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.
A water main break has closed 19th Street N. between N. Kent Street and Arlington Ridge Road in Rosslyn.
Arlington County crews have stopped the flow of water from the break, but not before part of 19th Street buckled upward due to the pressure of the water.
The road closure is not otherwise impacting traffic in Rosslyn, which has been relatively light this week. No word yet on when the road may reopen.
Water Main Break in Fairlington — A large water main break shut down the intersection of 31st and S. Abingdon Streets in Fairlington last night. [WUSA 9]
Joe Paterno Hires Clarendon Firm — Before he was fired by university trustees last night, Penn State football coach Joe Paterno hired Clarendon-based TMG Strategies to handle media inquiries. TMG specializes in crisis communications. [Washington Business Journal]
Arlington Green Party’s Fortunes Tied to GOP — Green Party candidates in Arlington seem to do significantly better on election day when there’s no Republican in the race. [Sun Gazette]
New Art on ART Buses — There are a few new whimsical illustrations on the county’s ART buses. The art was created by Nigerian-born and Alexandria, Va.-based artist Victor Ekpuk, as a joint venture between Arlington Transit and the Artisphere. [CommuterPage Blog]
Deal on Romeo and Juliet Tix — The Washington Post is offering $55 tickets to Synetic Theater’s Crystal City performance of Romeo and Juliet for $25. Synetic, which only recently established its home base in Crystal City, is a physical theater company — its shows substitute intense physical acting for dialogue. The deal expires at midnight tonight. Romeo and Juliet opens on Nov. 25. [The Capitol Deal]
The break happened near the intersection of Walter Reed Drive and Arlington Mill Drive in Shirlington yesterday. Crews have been unable to fully fix the rupture because the size of the water main — 14 inches — is “rare” and the nearest replacement part that the county was able to find was four hours away.
Much of Fairlington and parts of Shirlington are currently experiencing low or no water pressure. Most Shirlington businesses, however, are “in good shape,” according to Arlington County Department of Environmental Services spokeswoman Myllisa Kennedy.
Kennedy says crews will be making repairs throughout the evening. Work is expected to wrap up during the overnight hours, she said. The work has reduced Arlington Mill Drive to one lane in each direction near the water main break.
Residents with discolored water are encouraged to run the taps until the water clears up. Anybody who is concerned about their water can call the county’s water emergency hotline at 703-228-6555.
Update at 3:20 p.m. — A status update from Arlington County:
Emergency repairs are underway on the water main break at Walter Reed Drive and Arlington Mill Drive. Crews installed the new pipe and valve; however, while they were reopening the valves another portion of the pipe broke. Water in the area has been shut off while the team reassesses the situation and continues repairs.
Abingdon Elementary School has been notified of the situation. For the latest information about the schedule at Abingdon ES, visit Arlington Public Schools at www.apsva.us.
Arlington’s Office of Emergency Management issued the following statement tonight regarding a water main break in Lyon Park.
Commuters should avoid the intersection of Pershing Drive and N. Barton Street due to a water main repair now underway. Pershing Drive between Wayne Street and N. Barton Street is one travel lane with flaggers. Access from Barton Street onto Pershing Drive is affected. The break occured today during the installation of a new 12-inch water main. One residential block of N. Barton Street from Pershing Drive to N. 9th Street and a small number of businesses in the 2200 block of N. Pershing Drive have been notified that they will remain without water while repairs are made into the evening.
Road crews are out in force on and around Columbia Pike today.
At Columbia Pike and South Wakefield Street, a contractor is laying down lane striping in the middle of the Pike. Traffic is down to one lane in each direction. The good news is that this torn-up section of the Pike has recently gotten a few patches of fresh asphalt to smooth out what were some pretty nasty bumps.
A short walk away, on South Taylor Street, an Arlington County crew is repaving a section of the road that was damaged by a water main break. The road is closed between Columbia Pike and 9th Street.
On the eastern end of the Pike, in front of the new Penrose Square apartments, cars are doing the construction cone slalom once again. One lane in each direction gets around on-going utility work in the middle of the road.
Water Woes Continue in Ft. Myer Heights — Some Ft. Myer Heights residents were without water last night as crews worked to repair a persistent water main leak. Workers installed some temporary piping as they worked deep below the surface to repair the leak. [Ode Street Tribune]
Libraries Will Offer Self-Checkout — As part of a host of changes set to take place next week, Arlington Public Libraries will now be offering self-checkout at its Aurora Hills, Cherrydale, Columbia Pike and Glencarlyn branches. [Library Blog]
Artisphere Restaurant Name Contest Begins — Do you have a creative idea for the name of the new restaurant in Artisphere? If so, submit it online for a chance to win prizes. The arts center is letting the public decide the name of the restaurant, which is tentatively expected to open next month. [Artisphere / Washington Post]
Artisphere Appears on TLC Reality Show — The task of creating large, elaborate balloon sculptures (WARNING: link contains NSFW material) for the opening of Artisphere in October was the subject of an episode of the TLC reality series ‘The Unpoppables,’ which aired Monday night. [TLC]
The Quarterdeck Restaurant in Fort Myer Heights is no longer landlocked. There’s now a small river flowing down Fort Myer Drive, past the 31-year-old seafood restaurant.
As if the Quarterdeck hasn’t had enough troubles as of late, crews will start tearing up the road in front of it later this afternoon to repair a 6 to 12 inch water main break.
Workers are waiting for clearance from electrical and gas utility companies before starting to dig. Once it begins, the repair process should take a few hours.
In addition to the street, water is also bubbling up through cracks in the Quarterdeck’s parking lot. No one was at the restaurant to tell us whether or not water was also leaking into the aging building’s basement.
Overnight, water crews responded to several small water main breaks around the county. The pace of the breaks was similar to a span of nine days earlier this month when, partially thanks to last week’s frigid temperatures, the bureau responded to 18 separate water main breaks.
Dave Hundelt, WSS’s Chief Operating Engineer, says the “rash” of ruptures is notable, but not particularly unusual this time of year. Most water main breaks happen when there are significant variations in temperature, or when it gets so cold that the ground around the pipes starts to freeze.
That makes the transition to winter and the transition to spring prime time for water main breaks.
Arlington, like other localities around the county, is considering ways to upgrade its water infrastructure. The county’s cast iron water main pipes date as far back as 1927. Most of the piping currently in place is from the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. While it has some time to go until it hits its 100 year expected lifecycle, older pipes are more prone to breaking, increasing maintenance costs.
“It is a problem that is national,” said Hundelt. “If we don’t reinvest in the system… we’ll just be paying for it in more unplanned breaks and reactive maintenance.”
Update at 4:15 p.m. — “All lanes are open on Route 50 near the 7 Corners and repairs have been completed,” according to City of Falls Church spokesperson Barbara Gordon. “Water pressure is back to normal for all residents and businesses in the area.”
A 12-inch water main burst under Route 50 this morning, snarling traffic and lowering water pressure in the area.
The main burst in front of the Home Depot, between Seven Corners and Patrick Henry Drive, just west of the Arlington County border in Falls Church. WTOP’s Adam Tuss reports that it’s expected to be fixed by later this afternoon.
Meanwhile, Arlington is advising that some homes and businesses in the Upton Hills neighborhood may be experiencing low water pressure. From Arlington Alert:
Arlington residents and businesses in the Upton Hills area may be experiencing low water pressure due to water main break in Falls Church, which provides water to a small number of customers in the County. Arlington’s WSS bureau is working with Falls Church to maintain service to customers and assist in repairs if needed. Questions? Call 703-228-6555 or visit the Water Emergency web page.
Clarendon Boulevard is closed between Scott Street and Rhodes Street due to a water main break.
So far, no word on when the road might reopen. Traffic should be able to continue east on 16th Street and make a left on Quinn Street to get around the closure.
Update at 4:40 p.m. — The repairs and the closures will last into the night, Arlington County officials say.
A water main break last night in Fort Myer Heights caused asphalt to swell and crack, and water to bubble up through patches of grass.
The culprit is a relatively small six-inch main at North Quinn Street and 16th Street, TBD reported. It’s unclear when the main and the road will get patched up (perhaps it already has), but as of 10:00 last night water was still out in the neighborhood. One or two blocks were closed, but there were no major traffic problems.
Reader Ari Schulman took a few photos of the water streaming down North Quinn Street.
Update on 8/20 — The water main repair work has been completed, but crews are now working on a gas main leak in the same area. One lane is blocked in each direction.
Expect a slowdown on South Glebe Road between Columbia Pike and the Route 50 tonight, as crews work to repair a water main.
The work will begin around 8:00 near 8th Street South, the county says. One lane of South Glebe Road will be blocked in each direction.
The work is expected to wrap up tomorrow morning.
From Arlington Alert: Westbound Columbia Pike at S. Dinwidde to S. Frederick St shut down to water main break. Detours set up for traffic in area.
The first break occurred around 7:30 this morning at South Courthouse Road and 2nd Street. Water from the break flooded the intersection and nearby Washington Boulevard, snarling rush hour traffic.
Arlington County crews just finished repairing the break and patching up the road. Now, they’re beginning to work on a second break that occurred at South Wayne Street and 2nd Street. Drivers should expect road and lane closures in the area. The repairs should wrap up around 10:00 tonight.
We’re told the second break happened during the repair of the first break. Both breaks, a county employee said, were the result of blown valves.
The water main is thought to date back to the 1960s.
Residents in the area should expect reduced water pressure and possible sediment in the water. To be safe, those with low water pressure should either boil the water or wait for repairs to be completed.