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]
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.