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Reader Recounts Getting Stranded on Old JD Hwy

by ARLnow.com December 21, 2011 at 12:24 pm 3,109 17 Comments

Big potholes aren’t the only hazard on Old Jefferson Davis Highway, which is set for a reconstruction project in 2012.

With rain in the forecast over the next couple of days, it’s worth recounting this scene from two weeks ago. A reader — who we’ll call “Joe” — says he was driving down Old Jefferson Davis Highway, between the Pentagon and Crystal City, in the middle of a rainstorm on Dec. 7. Despite the fact that a couple of cars passed him going in the opposite direction, all of a sudden Joe found himself and his car stranded in high standing water.

“The cars had apparently turned around going the opposite direction, something I should also have done,” Joe lamented. “I entered what I thought was a muddy puddle and quickly came to realize just how dangerous it was.  The car started to choke and it was too late for me to get out.”

Joe said he called 911 and had difficulty getting the dispatcher to understand where “Old Jefferson Davis Highway” was. Eventually, an Arlington police officer showed up and was “very helpful.”

Joe added that there was a “road closed” sign on one end of the street, but not on the end he was traveling on.

“Even I’m not stupid enough to bypass a road closed sign, why was there not one on both sides?” he asked.

County officials expect to start installing a new storm water system along Old Jefferson Davis Highway as soon as February. In April the road will be renamed “Long Bridge Drive” after the adjacent Long Bridge Park.

  • meh..

    What a schmuck….
    Joe Schmuck…

  • Bard

    Yeah, pretty sure you can’t blame that one on a lack of “Road Closed” signs. Lack of common sense is more like it.

  • Looking at the picture of the water…. sign or no sign…. why in the world would anyone try to pass through THAT in that car? Do they not watch TV every time it floods to have a great example of what happens?

    • JamesE

      my car is AWD, that means I can take it off road and in 2 feet of water

      • I against I

        You know, that is what he was thinking. Welcome to Arlington.

    • CrystalMikey

      + ~

      No way in heck I would’ve drove through that.

  • JamesE

    I am actually surprised the engine got waterlogged, that air intact on the saab must be very very low.

    • Ben

      Probably the tailpipe was obstructed and killed the engine.

      Then if he attempted to start the car with the pipe submerged he would have sucked water into the engine.

  • charlie

    if my eyesight is clear….

    this sounds like a saaab story.

    • CrystalMikey

      Better call GM to save (the) Saab from sinking…oh wait.

  • Alison

    How can that even be considered a road?

  • Kirk

    LOL, I lived nine years in Latin America, and this picture could be of any poor barrio in, say, Honduras. Even the buildings look like it. Except there wouldn’t be a Road Closed sign. At best, a large tree branch.

  • Big Wheels

    I drove through in my Jeep that day, and he was entering just as I cleared it, figured he would not make it, now I know.

  • jslanger

    I grew up in Tucson, AZ, where we have plenty of dry creek/river beds (washes). And when it rains, it hits hard and fast, and they can flash flood. Since most of the year the washes are dry, a number of roads don’t have bridges over, they just dip down into the washes. People will try to drive through every rainy season, the cars stall and literally get swept away, because the water doesn’t look too deep or moving that fast. Lesson-water can be deceiving and dangerous. Be careful!

    That being said, that road is a travesty….especially if it is the only access point to the new park. I can understand it’ll get beat up during construction, but sheesh!

  • Jason S.

    Good ol’ Stupid Joe.

  • Really

    Really! I believe you were rescued by the fire department…

  • Arlingtron

    As “Joe” said he entered from the direction that did NOT have a sign. He realized his mistake too late. Sad that dispatchers don’t know the county they are paid to serve.

    Remodeling this sorry stretch of road is a bad day for filmmakers. Now they have to find a setting for a grimey urban scene somewhere else.


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