(Updated at 5:50 p.m.) The westbound lanes of Route 50 were blocked during Wednesday night’s rush hour due to an overturned vehicle.
The accident occurred at the intersection with Park Drive, near the Arlington Forest Shopping Center. Initial reports suggest an SUV was heading westbound on Route 50 when it hit a median, ran into a pedestrian crossing signal, clipped a van and flipped on its roof. Firefighters had to use the Jaws of Life to free a person who was trapped in the overturned vehicle.
The person freed from the vehicle was transported to the trauma center at Inova Fairfax Hospital.
As of 5:40 p.m. one westbound lane of Route 50 had reopened, but outbound traffic was very heavy due.
Update at 12:45 p.m. – The accident scene has been cleared and all lanes of traffic are open.
A cyclist has reportedly been struck by a vehicle on Route 50.
The incident happened around 11:45 a.m., near the intersection of Route 50 and Fillmore Street. Initial reports suggest the cyclist has a possible broken leg.
As of 12:00 p.m., police and fire department activity was blocking two lanes of westbound Route 50.
The bridge was rebuilt as part of the $39 million Route 50/Courthouse Road/10th Street interchange project, which is expected to be complete by mid-2014. The old bridge was torn down in January, but crews made quick work of the new bridge, erecting steel beams for the span in July.
For now, the bridge is only carrying traffic from Courthouse Road to eastbound Route 50. Eventually, it will also carry traffic from eastbound Route 50 to Courthouse Road, with a traffic signal regulating traffic entering and exiting the highway.
VDOT currently anticipates opening the bridge to two-way traffic around Christmas of this year, according to spokeswoman Jeanene Harris.
The Virginia Department of Transportation announced that a detour will be in effect from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. July 27 and 28. Drivers will exit onto 14th Street, which becomes 15th Street, turn right at Courthouse Road, left at Wilson Boulevard, left at N. Barton Street, left at 10th Street back to westbound Route 50.
The road closure will allow VDOT crews to erect steel beams for the new Courthouse Road bridge. The old bridge was torn down in January as part of the $39 million Route 50/Courthouse Road/10th Street interchange project.
The project is expected to be completed in mid-2014, VDOT said.
Update at 1:05 p.m. — The eastbound lanes of Route 50 have reopened after the earlier wreck involving a sewage tanker. According to Arlington County, the sewage that leaked from the tanker into a storm drain will enter Four Mile Run south of I-395, via the Lower Long Branch stream. Parks and streams north of I-395, including Jennie Dean Park in Shirlington and Barcroft Park, will not be impacted by the sewage spill, the county said.
Earlier: Eastbound Route 50 is closed in the area of Fillmore Street due to a serious accident involving a sewage truck.
The accident happened just before 7:00 a.m. A sedan and a sewage truck somehow collided, injuring five and causing raw sewage to leak from the truck.
There were five people inside the sedan at the time of the accident, according to Arlington County Chief Fire Marshal Daniel Fitch. Two had to be extricated by firefighters. In all, three were transported to Fairfax Inova Hospital with serious injuries, and two were transported to Virginia Hospital Center with minor injuries.
Sewage from the truck, which hauls human waste for a portable toilet company, has seeped into a storm drain, Fitch said. Hazmat crews are on scene attempting to contain the sewage.
Eastbound Route 50 will remain closed “until further notice,” Fitch said.
Additional information on Rt. 50 sewage spill. Staff from the Department of Environmental Services have determined that the waste from the spill will enter Four Mile Run South of Rt. 395 via Lower Long Branch Run and will NOT affect any of the parks,streams or Dog parks along 4 Mile Run north from Rt. 395 to Columbia Pike. Jenny Dean park and Barcroft parks will NOT be effected.
Photo (right) courtesy @CAPT258
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.