Sunday Storms Flood Long Bridge Drive

by Katie Pyzyk July 9, 2012 at 9:45 am 4,309 43 Comments

Although Sunday’s storms didn’t cause the widespread damage Arlington experienced from the June 29 “derecho” storm, the effects are still being felt in parts of the county.

Long Bridge Drive between S. 12th Street and I-395 is completely closed due to flooding. The parking lot at Long Bridge Park is also blocked.

A county public works crew is on the scene dealing with the high water.

Drivers are advised to avoid any flooded areas they may encounter. Do not to attempt to maneuver through standing water, because it could be much higher than it initially appears.

  • Bob Stevens

    That road is a nightmare when it isn’t flooded. What’s taking the County so long to repair it?

    • WeiQiang

      Bob, the County assures me that it’s NOT … repeat NOT … because they were slowrolling the LBD upgrades in order to accomodate the Boeing HQ construction. It DEFINITELY has nothing to do with that; otherwise, someone might think that $150K in infrastructure offsets from Boeing was a paltry amount for the Board overruling the planning and environmental offices.

      No, the official position is that Verizon and Dominion [the comedy duo of recent power outage fame] got behind schedule early and a lot on the work that they had to do on LBD. So, LBD redevelopment lagged far behind the Park itself. The Park opened, Boeing HQ

    • Chris Slatt

      The June “Friends of Long Bridge Park” newsletter had an update on the road I’ve pasted below. The info’s about a month old at this point.

      “Reconstruction of Long Bridge Drive began on March 19, 2012. The initial work effort – by the County contractor – focuses on the installation of wet utilities. These wet utilities include a storm drainage system beneath the roadway, a new sanitary sewer main, and two fire hydrants with connections to the water main within the roadway. The tie-in for the new storm drainage system to the existing storm culvert on 6th Street South has already been completed. The Pentagon diverted flow into the existing storm culvert for five days to assist the County contractor in making this connection. The contractor began installing box culvert from 6th Street South and is working north on Long Bridge Drive; presently, approximately 25% of the box culvert and four manholes have been installed. However, the contractor had to skip over a Dominion Virginia Power duct that was constructed too high, which is preventing the installation of one of the fire hydrants. The County contractor and consultant engineers are working with the power company to resolve this issue.

      Installation of the sanitary sewer main is approximately 95% complete. Work is on hold for the remainder of this system until an AT&T cable can be relocated. This cable is in a duct owned by Verizon that was previously not known to exist in the roadway, thus complicating the installation. Reconstruction of Long Bridge Drive is expected to be completed this coming Fall.”

    • WeiQiang

      [sorry] … is still under construction, and LBD is a Feces Festival.

      Question: So, if Verizon and Dominion are responsible for the delay, what sanctions/offsets are Verizon and Dominion ponying up to recoup the costs of the delay?

      • jan

        good question

      • soarlslacker

        Not sure you can say that Dominion and/or Verizon are responsible for the delay. Arl Cty should know or find out prior to starting a project what lies beneath the ground they are digging up. Just like residents are supposed to call Miss Utility so we don’t end of rupturing a gas, water, or sewage line–Arl Cty and/or its contractor has the same responsibility. It is expensive to move underground power and telecommunication lines and they are usually buried in the streets. This company had to have a right-of-way and permits to bury those cables to begin with.

        • WeiQiang

          slackmeister … all I can tell you is what ArlCo told me. see below. Since the AT&T lines are in a conduit reported above to be owned by Verizon, I’d say Verizon bears some ownership of the problem.

          The County’s e-mail [Nov 2011] to me:

          “I apologize for the lateness of my reply. Due to some difficulties in getting to this email box, I am just now reading your email. The park and road were supposed to have been completed at the same time this fall. Due to delays caused by Dominion Virginia Power and Verizon as they relocate their utilities, we do not expect the road to be fully renovated until the spring of 2012. Thank you for your question.

          Erik Beach
          Department of Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources
          2100 Clarendon Blvd., Suite 414
          Arlington, VA 22201
          703.228.3318 FAX 703.228.3328
          [email protected]

          So, they were behind early and got behind even further and are still not done. The language in the County’s e-mail is clear about who cause the delays.

          • soarlslacker

            The language is clear about where the Cty is assigning the blame. Did they provide a date that either of these firms committed to and then missed? I would not expect that this is a top priority for Verizon or Dominion. There is no new revenue in it for them–not hooking up a new office building or condo building. Somewhere in the Arl Cty scheduling, the time to move these lines should have been built in and budgeted. I doubt that it was.
            My experience with Arl Cty/their vendors has been that they 1/2 way plan and 1/2 way execute, or they just enjoy closing my street and digging it up and reburying the same old pipe 4 times to replace 1 single water line over a period of 9 months. The best experience is when they close your street for a week (again and again), but no one shows up and does any work during the entire week. Speaking with the project manager for the project on my street was like talking to rock. It was particularly satisfying the day they attempted to connect my home to the new water line and to look outside and see they all the workers had gone home at 2pm and my home had no water. I got water at 10pm at night after multiple calls to the Cty who could not fix it–they got the contractor out to jury-rig it. The next day my water was turned off again. Too bad no one has the common sense to knock on the door and tell you they are turning off the water, or to even knock on your door to see if you have water before they head home for the day. I would not have had to go outside in my bath robe with a mouth full of tooth paste and ask “What the F?”

          • WeiQiang

            Wait a minute … are you ME? I think you pretty much nailed my perspective.

            Best line yet: 1/2 plan, 1/2 execute

            As relates to VZN & DOM, I have to believe that they have some contractual vehicle against which ArlCo can hold them accountable … if they are so inclined.

          • Help a fellow out here

            Verizon has a franchise agreement to operate in the County, and has all sorts of right-of-way easements to do what they wish at the pace they wish.

            Dominion has the power of god thanks to the Virginia General Assembly, and they don’t answer to anyone.

          • soarlslacker

            My real thoughts were 1/2-assed. After being here 25+ years I think of Arl Cty like Mayberry RFD…they kind of do what they want, when they feel like doing it, how they feel like doing it and when they do it, it is not done very well. But they win a lot of awards. The Arl Cty philosophy appears to be: look good and win awards, but you don’t have to actually be good.
            Don’t make the telephony and power folks mad…they might take down your 911 service and leave you in the hot and dark…opps already done that.

          • Oops :-s

            Translation of Mr. Beach’s email: “Since ArlCty f’d up by not checking on Dom Power and Verizon work when it was originally done we are now blaming them the delay.”

    • JamesE

      It isn’t in Clarendon so the county doesn’t care.

      • Rick

        *Columbia Pike

        • drax

          *North Arlington

          • PileOn

            *Crystal City

    • FairlingtonD

      Probably waiting for the construction to be completed (is it done?). As it stands now, it reminds me of a country road.

  • malaka

    Looks like the aquatics center is ahead of schedule!

    • Breast Stroke


  • Observer

    Oh the irony.

  • Michael H.

    The road is frequently flooded. I’m more surprised when it isn’t underwater. But it’s easy enough to access the park on foot or by bike through the Crystal Drive entrance.

    I only ride on Long Bridge Drive about once a month, primarily to see how much progress has been made on the reconstruction.

  • JimPB

    A low-cost swimming hole alternative to the costly ($40 m+) aquatic facility???

    • Suzanne Smith Sundburg

      Try $72 million in total costs, with an annual debt payment of $7 million beginning in FY2014.

      • Occasionally a fact

        Please be more careful with your formulations. The $7 million per year — for about three years, not forever — is arrived at by adding up the payments (interest+principal) on the requested capital funding, plus interest on a bridge loan until $20M in private funding comes in, plus net annual operating costs very cautiously pegged at $1.25M. It is NOT all “annual debt payment”.

        • Wayne Kubicki

          You have the components of the $7M right.

          After about three years, the debt service decreases, albeit slowly.

          No one I’ve talked to has a timetable on receiving the $20M – and it’s speculative that the sale of the excess density rights (the source of that funding) is worth $20M.

          As for the net annual operating cost taxpayer subsidy being “cautiously” pegged at $1.25M – jury is still out on that one, too. Witness that, in response to a question at the Civic Federation in early June, County staff admitted they did not even know what a family membership to the aquatics center would cost.

  • DW

    Is there a better way to get from northbound US1 to Mem Bridge than LBD?

    • CrystalMikey

      110 to Memorial Bridge

    • WeiQiang

      I’ll assume you’re serious. Easy peazy:

      On northbound US1 in Crystal City, stay in one the left two lanes. Follow signs for Route 110 North. About 1.5 miles down, exit right at sign that says, “Memorial Bridge Washington”.

      • DW

        I was seriously, actually – I never managed to see the exit to Memorial Drive in all the times I looked at the map. Thanks.

  • A1 Towing

    Guess those effers won’t be towing any cars today.

    • Crystal City

      A1 isn’t there anymore.

    • WeiQiang

      Instead, the gals & guys at CrossFit Crystal City will remove your car by hand.

  • Someguy101

    Did anyone else lose Comcast Internet around 8 PM last night? We did in Dominion Hills

    • JohnB2

      No loss in Ballston yetserday.

    • Nancy

      “Did anyone else lose Comcast Internet”

      Have you posted signs with pictures of what little comcast looks like ??

  • soarlslacker

    Lester Holt did a piece on NBC Nightly News last night (7-8-12) on Adult Play Grounds—this is an outdoor free gym…similar to the outdoor free playgrounds for kids. http://video.msnbc.msn.com/nightly-news/48113544/
    I bet this type of outdoor gym costs a lot less than an aquatic center and would be used by a larger segment of Arl Cty’s population than an aquatic center.

  • Wayne Kubicki

    To ARLnow – this photo is just begging for a “funny caption” contest!

    • Southeast Ben

      Arlington Marketing Spoof to Target Wetbacks?

      • Southeast Ben

        I’m being sarcastic.

    • Wayne Kubicki

      “Darn, Fred, I knew I shouldn’t have parked here last night. Gonna have to get the carpeting in the back of the El Camino replaced again!”

      “We’re going to need a bigger boat.”

      “This sure looks like a wetlands area to me. That mean the County Board won’t be able to build their luxury pool building here?”

      “I was afraid the Long Bridge budget would eventually end up under water, but didn’t expect it this soon.”

  • drax

    WeiQiang, is this the road you drive to work on every day for six whole blocks? 😉

  • Roquer

    Is it too much to ask the County that spent about 12M on this park to also spend just a leetle beet more on a DECENT road??

  • Mc

    Ok there are some snarky comments as usual but I’m impressed at the level of crowd scourced facts in today’s feedback. Thanks for sharing real info.


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