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.
“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.
The accident happened around 5:30 p.m. The women, driving in a hybrid Ford SUV, were attempting to take the ramp to Route 50 when they were T-boned by the driver of a Mercedes sedan, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. The vehicle rolled onto its side and against a light pole.
Firefighters had to extricate the women from the SUV using non-traditional means, Sternbeck said, since the roof of the vehicle was leaning against the pole. The women suffered minor injuries and were taken to Inova Fairfax Hospital.
No charges have been filed against either driver at this time, Sternbeck said.
Photo courtesy Steve Young
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.
An SUV flipped on its roof as a result of a three-vehicle accident on Route 50 during Monday’s evening rush hour.
The wreck happened around 5:30 p.m. in the eastbound lanes of Route 50. According to initial, unconfirmed reports, one of the vehicles involved made a sudden lane change, forcing the other two to swerve to avoid it. The SUV was reportedly one of the vehicles that swerved, an evasive action that caused it to lose control and flip upside down in a grassy area next to the roadway.
The driver of the SUV did not appear to suffer serious injuries, but was treated by medics and taken to local hospital via ambulance, according to witnesses. Route 50 remained open in both directions following the accident, but 1-2 eastbound lanes were blocked during the emergency response, causing significant backups.
In addition to the Lexus SUV, the two other vehicles involved were a Mercedes-Benz coupe and a BMW sedan. The BMW suffered damage to its passenger-side rear quarter panel, door and tire as a result of the accident.
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.
VDOT tells us the closure will last about 6-8 weeks while crews construct a new ramp as part of the Route 50/Courthouse Road interchange project.
As a detour, drivers are encouraged to take the Queen Street exit from WB Route 50, about a half mile before Courthouse Road. VDOT says exit signs will then direct drivers up 14th Street, to 15th Street, and finally to Courthouse Road.
Not every driver seems willing to abide the ramp closure, however. Today we spotted a minivan with diplomatic license plates that drove up to the closure, then reversed in traffic on Route 50, and weaved between a pair of orange barrels to get on to Courthouse Road.
The accident was reported between 7:00 and 7:30, and was said to be blocking several lanes. The lane closures have since been cleared, but as a result of residual delays traffic is crawling all the way back to Alexandria on I-395.
Other main routes that feed onto I-395 also seem to be affected. Eastbound traffic on Route 50, Washington Boulevard and Columbia Pike is very heavy, and delays have also been reported on the GW Parkway near Reagan National Airport.
Alternate streets, such as Route 110 and Route 50, have become jammed as well. Although parts of the George Washington Parkway seem to be moving, other areas are moving slowly, such as the area near the airport.
Drivers should expect significant delays for the morning commute, and should check alternate routes.
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
A woman was struck and seriously injured by a vehicle on Route 50 overnight, according to police.
“At 2:30 am, an adult female attempted to cross Route 50, just prior to the on-ramp to Washington Boulevard, after darting out from the tree line,” said Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. “The driver was unable to stop his vehicle in time and the pedestrian was struck. She remains in critical condition at GW Hospital.”
Several lanes of eastbound Route 50 were closed for an extended period of time while police investigated the accident. Those lanes had reopened by 5:30 a.m.
Authorities have received multiple calls from people in the area who have smelled mercaptan, the odor additive in natural gas, according to Arlington County police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. Washington Gas has apparently traced the smell back to the gas transmission line, but it’s unclear what exactly is wrong with it. Road construction is taking place in the area, but Sternbeck said the gas company is investigating whether the weight of the vehicles passing by on westbound Route 50 is what’s actually causing problems.
Earlier road closures in the area have been lifted, Sternbeck said. Crews from VDOT and Washington Gas are still on the scene, trying to determine the extent of the problem.
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.
VDOT crews are preparing for a number of significant road closures as a result of the ongoing Route 50/Courthouse Road interchange project.
Westbound Route 50 will be completely closed between Courthouse Road and 10th Street from 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 24 to 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 25. The closure is being put into place to allow the demolition of the bridge from 10th Street to eastbound Route 50. During the demolition process, drivers will be encouraged to avoid the closure area and use Washington Boulevard as a detour to Route 50. The 10th Street bridge itself will close starting on Thursday, March 22.
Longer-term closures are also planned starting next week.
The ramp from westbound Route 50 to N. Fairfax Drive (between Courthouse Road and 10th Street) will close starting on March 22, as will the stretch of Fairfax Drive between Scott Street and Courthouse Road that runs parallel to Route 50. Both closures will be in place “until work nears completion in fall 2013,” according to VDOT.
VDOT will put detours in place during the closures.
In place of the bridge from 10th Street to eastbound Route 50, drivers can use Washington Boulevard to North Pershing Drive back to Route 50 as a detour. Instead of the ramp from westbound Route 50 to Fairfax Drive, drivers can use 10th Street as a detour.
Maps of the detours are available from the VDOT project website.
(Updated at 10:55 a.m.) Police and firefighters are on the scene of a two vehicle rollover accident on Route 50 near Park Drive.
The initial police investigation indicates that the driver of an SUV suffered a medical emergency and collided head-on with a Saab while going the wrong way on Route 50, according to Arlington County police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck. The SUV flipped on its side as a result of the accident, and the female driver had to be extricated by firefighters. She was taken via ambulance to a local hospital.
The driver of the Saab appears to have suffered only bumps and bruises.
All lanes of Route 50 are expected to be back open by 11:00 a.m.
The Fairfax Drive exit from Route 50/Arlington Boulevard will be closed from Wednesday to Friday so that VDOT contractors can install new storm water infrastructure. The construction is part of the ongoing Arlington Boulevard/Courthouse Road/10th Street interchange project.
Lane closures are also planned in the area on both east- and westbound Route 50, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., through Friday.
Work on the interchange project is scheduled to continue through fall 2013, and is expected to result in additional periodic lane, exit and road closures.
Image via Google Maps
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.