Civ Fed: Start Over on ‘Public Land’ Process — The Arlington Civic Federation voted last night for a resolution calling on Arlington County to restart its “Public Land for Public Good” affordable housing initiative. The compromise measure called for a more robust community process to discuss the idea of using publicly-owned land to build affordable housing facilities. The county’s Long Range Planning Committee has made a similar recommendation, as we reported yesterday. [InsideNova]
Stagnant Assessments Poses Challenge — Stagnant real estate assessments are causing problems for local governments around the D.C. region. In Fairfax County, it’s contributing to a $173 million budget gap. Arlington has fared better, thanks to its location adjacent to the District and the higher proportion of commercial real estate in the county (commercial property owners pay about half of all county taxes). Still, the poor state of the regional office market means that localities can’t rely on a rise in commercial property taxes to bail out homeowners. The choice for local governments, says a George Mason University study, is now to raise taxes on homeowners, cut spending or both. [Washington Post]
GW Parkway Reopens After Sinkhole Repairs — The southbound lanes of the GW Parkway reopened early this morning after repairs were made to a large sinkhole that formed between Spout Run and Route 123.
(Updated at 11:15 a.m.) The southbound lanes of the GW Parkway are closed between Route 123 and Spout Run due to a large sinkhole.
The Federal Highway Administration was called to the scene to inspect what’s being described as “washout damage” and a “large depression in the roadway.” According to U.S. Park Police, the sinkhole is 10 feet wide and 5 feet in length.
The parkway remained closed throughout the Tuesday morning rush hour, causing delays for commutes. Repairs are expected to begin later today.
Southbound traffic is being diverted onto Route 123. Northbound lanes of the parkway will remain open.
This morning, Park Police issued the following statement.
On December 1, 2014 at approximately 6:51 pm United States Park Police officers came upon a crash involving 4 vehicles and discovered a large sinkhole on the Parkway the vehicles avoided.
As a result SB George Washington Memorial Parkway is closed between Route 123 and Spout Run Parkway. Determination was made to close both southbound lanes until Federal Highway Administration responds to repair. The National Park Service will be meeting with Federal Highway Administration for engineers to assess the damage and determine next steps.
Southbound traffic has been diverted onto Route 123, and the ramp from 123 onto SB GW Parkway will remain closed until further notice. Parkway is open SB south of Spout Run. NB lanes are open.
The public can use the Clara Barton, 50, Glebe Rd as alternate routes. It is not yet determined how long the roadway will remain closed.
Update at 4:10 p.m. — The southbound lanes are now expected to reopen early Wednesday morning.
ACFD Engine 108 encountered some unforeseen problems while responding to a water main break in the Tara-Leeway Heights neighborhood this morning.
The water main break was reported on the 1700 block of N. Harrison Street, a couple of blocks from Virginia Hospital Center. The road is closed and police are redirecting traffic, according to and Arlington Alert.
The fire truck was spotted about 50 feet from the water main break on 17th Street N., with its right front tire stuck in a freshly-formed, apparent sinkhole. No word yet on damage.
Photos courtesy Drew Stephens
Man Accused of Attempted Rape in Office — An Arlington man is accused of trying to rape a woman in an office near Columbia Pike. Police say Michael McKeever, 31, entered an office on the 900 block of S. Monroe Street on Friday morning and tried to rape a female employee. The woman fought McKeever off, police say, and he was later arrested at his home. [Arlington County]
Sinkhole at Arlington National Cemetery — Crews are working to fix a 5 or 6 foot deep sinkhole on the grounds of Arlington National Cemetery. The sinkhole formed on a road in the cemetery due to a collapsed culvert, officials said. [Washington Post]
Record Adoptions for Lost Dog & Cat Rescue — A total of 323 dogs and cats were adopted out by Lost Dog & Cat Rescue in June, a record for the Arlington-based rescue organization. [Sun Gazette]
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
Update at 1:35 p.m. — See this post for the latest on the road closures surrounding the site.
Roads are closed in Rosslyn after a retaining wall partially collapsed at a construction site on the 1500 block of Clarendon
A large retaining wall at the Sedona and Slate apartment construction site gave way following this evening’s heavy rains, allowing earth and debris to spill into the construction pit. The collapse raised fears of an even bigger structural collapse.
Clarendon Boulevard will be closed between Pierce Street and Oak Street “for the foreseeable future,” according to Arlington County Fire Department spokesman Lt. Gregg Karl. Parts of Ode Street and several other roads in the area are also closed.
The Swansen Apartments, at 1625 N. Ode Street, has been evacuated while structural engineers determine whether the building is in danger of collapsing as a result of the failed retaining wall. The building sits on the edge of the landslide that occurred after the wall collapse.
Residents of the Swansen Apartments, who spoke to ARLnow.com on the condition of anonymity, said that they’ve noticed widening cracks in the building’s basement and in the pavement of the parking lot adjacent to the building within the past two weeks. The residents said they recently saw workers measuring the cracks.
About 10 apartment residents have been displaced and will be placed in temporary housing, Karl said. He said other residents found alternate housing on their own. Between 20 and 35 people live in the building, according to resident and fire department estimates.
As of 11:00 p.m., Clark Construction, the primary contractor on the Sedona and Slate project, had around a dozen employees on scene assessing the situation. Arlington County engineers were also on scene, Karl said. The Red Cross arrived to assist displaced residents, and the Falls Church Volunteer Fire Department arrived to provide food and drink to emergency workers.
So far, there has been no indication that there’s any danger to a large construction crane at the site.
The ramp to northbound I-395 from the northbound HOV lanes is blocked due to a collapsed storm drain. Crews are on scene trying to repair the drain and reopen the roadway.
Drivers heading toward Capitol Hill via I-395 are advised to head into the District on the main line instead of the HOV lanes.
(Updated at 2:40 p.m.) Repairs are complete and the ramp has reopened.
“Repairs are temporary until they find out exactly what caused the sinkhole,” said VDOT spokesperson Joan Morris. Workers think a “bad pipe” may be to blame.
Original post from 2:38 p.m. on 10/12 — The ramp from westbound Route 50 to Courthouse Road will likely be shut down throughout the rush hour due to a sinkhole that’s about the size of a tire in diameter and 4-5 feet deep.
Arlington police have blocked off the ramp with orange barrels from the adjacent VDOT utility relocation project, which already had the far left-hand lane of Route 50 shut down.
Two VDOT workers are on the scene evaluating the sinkhole. A VDOT spokesperson is checking to see how long repair work is expected to take.
It’s now surrounded by a small army of orange barrels, but this sinkhole on Columbia Pike at the intersection with South Wakefield Street claimed at least one car’s muffler this morning.
Heavy rains apparently caused the patched-up section of roadway to sink, while the older, existing road stayed at the same level. So it must have been quite the jolt when one driver we talked to hit it at full speed, causing his muffler to fly off.
The barrels are currently blocking the left-hand lane of westbound Columbia Pike.
A tire-sized sinkhole has formed on the exit ramp from southbound Washington Boulevard to Columbia Pike.
The sinkhole, located in the right turning lane, appeared to have been partially filled in by a public works crew shortly after these photos were taken, but as of Saturday afternoon it remains a hazard to drivers.
It would swallow up a truck tire — maybe even a small motorcycle — if given a chance. This monster pothole, near Ballston Common Mall, is more than two feet deep, perhaps big enough to be classified as a sinkhole.
The pothole, which apparently extends into some sort of sewer line, is located in the turning lane of N. Carlin Springs Rd at the intersection with N. Glebe Rd.
An Arlington public works truck was on the scene earlier this afternoon, apparently waiting for some heavier machinery to arrive.
There are plenty of other potholes around Arlington, but this is probably the biggest. If there’s a suspension-twisting, tire-flattening pothole that you want to see patched, fill out this form on the county’s web site, or call 703-228-6570.
A county spokesperson says their crews are trying to take care of potholes within 72 hours but, due to the large number of potholes this year, meeting the 72 hour goal may be difficult.