Absentee Voting Bill Passes State Senate — The state Senate passed legislation that would allow residents age 65 and older to vote by absentee ballot without having to give an excuse. Currently, Virginians can only vote absentee if they meet one or more of the requirements on a list of reasons for not being able to make it to the polls on election day. Del. Alfonso Lopez (D) introduced similar legislation that failed in the House of Delegates. [Washington Post]
Water Main Issues Continue — Repairs on the broken 30 inch water main at Arlington Blvd and S. Irving Street are expected to take several more days. While draining the pipe on Sunday, a significant pressure drop occurred. Customers may experience low water pressure during peak times (6:00-9:00 a.m and 5:00-9:00 p.m.) and are asked to minimize water use during those times.
Landrum Extends Ray’s Free Burger Special — Owner Michael Landrum has decided to extend the Inauguration special he had been offering at Ray’s to the Third (1650 Wilson Blvd) after closing Ray’s Hell Burger across the street. Customers can get one free “Li’l Devils” burger from 11:30 a.m. until the last burger is given away. “We realized that our office neighbors didn’t get a chance to participate, so we wanted to extend it another day to give them a chance,” Landrum told ARLnow.com. It is suggested that customers receiving a free burger donate $5, which will go to local Boys and Girls Clubs.
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
The 30 inch water main that broke earlier this week at Arlington Blvd and S. Irving Street continues to cause water pressure trouble for residents in South Arlington.
Residents in Lyon Park, Buckingham, Douglas Park, Arlington Heights, Alcova Heights, Arlington Ridge and portions of Crystal City may be affected, along with portions of surrounding neighborhoods. According to the Arlington County Department of Environmental Services (DES), the worst pressure issues will likely be during peak times in the morning from 6:00-9:00 a.m., and in the evening from 5:00-9:00 p.m.
The county is asking residents to help reduce the pressure problems by minimizing water use at peak times. For example, run dishwashers and washing machines during off-peak hours or take a shower at a different time.
The affected water main is more than 60 years old and will remain out of service while the county brings in an expert who specializes in prestressed concrete cylinder pipes. County staff will also need to order or borrow the parts necessary for the repair. It’s unclear exactly how long the repair will take, but it could be up to a week.
Yesterday, low temperatures and the repair work prompted several leaks in neighborhoods near the water main, further reducing pressure in the system. Residents who see a leak or have other water concerns can contact the Water Emergency hotline at 703-228-6555.
“We appreciate the patience of Arlington residents as we continue to work through this challenging repair,” said DES Communications Specialist Myllisa Kennedy.
Low Water Pressure Issues Continue — Residents in parts of Lyon Park, Buckingham, Douglas Park, Nauck, Arlington Ridge and Crystal City may experience low water pressure this morning due to various water issues. According to Arlington’s Department of Environmental Services, yesterday’s break in a 30-inch water main at Arlington Blvd and S. Irving Street is isolated and awaiting parts for additional repair work. Several water leaks also have been reported this morning at S. Stafford Street and 16th Road S., 26th Street S. and 26th Place S., and 31st Street S. and S. Woodrow Street.
Protein Bar Opens in Two Weeks — According to its Twitter feed, the new Protein Bar restaurant is set to open at 800 N. Glebe Road in Ballston on Wednesday, January 30. The restaurant will start serving its healthy food at 11:00 a.m.
MLK Tribute Speaker Changed – The keynote speaker for Arlington’s 44th Annual Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. has been changed. Lehigh University Professor and Hip Hop Scholars, LLC founder Dr. James Braxton Peterson will now speak at the event, which takes place this Sunday, January 20, from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at Washington-Lee High School (1301 N. Stafford Street). The former speaker, Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, can no longer attend due to a scheduling conflict, according to the county.
“A leak was discovered at midnight on a 30-inch main at a location just north of the intersection of Arlington Blvd and Irving,” Arlington County Department of Environmental Services spokeswoman Shannon Whalen McDaniel told ARLnow.com. “County crews worked during the night to repair the leak. During the isolation process of the repair, an area of the main was impacted resulting in low water pressure.”
“Pressure should be restored to normal levels now,” McDaniel said. “There will be additional repair work on the main this week (along Irving), however it should not impact pressure for customers.”
Water pressure problems were reported in neighborhoods like Buckingham, Arlington Forest, Nauck and Fairlington.
Columbia Pike is closed in both directions between S. Thomas Street and Wakefield Street due to a water main break.
The closure will last throughout the morning rush hour, according to Arlington Alerts, and drivers are asked to seek alternate routes. The closure is also apparently having an impact on bus service — long lines at bus stops have been observed on eastbound Columbia Pike.
The break took place near the site of another water main break that shut down Columbia Pike in September.
Update at 2:55 p.m. — Arlington County says Columbia Pike should be reopened by 4:00 p.m., in time for the evening rush hour. From Arlington Alerts:
Columbia Pike at S. Thomas St. will reopen to traffic in both directions for the evening rush hour by 4 p.m. Crews completed repairs on this morning’s 8″ water main break, however, they will need to repair a second leak in the vicinity at a later date.
A popular commuter shortcut that connects Pentagon City with Glebe Road has been closed due to a water main break.
S. Adams Street is closed from 25th Street S. to 26th Road S., in the Avalon at Arlington Square community. The street serves drivers heading from Army Navy Drive to Glebe Road, near Shirlington.
The water flow has been shut off, but not before part of S. Adams Street partially buckled due to water pressure.
Adams Street is expected to remain closed through the evening rush hour, until about 8:00 p.m. Southbound traffic is being diverted onto 25th Street.
Update at 3:30 p.m. — Columbia Pike has reopened.
A water main break prompted authorities to shut down a large section of Columbia Pike for most of the morning.
Columbia Pike is currently closed to through traffic from George Mason Drive to Four Mile Run. One worker on the scene estimated that the closure would last until around noon.
A break in an 8-inch water main under Columbia Pike across from the Whitemore Apartments (4301 Columbia Pike) was reported around 4:00 a.m. The water was quickly shut off, but Arlington County crews have had to dig a six foot deep hole in the westbound lanes in order to reach the burst pipe.
No one has lost water as a result of the water main break, we’re told.
(Updated at 2:45 p.m.) A major water main break has shut down a number of roads in Crystal City.
For at least an hour, water was spraying about 5 feet in the air out from buckled pavement at the intersection of 12th Street and S. Clark Street. Arlington County crews managed to shut off several valves, which reduced but did not stop the water flow for several hours. As of now, the water flow has been stopped, but not before it created a large pond in and around the intersection.
The water came from a rupture in a 12-inch water main, according to Arlington County Department of Environmental Services spokeswoman Shannon Whalen McDaniel. As a result of work to stop the water flow, several large nearby buildings — 200 and 201 12th Street S.; 1215, 1225 and 1235 S. Clark Street; and the North Tract Loft apartments — had their water supply cut.
“They’re working right now to isolate the break so that they can restore water to the buildings and any affected businesses,” said Arlington County Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck earlier. Water has since been restored to all but one of the buildings.
During the height of the water main break, workers were encouraged to move their cars from nearby underground parking garages, as a precaution due to flooding, Sternbeck said.
The water also flowed down Long Bridge Drive toward 10th Street S. and “gushed” into the Boeing construction site for several hours, officials say. Crews deployed measures to stop the water from flowing into the site and are now pumping water out from the construction pit.
In a statement, authorities said the construction site will need to be stabilized before work can continue on the large, economically significant project.
Arlington County’s Chief Building Official, Shahriar Amiri, today ordered the Boeing Co.’s Crystal City construction site, located near 10th St. S and S. Ball Street, closed in the wake of this morning’s water main break. The break in a 12-inch water main sent water gushing into the site this morning. Construction is halted while the water is pumped out and structural engineers assess the damage and take whatever measures necessary to stabilize the shoring and sheeting, Amiri said. No evaculation orders have been issued at this time for surrounding buildings. County inspectors will continue to monitor the site and work with the structural engineers.
The latest list of road closures include Long Bridge Drive from 12th Street to a private driveway being used to divert traffic from Crystal Drive, 12th Street from Army Navy Drive to 15th Street, 10th Street at Long Bridge Drive, and S. Clark Street at the intersection with 12th.
Work to dig up the street and repair the water main could take up to one or two days. The intersection is expected to remain at least partially closed until the work is complete.
Update at 4:40 p.m. — Chlorinated water leaking from a water main near Shirlington has seeped into Four Mile Run and killed “dozens” of fish, an Arlington County official told ARLnow.com this afternoon.
We first reported the leak near 2400 S. Walter Reed Drive this morning, after Claremont and Fairlington residents reported widespread low water pressure in the area. Now we’re told that the leak — in a 12-inch pipe — has resulted in a significant fish kill.
From Arlington Department of Environmental Services spokeswoman Shannon Whalen McDaniel:
Residents may notice dead fish in portions of Four Mile Run downstream of the break due to the chlorinated water being released. This water is not harmful to humans or pets, but unfortunately resulted in a fish kill. Residents should follow the County’s normal precautions for safe use of urban streams.
McDaniel said repairs on the water main are expected to continue into tomorrow. Residents may continue to experience low water pressure but “no one is expected to be without water,” she said.
Updated at 2:55 p.m. — This article has been updated here.
Low water pressure has been reported in the Claremont and Fairlington areas.
The water pressure issue is the result of a leak in a 12-inch pipe located near 2400 S. Walter Reed Drive, according to Arlington Department of Environmental Services spokeswoman Shannon Whalen McDaniel.
“Crews are now trying to isolate the leak for repair,” Whalen McDaniel told ARLnow.com. “Some areas may be out of water during the period of repair.”
Via Twitter, residents told us the low water pressure started last night (Tuesday). No word yet on when service may be restored.
Updated at 1:55 p.m. The Arlington County Board on Saturday approved $6.5 million in contracts for a new water main project on Williamsburg Boulevard and a sewer pipe upgrade at the intersection of Lee Highway and John Marshall Drive.
The Williamsburg Boulevard Water Supply Main project is the second phase of the county’s effort to connect the Ethan Allen pump station to the Minor Hill Reservoir. Part of the water main, from the pump station to north Glebe Road, was completed in 2003. The segment from North Glebe Road to 34th Road North is under construction.
The $5.6 million project was awarded to Alexandria-based contractor Martin & Gass Inc., which will lay the 36-inch water main in Williamsburg Boulevard beginning at 35th Street North and ending at the reservoir. The new water main will provide water supply to Minor Hill, which will allow for maintenance on existing water mains without service disruption, according to an Arlington County press release.
The entire water main should be completed by September 2013, according to Shannon Whalen McDaniel, spokeswoman for the Arlington County Department of Environmental Services. The new phase of the project will begin in December.
About $900,000 of the approved funds will go toward sewer improvements at John Marshall Drive and Lee Highway, an area the county deemed as prone to flooding in a 2011 analysis. Flooding during a June 2006 storm damaged area homes, which prompted the stormwater study. The project is scheduled to begin in September, McDaniel said.
“As our County continues to grow and age, it is critical that we make ongoing, prudent investments in our infrastructure,” said County Board Chair Mary Hynes. “The upgrades that the Board approved today will help improve the operations of our essential water and sewage systems, protect against flooding and allow us to continue delivering first-class services to our residents.”
(Updated at 10:05 a.m.) Workers are on the scene of a water main break that has shut down part of S. Courthouse Road in the Penrose neighborhood.
Buses and cars are being re-routed away from the work, which has closed S. Courthouse Road between 6th and 8th Streets.
As of 10:00 a.m., the break itself was repaired, but workers are now filling the hole and repairing the street.
The road is expected to be closed for about two more hours, so drivers should plan on finding alternate routes until around noon.
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]