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.