(Updated at 11:05 p.m.) All lanes of Route 110 have reopened after being closed for more than an hour due to high standing water near the Memorial Bridge underpass.
Four vehicles were reported to be stranded as a result of the high water, which was as deep as two feet. Six people were rescued from their vehicles by firefighters, who managed to drive their fire engine up to the stranded vehicles. All occupants are safe and accounted for.
One of the stranded drivers, Alexandria resident Jessica Cruz, says she and her family were driving down Route 110 toward the Pentagon when they came upon the flooded roadway. She said they tried to get around the flooding, but water ended up getting into the interior of the compact sedan. The water also got into the engine compartment, rendering the car inoperable.
“We went down the so-called shallow part, which wasn’t so shallow once we hit the middle,” she told ARLnow.com. “It didn’t make it any easier with the vehicles behind us pushing water into the car.”
With two-year-old son Jonathan in a car seat and her husband and mother-in-law also in the car, Jessica waited for firefighters to arrive. Once they pulled up, her husband escaped through a window and the rest of the family was able to get out by opening a car door, with firefighter assistance.
“We were just hoping to get out okay,” Jessica said. She said she also saw a young couple being rescued from a stranded pickup truck.
One man in a Jaguar coupe, who didn’t need to be rescued, said the water got up to his doors at one point. The car ended up being towed. A man in a BMW that was initially stranded was able, with some effort, to get his car started and drive away.
Other areas of high water due to tonight’s storms were reported at the intersection of Washington Blvd and N. Fillmore Street, and on Route 50 near Courthouse. Southbound lanes of George Mason Drive were closed at Washington Blvd earlier due to a downed tree.
Lane Markings Repainted Near Pentagon — The lane markings on Route 110 near the Pentagon were repainted this week after NBC4 alerted VDOT to “awkward lane markings” left there by construction work. Before the repainting, “motorists drove along seemingly in one lane, only to have that lane disappear right under them,” NBC4′s Adam Tuss said. [NBC Washington]
Va. Anti-Sodomy Law Overturned — A U.S. appeals court panel has ruled that Virginia’s anti-sodomy law is unconstitutional. The case involved a man accused of soliciting sodomy with a 17-year-old girl. One of the judges said that “Virginia can and should punish adults who have sexual relations with minors, but the state cannot use an unconstitutional law to do so.” [Richmond Times-Dispatch]
Arlington Plans to Sell $264 Million in Bonds — Arlington County is planning to sell up to $264 million in municipal bonds next month. The sale would include $94 million in new bonds and $170 million in refinanced existing bonds. The debt service on the new bonds will add about $8.7 million per year to the county’s budget. [Sun Gazette]
Moran Calls for Action on Climate Change — Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) took to the House floor on Tuesday to call for Congress to take action to “prevent further damage from climate change by developing a long-term strategy to address the issue.” [YouTube]
Photo courtesy Scott Shelbo
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.
Update at 11:55 a.m. — Virginia State Police have issued a brief statement about the road closures: “Please be advised that the roads that will be temporarily closed for the 9/11 Memorial Ride will only be shut down for the duration of time it takes for the riders to proceed through safely. Once the last rider has cleared that particular section of the road, it will be re-opened to the motoring public.”
As a reminder, several major highways in Virginia will be shut down this afternoon to accommodate more than 1,800 motorcyclists participating in the America’s 9/11 Foundation Memorial Ride.
Among the highways expected to be shut down in Arlington during the ride this afternoon are eastbound I-66 and Route 110. The bikers’ ultimate destination is the Double Tree Hotel in Pentagon City, where they will be holding a street fair with a performance by country music artist Aaron Tippin from 6:30 to 9:30 tonight.
To accommodate the street fair, Army Navy Drive will be closed today between 12th Street S. and S. Fern Street, from 9:30 a.m. to midnight.
Here’s the press release from Virginia State Police describing the event and some of the closures.
Those living, working and traveling through the Northern Virginia region on the afternoon and evening of Friday, Aug. 19, 2011, are advised to begin preparing now for major road closures associated with a Sept. 11, 2001, motorcycle tribute procession.
This year’s America’s 9/11 Foundation, Inc., event is anticipated to have its largest turnout ever with over 1,800 motorcyclists expected to participate. The annual remembrance ride honors all who lost their lives in the September 11, 2001 attacks, aftermath and recovery. The ride travels from Somerset, Pennsylvania to the Pentagon, then to the site of the World Trade Center over a four-day period of time.
Once the riders exit the Dulles Toll Road, they proceed onto the Connector Road and enter Interstate 66. I-66 eastbound will be closed to traffic from the Capital Beltway to Route 110 southbound. No traffic will be allowed to access the on-ramps to I-66 east- bound between Fairfax and Arlington Counties. As a result, heavy traffic congestion and delays are expected on I-66 and I-495. A suggested detour route for travelers headed to the District is to take I-495 north to the George Washington Memorial Parkway or I-495 south to Route 50 east (Arlington Blvd.).
Once the riders reach Route 110 in Arlington, the Arlington County Police Department, Virginia State Police and partnering law enforcement agencies will escort the motorcycles into Crystal City. For more information about the ride through Arlington please visit http://www.arlingtonalert.com.
A police escort will accompany the 9/11 motorcycle riders throughout their entire route in Virginia to ensure the safety of all motorists. With major traffic congestion expected for the 911 Memorial Ride, motorists are strongly advised to prepare themselves for anticipated gridlock in the affected regions. Alternate plans are highly recommended and drivers are advised to be patient. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) will have portable message boards alerting motorists to delays. Virginia maps are also available online through VDOT at www.virginiadot.org/travel/maps-state.asp.
For further information about the 9/11 memorial ride, you can visit the Foundation’s Website at www.americas911foundation.org.
The Virginia State Police, Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, Town of Leesburg Police, Dulles Greenway, Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police (MWAA PD), Fairfax County Police, Arlington Police and Pentagon Force Protection Agency Police have been working together to coordinate a route that ensures the safety of the motorcyclists and general motoring public while attempting to minimize traffic congestion and delays.
Car Doesn’t Let Accident Slow it Down — A single-vehicle accident occurred last night around 2:00 a.m. near the merge from Rosslyn to Route 110. A Ford Crown Victoria slammed into a concrete barrier, losing its front bumper and license plate in the process. Incredibly, despite the airbags deploying, the driver — and his passengers — decided to keep going. Police eventually caught up with them at the King Street exit of I-395.
Rosslyn Outdoor Movie Canceled — Tonight’s scheduled screening of “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery” in Rosslyn has been canceled due to the extreme heat.
Local Kid Sets Stacking Record — A 10-year-old from the Penrose area has set a world record for “sport stacking.” William Polly stacked and unstacked three three-cup pyramids in 1.68 seconds. [Pike Wire]
The ‘Best of Arlington’ — Do you agree with this list of the best restaurants and food in Arlington? [Clarendon Culture]
Favola Fires Back at Areizaga-Soto Criticism — Following the accusation that she violated Arlington County’s Code of Ethics by accepting a $2,500 donation from a towing company owner five days before a County Board vote on towing fees, state Senate candidate Barbara Favola’s campaign is firing back at her Democratic primary opponent. “Jaime [Areizaga-Soto] just keeps exaggerating,” her campaign manager said. “Ms. Favola’s vote is not and never has been for sale. Everyone knows where Barbara gets her campaign contributions because it’s posted on-line, but Jaime has yet to come clean about where he made the money he is using to fund his campaign.”
Route 110 will be closed near the Pentagon tomorrow morning due to an “Armed Forces Farewell Tribute” to retiring Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
President Obama will be among the dignitaries in attendance at the ceremony, which is expected to get underway at the Pentagon around 9:45 a.m. A military spokesman was unable to release any other details about the event.
Route 110 will be closed tomorrow from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. Northbound traffic will be diverted to I-395 and southbound traffic will be diverted to Washington Boulevard, according to Arlington’s Office of Emergency Management.
Today may be Bike to Work Day, but Sunday might be an even better day to go car-free.
A number of road closures are planned for the annual Bike DC ride through the District and Arlington. The route, which starts at the Capitol, will take cyclists across the Roosevelt Bridge, up the GW Parkway and down to the Air Force Memorial, before returning to the District.
As a result, the following streets will be closed to vehicular traffic from about 7:00 to 11:00 a.m.
- Roosevelt Bridge westbound
- GW Parkway northbound from Memorial Bridge to Chain Bridge
- Route 110 southbound from Rosslyn to Crystal City
- Route 50 eastbound from GW Parkway to Lynn Street/Meade Street
- Meade Street from Marshall Drive to Rosslyn
- Marshall Drive between Meade Street and Route 110
- Washington Boulevard eastbound from Memorial Bridge to Columbia Pike
- Columbia Pike westbound from the Pentagon to the Air Force Memorial
In addition to those road closures, Sunday will also see the closure of a number of streets in the Ballston area due to the annual Taste of Arlington food festival.
Police are shutting down southbound Route 110 at the exit for Route 27, near the Pentagon, for a report of a person struck by a construction vehicle.
The person was initially reported to be trapped under a backhoe, but fire fighters on the scene have advised that the victim is in fact not trapped.
Update at 2:05 p.m. – Police are in the process of opening one southbound lane. The victim’s injuries are said to be non-life-threatening.
Police have released additional details about this morning’s now-fatal multi-vehicle accident on I-66.
Chip Moss, 52, of Herndon was driving eastbound on I-66 near the exit to Route 110 around 9:00 this morning when he suffered an apparent heart attack, lost control of his car and crossed through several lanes of traffic. Two people suffered non-life threatening injuries in the resulting seven car pile-up, Arlington police said in a statement.
Moss was rushed to a local hospital while paramedics performed CPR. He was later pronounced dead.
Photo courtesy ARLnow.com commenter “Jeff”
(Updated at 9:45 a.m.) A four-car accident with injuries has occurred on eastbound I-66 near the Roosevelt Bridge and the ramp to Route 110.
Initial reports suggested one vehicle flipped over — if so it has since been righted. We’re also hearing that CPR was performed on one victim, and that he was rushed to the hospital in full cardiac arrest. (See update here)
The vehicles involved in the accident include a Porsche, a Mercedes-Benz, an Acura and a minivan. Three other cars with no immediately visible signs of damage are also stopped at the accident scene.
Only one travel lane currently gets by at the accident scene.
Traffic on eastbound I-66 is being diverted onto Spout Run. Delays start at Sycamore Street/East Falls Church Metro.
Update at 10:05 a.m. — Traffic is back open on I-66 at Spout Run.
Update at 11:05 a.m. — Still just one lane getting by as flatbed trucks continue to take the damaged cars away.
Update at 1:30 p.m. — All lanes are back open.
Board Approves $250,000 in Art Grants — The county board voted unanimously last night to provide a quarter million dollars worth of grants to 19 Arlington-based arts organizations and three individual artists. The grants range from $44,600 to $1,240. See a list of recipients here.
Fisette Pens Green Jobs Op-Ed in Richmond Paper — In a column for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Arlington County Board Chairman Jay Fisette compares Thomas Jefferson’s far-sighted and, at the time, controversial Louisiana Purchase to proposed federal spending on clean energy. Fisette argues that investing in green jobs now will pay off in a big way down the road.
Metrobus Involved in Rush Hour Accident — A Metrobus was involved in a relatively minor multi-vehicle accident that tied up traffic on southbound Route 110 around 5:30 yesterday evening. The accident happened on the ramp from Memorial Drive to Route 110, near Arlington National Cemetery. Two people on the bus were reported to have minor injuries. The accident and the emergency response blocked lanes on the busy thoroughfare, causing delays for traffic coming from Rosslyn. It’s not clear what caused the accident. The Metrobus continued on its way shortly after police arrived.
Every afternoon for the past week — and quite possibly for longer than that — this Loudoun County Transit bus has parked itself on the right shoulder of the busy ramp from Route 110 to Route 1 in Pentagon City, forcing cars to veer to the left as they drive by.
Other commuter buses in the area like to idle on the side of bumpy, narrow Old Jefferson Davis Highway while waiting to pick up passengers in Crystal City, but for some reason this bus likes the on-ramp.
There’s got to be a safer place to park, right?
The Four Courts Four Miler kicks off at 9:00 a.m. Saturday morning. Police will shut down Wilson Blvd from Courthouse Road to North Rhodes Street from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Wilson Blvd from North Rhodes Street to Route 110 in Rosslyn will be closed at 8:45 a.m. Northbound Route 110 from Rosslyn to Route 1 in Crystal City will be shut down from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Click here for a map.
Cars parked along the route will be ticketed and towed. Race participants are urged to use Metro. The Courthouse station is a short distance from the starting line.
Chain Bridge will be completely closed to traffic and pedestrians all weekend. That is, unless the predicted rain prevents reconstruction work on the bridge deck from taking place, which is a distinct possibility. If work goes on as scheduled, expect Chain Bridge to remain closed from Friday night to early Monday morning.
“Motorists are advised to use alternate routes and river crossings including the American Legion, Key, Roosevelt, Memorial and 14th Street Bridges,” VDOT said of the Chain Bridge closure, in a statement.
Finally, the ongoing Humpback Bridge replacement project will result in lane closures during the day on Saturday. One lane of the George Washington Parkway from Memorial Bridge to I-395 will be closed in each direction from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.