The vehicle rollover accident was reported around 11:30 a.m. The occupants of the vehicle were able to get out safely on their own and were unhurt, according to scanner traffic.
Paramedics and firefighters have cleared the scene, and police are awaiting a tow truck to haul away the wreckage.
(Updated at 2:05 p.m.) An SUV overturned on eastbound I-66 between Glebe Road and Quincy Street this afternoon.
The accident happened just after 1:00 p.m. Initial reports suggest the driver of the overturned vehicle got spooked by a merging vehicle and swerved into the median. The SUV then flipped on its side.
A second vehicle that was reported to have been involved in the wreck didn’t stay on scene, but stopped further down I-66, according to scanner traffic.
Only one lane of EB I-66 is getting by the wreck at this time. No word yet on any injuries, but an ambulance was called to the scene.
VDOT has lifted all rush hour HOV restrictions on I-66 inside the Beltway through Tuesday.
The agency says it made the decision to waive the HOV requirement today and tomorrow in order to “help ease delays on arterial routes due to signal outages.” Across Northern Virginia, VDOT says there are more than 80 traffic signals affected by power outages and about 50 roads closed due to downed power lines and trees.
Regular HOV restrictions will remain in effect on I-395 and on I-66 outside the Beltway. HOV rules on I-66 will also be waived on Wednesday due to the July 4 holiday.
Separately, the Office of Personnel Management announced today that it will extend its unscheduled leave/unscheduled telework policy through Tuesday for federal government employees affected by Friday’s storm.
I-66 HOV Restrictions Lifted — To ease congestion on arterial routes, which might be affected by traffic signal outages from Friday’s storm, VDOT lifted the HOV requirement for I-66 inside the Beltway during the morning rush hour.
Federal Gov’t Under Unscheduled Leave Policy — With nearly a quarter of all electricity customers in the D.C. area without power, the federal government is operating under a Unscheduled Leave/Unscheduled Telework Policy for today, according to the Office of Personnel Management.
Tejada Still Thinking About Streetcar — Walter Tejada says he still hasn’t decided whether he supports the planned Columbia Pike streetcar line. Tejada says he’s concerned about the streetcar’s impact on affordable housing. ”Transit-oriented development has been cruel” to low income people in Arlington, Tejada is quoted as saying. [Arlington Mercury]
Bolivian Parade Held — Despite the sweltering heat and continuing storm cleanup, Saturday’s AGROBOL Bolivian heritage parade was held as scheduled on Four Mile Run Drive. [Sun Gazette]
Flickr pool photo by ddimick
An accident in the Rosslyn tunnel on eastbound I-66 is snarling traffic.
Police have re-opened eastbound I-66, after having shut it down at Spout Run for a while. Traffic is crawling past the accident via the left shoulder.
Initial reports suggest there are injuries, but so far there’s no word on how many people are involved or how severe the injuries.
Drivers are advised to avoid eastbound I-66 until the scene clears, which may take a while. There are also reports of traffic backups along Spout Run and Lee Highway, where traffic had been diverted earlier.
New School Budget Approved — The Arlington School Board approved a new $499.98 million budget last night. The budget includes a 2.84 percent cost of living increase for school employees, but no seniority-based “step” increases. The per-student cost at Arlington Public Schools will increase to $18,615, up from $18,400 in Superintendent Patrick Murphy’s FY 2013 proposed budget and $18,110 in this past year’s budget. [Sun Gazette]
Extra I-66 Lane Studied — Adding an extra lane in each direction on I-66 would improve travel times for drivers by only about 2 percent, while costing some $310 to $685 million, according to a preliminary study. [Greater Greater Washington]
Human Error in Rosslyn Derailment — Human error is suspected in Tuesday night’s derailment at the Rosslyn Metro station. Two Metro employees were placed on paid leave following the incident. [Washington Post]
Randy Johnson Visits W-L – Future Hall of Fame pitcher Randy Johnson came to Arlington to watch a Washington-Lee High School baseball game last Friday. The Big Unit spent time in the dugout and posed for photos with players. [Patch]
Last 5K Friday Tonight — The last Crystal City 5K Friday of the season will take place starting at 6:30 tonight. Registration for the race is $20. [Pacers Events]
(Updated at 8:35 p.m.) Washington Redskins safety Brandon Meriweather was arrested on suspicion of DWI by Arlington County police early this morning, ARLnow.com has learned exclusively.
Meriweather was initially stopped for speeding on westbound I-66 in the area of N. Ohio Street at 2:54 a.m., according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. Officers detected an odor of alcohol on his breath and performed a field sobriety test, which Meriweather failed, Sternbeck said.
The two-time Pro Bowl strong safety refused a breathalyzer test, was arrested and spent the night in the Arlington County jail, according to Sternbeck. Police say Meriweather claimed he was driving home from a club in D.C., but couldn’t remember the name of the club.
After starting his pro football career with the New England Patriots in 2007, Meriweather spent last season with the Chicago Bears before signing a two year, $6 million contract with the Redskins on March 15, 2012.
The incident started around noon when an officer in a marked ACPD cruiser stopped to assist Virginia State Police who had stopped a pedestrian on I-66 in Prince William County. A struggle ensued, the suspect struck the Arlington officer in the face and then hopped into the officer’s cruiser and sped off
Virginia State Police, Prince William County and Fairfax County police pursued the stolen cruiser, until the chase ended on I-66 at Cub Run, near the Prince William County/Fairfax County border.
The Arlington County officer whose cruiser was stolen received medical treatment for non-life threatening injuries..
From the Virginia State Police press release on the incident:
At 11:58 a.m., Virginia State Police Trooper C.T. Grzelak responded to a male pedestrian on Interstate 66 in the eastbound lanes at the 46 mile marker in Prince William County. As the trooper stopped out with the man, an Arlington County Police Officer pulled up to assist. Upon being approached by law enforcement, the male subject became combative and began banging on the trooper’s patrol car. As the trooper and officer tried to take the subject into custody, the pedestrian struck the Arlington officer in the face and then fled the scene in the officer’s patrol car.
The trooper then pursued the fleeing suspect. The pursuit continued off I-66 and onto Route 29 before returning to I-66 headed westbound. At the 47 mile marker in Fairfax County, State Police and Prince William County Police were able to encircle and contain the suspect vehicle and force it onto the shoulder where it finally came to a stop.
The suspect then ran from the stolen vehicle and jumped into the bed of a pickup truck that was stopped in the westbound lanes of I-66 (westbound traffic had stopped as the pursuit was brought to a conclusion). The male subject grabbed a shovel and started swinging it at the troopers as they approached him. He finally complied with the troopers’ verbal commands to drop the shovel, but then jumped out of the back of the pickup truck and climbed over the cement Jersey wall.
In the left shoulder of the eastbound lanes of I-66, the male subject still refused to be taken into custody and fought the trooper and sergeant during the course of the apprehension. Both the trooper and sergeant suffered minor injuries.
The male suspect was transported by Prince William County Police to the Prince William County Adult Detention Center. Charges are pending at this time.
The Arlington County Police Officer was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.
The incident started around 5:30 a.m., when police were called for a man spotted banging on a vehicle in a parking garage on the 1900 block of N. Lynn Street, in Rosslyn. The man fled on foot before police arrived, and building security witnessed him heading in the direction of I-66, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
Minutes later, police received a call for a pedestrian struck on I-66 near Route 110.
“A male subject was in the eastbound I-66 travel lane when he was struck by an eastbound van,” Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller told ARLnow.com. “The van was coming through the curve and was unable to avoid striking the pedestrian in the lane.”
“The driver of the van, 68-yr-old Linden, Va. male, was not charged in this incident,” Geller said. “The pedestrian, Nicholas F. Brizzi, 26, of Arlington, remains in the hospital with life-threatening injuries.”
Arlington County police helped to direct traffic on I-66 for an hour while Virginia State Police investigated the accident, according to Sternbeck.
The “I-66 Multimodal Study,” as its called, began in July 2011. Study organizers held public meetings in December 2011, are scheduled to hold additional public meetings in April, and are expected to wrap up in May with a final report.
“This study will identify a range of multimodal and corridor management solutions (operational, transit, bike, pedestrian, and highway) that can be implemented to reduce highway and transit congestion and improve overall mobility within the I-66 corridor, between I-495 and the Theodore Roosevelt Bridge,” VDOT says on its web site.
Currently, I-66 is HOV 2+ in the peak direction during peak hours, with no other restrictions on the reverse peak direction or during off-peak hours. With the exception of the recently “spot improvements,” I-66 consists of two travel lanes in each direction.
Among the theoretical options the study is considering for I-66, as outlined at a recent public meeting:
- A. No new I-66 lanes. Peak direction to be bus/HOV 3+ only during peak hours. Reverse peak direction to be bus/HOV 2+ only during peak hours. No off-peak restrictions.
- B. Convert I-66 into an electronically tolled bus/HOV/high occupancy toll (HOT) highway. Single occupancy vehicles and HOV-2 vehicles would be tolled in both directions, 24/7. Buses and HOV 3+ vehicles would not be tolled. Optionally, a third travel lane may be added to I-66 in each direction.
- C1. Lane added in each direction on I-66. Peak direction to be bus/HOV 3+ only during peak hours. One reverse peak lane to be bus/HOV 2+ only during peak hours. No off-peak restrictions.
- C2. Lane added in each direction on I-66. Peak direction to be bus/HOV 3+ only during peak hours. All reverse peak lanes to be bus/HOV 2+ only during peak hours. No off-peak restrictions.
VDOT crews are on their way to the scene to clean up the loose gravel, but Arlington County officials say they don’t know long the clean-up will take.
Just before 9:30 a.m. a car slammed into the guardrail on westbound I-66 beneath the Patrick Henry Drive underpass, near the gravel spill. It’s not clear if the gravel caused or is somehow related to the accident.
Amid the fanfare of the opening of a third lane on westbound I-66, it appears at least one detail was overlooked. Someone apparently forgot to use spell check on an interstate sign.
The auxiliary lane between Fairfax Drive and Sycamore Street opened last night, but a sign marking the exit to Sycamore Street is spelled incorrectly.
Hat tip to Clarendon Culture. Photo courtesy Aimee David.
The lane was built as part of a 18 month, $14 million VDOT “spot improvement” project. Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) is touting the lane opening as a relief for drivers who face frequent heavy delays on that stretch of highway.
From a press release, issued this afternoon:
By 7 p.m. tonight, motorists will have some much-needed congestion relief on westbound I-66 between Fairfax Drive and Sycamore Street in Arlington County with the opening a two-mile auxiliary lane. It is the first of three spot improvements designed to reduce congestion and increase safety on westbound Interstate 66 inside the Beltway, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.
“Our Administration is focused on helping Virginians spend more time at work and with their families, and less time stuck in traffic,” said Governor McDonnell. “This spot improvement is another step forward in that effort. When it opens this evening, all motorists heading west out of Arlington will find a slightly smoother commute, and hopefully gain a little more time off the road. Through improvements like this one we are continuing to make progress in getting traffic moving again in the Commonwealth.”
The westbound acceleration and deceleration lane between Fairfax Drive and Sycamore Street has been lengthened to form a continuous auxiliary lane between the two ramps. The improvement includes a new 12-foot wide shoulder constructed with full-strength pavement so that it is capable of carrying traffic during emergency situations. The $14 million improvement took 18 months to complete.
Future spot improvements, not part of this contract, are planned from Haycock Road to Westmoreland Street, and from Lee Highway to Glebe Road. These next phases of spot improvements will reduce congestion and travel times during peak periods, and increase safety by lengthening merge areas and reducing the risk of stop-and-go accidents.
The estimated cost for the second and third spot improvement projects is $49.6 million. These will be funded after the I-66 multimodal study is completed next year.
Traffic is very slow on the entire length of westbound I-66, from Rosslyn to the Toll Road. The backups are so bad that there are reports that ancillary backups have formed on some main local roads that connect with I-66 on-ramps, like Sycamore Street, Washington Boulevard and Glebe Road. Route 110 is also said to be jammed as a result of the I-66 traffic.
Via Twitter, several I-66 commuters have said that the slow traffic has added 30 or more minutes to their westbound commute.
WTOP is reporting that only one lane of I-66 is squeezing by the accident at the Toll Road.
Army Reservist Finishes First at MCM — Army Reserve 1st Lt. Charles Ware was the fastest finisher at Sunday’s Marine Corps Marathon. With an unofficial time of 2:19:16, Ware handily bested second-place runner and Arlington resident Michael Wardian, who finished at 2:23:46. Coast Guard Lt. Patrick Fernandez placed third. [Marine Corps Times]
VDOT Surveys Residents About I-66 — The Virginia Department of Transportation has sent mailers to Arlington residents who live near I-66, asking them to take an online survey. The survey is part of a multimodal study designed to find ways to reduce traffic congestion on I-66 inside the Beltway. [Washington Examiner]
School Board Wants More Autonomy — The Arlington County School Board is expected to ask the Virginia General Assembly for a degree of freedom from various state mandates. Among other items on its legislative wish list, the school board would like to have the option to start the school year before Labor Day — something that state law forbids in most cases. [Sun Gazette]
Flickr pool photo by Divaknevil