The southbound lanes of S. Walter Reed Drive are expected to remain closed throughout Wednesday’s evening rush hour as crews work to repair a large water main break.
The 16-inch water main burst this morning on Walter Reed Drive near Pollard Street, causing a messy and slippery commute for some drivers as the water runoff turned to ice. Crews thought they had isolated the leak around 11:00 a.m., but we’re told that the leak reopened this afternoon, meaning the repairs will take longer than first hoped.
Police are on scene helping to control traffic. A detour has been set up for those heading southbound on Walter Reed Drive between S. Glebe Road and Four Mile Run Drive. One northbound lane of Walter Reed Drive remains open.
“At this point, lane closures and detours are expected to stay through rush hour,” said Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services spokeswoman Robyn Mincher.
The driver of an Arlington Transit bus has been cited for a crash involving an ambulance this morning.
The accident happened near the intersection of Walter Reed Drive and Four Mile Run Drive. The ambulance, Arlington medic unit No. 101, was en route to a call at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall around 7:45 a.m., when the ART bus pulled out in front of it, causing a crash, according to Arlington County Fire Battalion Chief Daniel Fitch.
The ambulance, which had its lights and sirens on, slammed into the bus, causing the bus to roll into a small ditch adjacent to the W&OD bike trail.
One of the firefighters in the ambulance was transported to the hospital for observation, Fitch said. No other injuries were reported.
The driver of the bus, who was the only person on the bus at the time of the crash, was cited for failure to yield.
The first of 24 planned enhanced transit stops along Columbia Pike is less than a month away from opening.
On Sept. 19, a canopy was installed at the prototype “Super Stop” near the intersection of Columbia Pike and Walter Reed Drive, in front of the Rite Aid pharmacy. When the stop is finished — it’s currently slated to open in late October — the stop will feature lighting, maps, screens with real time bus arrival information, heating and shelter for 10-15 passengers.
The Walter Reed Drive stop is one of four Super Stop locations selected for a pilot program. Other Columbia Pike Super Stops that are part of the pilot program are: Columbus Street, Dinwiddie Street and Barton Street. Together, the four stops serve more than 2,000 passengers per day, according to Arlington County.
Other future Super Stop locations include the former Navy Annex, Courthouse Road, Glebe Road, Monroe Street, George Mason Drive, Taylor Street, Buchanan Street and Greenbrier Street.
The video above, produced by Arlington County, shows the installation of the new canopy at the Walter Reed Drive stop.
Walter Reed Drive has been shut down between S. 13th and 14th Streets due to police and fire department activity.
A grenade might have been found in a storage unit in the area, according to Arlington County Fire Department spokesman Capt. Gregg Karl.
The road has been closed as a precaution while authorities wait for the bomb squad to examine the object.
El Manantial III, a Guatemalan/Mexican restaurant apparently associated with the El Manantial restaurant in Lyon Park (2618 N. Pershing Drive), is expected to open in the Las Delicias space soon.
County inspectors were spotted parked outside the restaurant earlier today. It’s unclear when exactly the restaurant is going to open, though. A woman who answered the phone at the Lyon Park El Manantial restaurant referred us to a phone number that went straight to voicemail.
Las Delicias closed not too long after a brawl in January. We haven’t heard of any major fights breaking out at El Manantial, but a man did recently bite off part of his friend’s finger in the parking lot outside El Manantial and several other businesses.
Hat tip to Don H.
A tipster first noticed that the Latin/Mexican restaurant was closed and its sign had been painted over two weeks ago. As of Thursday afternoon, there was still no activity inside the eatery.
Hat tip to Tony B.
Police were able to rescue a man who attempted to hang himself from a light pole tonight.
The incident happened in the area of Walter Reed Drive and S. Pollard Street, near the Ft. Barnard dog park. Police received a call just before 5:15 p.m. for a man sitting on a light pole — about 20 feet up — with a rope around his neck. As officers arrived on scene, the man jumped, according to Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck.
Sternbeck said the man came to rest about five feet off the ground. Officers worked quickly and managed to get the man down. He had a pulse when paramedics transported him to a local hospital, according to Sternbeck.
Police remained on scene to investigate the incident, Sternbeck said. The man’s current condition was not immediately available.
Courtesy photo. If you or someone you know is experiencing thoughts of suicide, help is a phone call away. Call CrisisLink at 703-527-4077.
Crews are making progress on safety improvements to a steep portion of Walter Reed Drive. Currently, most of the construction is closer to S. Pollard Street, near the top of the hill, but changes will soon stretch down to Four Mile Run Drive.
Some curb extensions, which are being added at the intersections of Quincy, Quebec and Pollard Streets, have already been poured. Drivers in the area can eventually expect to see planted medians where only painted medians previously existed. Also, the right-hand turn lane onto the Four Mile Run Drive access road will be eliminated for drivers heading downhill on Walter Reed, in favor of traffic turning onto the road at the 90 degree intersection.
Several of the improvements are designed to slow down traffic, while others are intended to protect pedestrians. The construction covers the area, long considered dangerous, where a bicyclist was killed in May. Many cyclists use this stretch to travel to and from the W&OD Trail and Four Mile Run.
Other pedestrian safety improvements have recently been made on Shirlington Road and Arlington Ridge Road, also in South Arlington, and improvements are planned for a stretch of Glebe Road near Ballston.
Road work on Walter Reed could last up to two months.
A car somehow ended up on its roof in a parking lot near Columbia Pike this morning.
The car flipped over in the parking lot of the BB&T Bank at 1100 Walter Reed Drive around 11:30 a.m. It’s not clear how the accident happened, but no other vehicles in the parking lot appeared to have any accident-related damage.
A woman was evaluated by paramedics at the scene. She was not transported to the hospital. The woman appeared to be shaken up but otherwise uninjured.
Changes are coming to the steep stretch of Walter Reed Drive where a bicyclist was killed over the weekend.
Arlington County plans to begin work this summer to add a number of safety improvements to Walter Reed between S. Pollard Street and Four Mile Run Drive. The changes, which were in the works before the accident, include:
- Replacing the painted asphalt medians with planted, landscaped medians
- Curb extensions, or “nubs,” and raised pedestrian islands at Quincy, Quebec and Pollard Streets
- Six foot curb extension on the east side of Walter Reed Drive at the W&OD Trail crosswalk
- Additional signage for drivers approaching the W&OD Trail crosswalk
- A parking lane stripe and “sharrow” markings to the downhill lanes (the uphill lanes already have a dedicated bike lane and a parking stripe)
- Bus shelters at Four Mile Run Drive and Randolph Street
The 45-60 day construction project will also eliminate the right turn lane from southbound Walter Reed Drive to the Four Mile Run Drive access road. (The bicyclist, who had been heading downhill on Walter Reed Drive, struck a car heading east on the access road just after the turn lane, according to police.)
Arlington Traffic Engineering and Operations Chief Wayne Wentz says that eliminating the turn lane and replacing it with landscaping will help slow down cars — which will now have to make a 90 degree right run at the intersection — and will make it easier for pedestrians to cross.
“People treat [such lanes] very much like ramps rather than just intersections,” Wentz said. “It just reinforces that you’re turning onto a neighborhood street, not on to some major arterial.”
Wentz said the overall goal of the project — which he says will cost about $180,000 — is to reduce the number of potential “conflict points” between pedestrians and vehicles. The project, he said, will not explicitly attempt to reduce the speed of cars or bicycles heading downhill on Walter Reed Drive.
The travel lanes on Walter Reed Drive will not be narrowed, Wentz said. The county also has no plans to add a speed limit sign to the downhill lane, even though the nearest speed limit sign for southbound drivers is at 19th Street, well before the hill.