(Updated at 5:45 p.m.) A large water main break has been reported on Columbia Pike, just in time to cause significant issues with the evening commute.
The water main break was reported at Columbia Pike and Carlin Springs Road, on the Arlington/Fairfax county line. Fairfax County police are shutting down the Pike in both directions between Carlin Springs and Route 7.
Police have shut down the eastbound side of the Pike to pedestrian traffic, because workers are cautious to prevent the sidewalk from collapsing into a sinkhole, according to police on the scene. Fairfax Water workers are trying to turn off the water — which is still pouring out of the sewer grates in the closed-off section of Columbia Pike — before beginning repairs.
There are no estimates so far for the timeline of work to be completed, so drivers should avoid the area entirely on their commute, if possible. As of about 5:30 p.m., Carlin Springs Road was backed up all the way into the Buckingham neighborhood, and several other roads in the area were also suffering major backups.
Arlington Ridge Road will be closed from 9:00 p.m.-3:00 a.m. Southbound traffic coming from I-395 will be re-routed east and west to 20th Street S. in both directions, and around to 23rd Street. Northbound traffic coming from Glebe Road will be re-routed east and west to 23rd Street S., and around to 20th Street.
The emergency water repair is necessary because an irrigation contractor working in the 2100 block of Arlington Ridge Road accidentally caused a leak. Water service needs to be replaced at that location, from the water main in the street to the meter box in the sidewalk.
(Updated at 3:30 p.m.) All lanes of Glebe Road have reopened at Route 50 following a three vehicle accident that shut down traffic for about half an hour.
Police say all lanes of southbound Glebe Road were shut down and only one lane of northbound is getting by.
According to police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck, the accident occurred on the overpass of Route 50. Two of the vehicles involved were blocking the southbound lanes and the third was in a northbound lane.
One person was transported to the hospital with minor injuries.
Part of what took a while to get the busy road reopened was the amount of debris strewn across the roadway due to the extensive damage to the cars. The police investigation into the accident is ongoing.
Photos courtesy of Arlington County Police Department
A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for Arlington and the D.C. region, warning of the potential for about an inch of snow between 2:00 and 9:00 p.m. Though relatively light, the snow could wreak havoc with traffic during the evening rush hour.
While Montgomery, Fairfax, Prince George’s and Loudoun County schools have announced early dismissals, Arlington Public Schools announced at 11:20 a.m. that students would not enjoy the same abbreviated school day. All APS after-school and evening activities, however, have been canceled.
“Arlington Public Schools will dismiss on time,” the school system said. “All APS after-school and evening activities are canceled, including extracurricular activities, interscholastic contests, team practices, field trips, adult and community education classes, and recreation programs in schools and on school grounds. Extended Day will remain open until 6 p.m. but those parents are encouraged to pick up their children earlier if possible.”
From the National Weather Service:
… WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 2 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 9 PM EST THIS EVENING…
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS ISSUED A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW… WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 2 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO 9 PM EST THIS EVENING.
* PRECIPITATION TYPE… SNOW
* ACCUMULATIONS… AROUND AN INCH.
* TIMING… SNOW WILL BEGIN DURING THE MID AFTERNOON AND TAPER OFF IN THE EVENING. SNOW MAY BE MODERATE TO LOCALLY HEAVY AT TIMES DURING THE LATE AFTERNOON AND EARLY EVENING.
* TEMPERATURES… IN THE LOWER 20S.
* WINDS… SOUTH 5 TO 10 MPH.
* IMPACTS… ROADS WILL BECOME SNOW COVERED AND SLIPPERY… RESULTING IN HAZARDOUS TRAVEL DURING THE AFTERNOON AND EVENING COMMUTE.
PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW MEANS THAT PERIODS OF SNOW WILL CAUSE PRIMARILY TRAVEL DIFFICULTIES. BE PREPARED FOR SNOW COVERED ROADS AND LIMITED VISIBILITIES… AND USE CAUTION WHILE DRIVING.
Arlington and the rest of the Washington region is now under a Winter Storm Watch.
Forecasters at the National Weather Service say up to five inches of snow is possible tomorrow (Thursday). The snow may be at its heaviest during Thursday’s evening rush hour.
WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM THURSDAY MORNING THROUGH LATE THURSDAY NIGHT…
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WATCH… WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM THURSDAY MORNING THROUGH LATE THURSDAY NIGHT.
* PRECIPITATION TYPE… SNOW… POSSIBLY HEAVY AT TIMES.
* ACCUMULATIONS… IN EXCESS OF 5 INCHES POSSIBLE.
* TIMING… SNOW MAY MIX WITH RAIN AT THE ONSET… ESPECIALLY SOUTH OF WASHINGTON DC THURSDAY MORNING… BEFORE CHANGING TO ALL SNOW LATE THURSDAY MORNING AND AFTERNOON. SNOW WILL END THURSDAY NIGHT. SNOW MAY BE HEAVY AT TIMES DURING THE AFTERNOON AND EVENING.
* TEMPERATURES… IN THE LOWER TO MID 30S.
* WINDS… NORTHWEST 5 TO 10 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 20 MPH.
* IMPACTS… ROADS MAY BECOME SNOW COVERED… ESPECIALLY DURING THE EVENING RUSH HOUR.
A WINTER STORM WATCH MEANS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT SNOW ACCUMULATIONS THAT MAY IMPACT TRAVEL. CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE LATEST FORECASTS.
Update at 4:35 p.m. — One westbound lane is now slowly getting by the scene of the water main break.
A water main break in Virginia Square is snarling traffic on Washington Blvd, and will continue to do so through the evening rush hour.
Westbound lanes of Washington Blvd have been closed between N. Kirkwood Road and N. Lincoln Street. Traffic heading eastbound has been reduced to one lane.
There’s no word when the road will re-open, but a crew will remain on the scene making repairs at least through rush hour.
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.
Update at 12:20 p.m. — Firefighters have cleared and drivers can now get through on Washington Blvd. Washington Gas remains at the scene.
Earlier: Drivers should avoid the area of Washington Blvd near N. Highland Street, where a gas leak is causing traffic trouble.
Washington Blvd is shut in the eastbound/southbound direction at N. Highland Street, and in the westbound/northbound direction at N. Garfield Street, while firefighters investigate a reported leak in a four-inch gas line at a construction site. Washington Gas is also on the scene.
Police are helping to direct traffic at the scene while workers fix the problem. It’s recommended that pedestrians also avoid the area until the leak is fixed.
Two to three lanes of Ft. Myer Drive have been shut down between Lee Highway and Wilson Boulevard until further notice. The closures are due to a major, 16-inch water main break at the 1812 N. Moore Street office building construction site near the Rosslyn Metro station.
The break happened around 12:30 this morning, according to police. The Metro station was briefly closed for inspections after the break but has since reopened. The pickup spots for some buses have been moved as a result.
About 8 feet of standing water has reportedly accumulated an the bottom of the construction site. Crews are now planning to dig up a portion of Ft. Myer Drive in order to repair the ruptured main.
Police are shutting down Washington Boulevard in both directions between I-395 and Route 110.
Initial reports suggest the road is being closed at the request of the Pentagon due to a suspicious package at the 9/11 Memorial. The Arlington County bomb squad is assisting with the incident.
The county is advising motorists to seek an alternate route.
The inbound (northbound) HOV lanes of I-395 are blocked over the Potomac River due to an accident.
The accident reportedly involves at least one overturned vehicle and two injuries. Arlington firefighters and medics are on the scene, though the accident is closer to the D.C. side of the river.
HOV traffic is at a standstill approaching the 14th Street Bridge. Drivers should use the mainline of I-395 as an alternative, avoiding the HOV lanes.
A bomb squad investigation has shut down part of Washington Blvd and is causing significant traffic backups.
Washington Blvd in the eastbound/southbound direction has been shut at S. 2nd St, near Route 50. While the investigation continues, there will be various closings in the area, including on S. 2nd St.
Drivers are advised to avoid the area altogether if possible.
The investigation involves a pipe wrapped in some sort of packaging found lying in the bushes.
Firefighters initially responded to the U.S. Print and Copy store at 2044 Wilson Boulevard for a report of a person feeling light-headed and dizzy. Personnel started treating the victim and then detected high levels of carbon monoxide, prompting a larger fire department response.
A total of three patients have been evaluated by paramedics, according to ACFD spokesman Capt. Gregg Karl. It’s unclear whether any of the patients will require transport to the hospital.
Firefighters are investigating the possibility that the carbon monoxide is coming from a malfunctioning furnace in the basement of the store. Personnel also checked other businesses along the same retail strip and found elevated carbon monoxide levels in next-door Summers Restaurant, Karl said.
As of 1:45 p.m., Washington Gas crews was on the scene, the stores were being ventilated, and firefighters and police officers (who were helping with traffic control) were beginning to clear.
A ceremony is being held by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation to commemorate the statue unveiling, in front of the airport’s Terminal A.
Drivers should expect heavier-than-usual traffic around the arrivals and departures terminals due to lane closures for the event, airport officials said. Four lanes will merge into one to detour around the event site. There’s also a possibility that traffic will be completely blocked for short periods along the detour route.
Detours will be in place from 11:00 a.m. through 12:00 p.m. Drivers are encouraged to avoid driving up to the terminals, and to instead keep left at the entrance to the airport, following signs toward parking garages. Passengers can be dropped off or picked up in the hourly parking garage closest to their terminal. Using taxis, which have their own boarding area, or Metro is also bring encouraged.
The car, said to be a Volkswagen bug, was fully engulfed between I-66 and the entrance ramp from Lee Highway when firefighters arrived on the scene, just before 8:45 p.m.
The fire was quickly extinguished, but not before causing a backup. All lanes of eastbound I-66 were blocked for a time.