Today — The Arlington County Department of Environmental Services is hosting a live Twitter chat on the topic of “green gardening” from noon to 1:00 p.m. today. “Join us and get answers to all of your questions related to landscaping and lawn care, native plants, and water conservation,” the county said in an email. One participant who submits a question will be randomly selected to receive a free rain barrel. [Facebook, Twitter]

by ARLnow.com — April 9, 2012 at 3:45 pm 2,013 13 Comments

(Updated at 4:05 p.m.) Despite the holiday, Arlington residents turned out in droves for Saturday’s Environmental Collection and Recycling Event (E-CARE).

The bi-annual event gives Arlington residents an opportunity to safely get rid of hazardous materials and to recycle items that usually aren’t accepted during the weekly residential recycling collection.

This weekend’s event drew 1,341 people to the parking lot of Thomas Jefferson Middle School, according to the Arlington County Department of Environmental Services. DES spokeswoman Shannon Whalen McDaniel said residents filled two tractor trailers with some 30 20 tons of electronics to recycle.

This year’s spring E-CARE also collected about 35.5 tons of hazardous household materials, said Whalen McDaniel, who deemed the event a success.

“The weather for E-CARE was picture perfect and residents turned out!” she wrote.

by ARLnow.com — April 2, 2012 at 11:40 am 3,367 23 Comments

Arlington County is holding its bi-annual Environmental Collection and Recycling Event (E-CARE) this coming weekend.

E-CARE gives Arlington residents an opportunity to safely get rid of hazardous materials like paint, solvents, garden chemicals and items containing mercury. It is also is an opportunity to recycle items that usually aren’t accepted during the weekly residential recycling collection, like electronics, bikes, small metal items, shoes, eyeglasses, and durable medical equipment.

Anybody who drops off household devices that contain mercury, like thermometers and barometers, is eligible to receive a $5 gift card courtesy of trash-to-electricity company Covanta Energy. Fluorescent lights are excluded from the gift card offer.

The event is being held from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 7 at Thomas Jefferson Middle School (125 S. Old Glebe Road). E-CARE is open to Arlington residents only — not to businesses or to residents of other jurisdictions.

More than 1,000 residents disposed of 36.8 tons of hazardous material and recycled some 16 tons of electronics at the Fall 2011 E-CARE event, according to the Arlington County Department of Environmental Services.

Photo via Arlington County DES

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