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Upgrades to Glebe and Langston Blvd Intersection to Wrap Up This Month

Construction is wrapping up at the intersection of Langston Blvd (Route 29) and Glebe Road.

Last week, the traffic signals hanging from wires were swapped out for new mast-arm signals. This week, the contractor is expected to complete the remaining sections of sidewalk, curb ramps, and curb and gutter, according to the county’s project webpage.

These changes were part of a years-long project to add dedicated left turn lanes, make bus stop upgrades, take utilities underground and replace an old water main. The changes were intended to improve safety, access and travel times for motorists, pedestrians and transit riders at the intersection.

And now, the county says the project is almost done.

“Construction on the intersection improvements is nearing the finish line,” the project’s webpage said.

Work was anticipated to be completed by this coming spring, but progress is moving faster than expected.

“Spring ’22 was the expected completion date when we started construction, but work has been ahead of schedule and we now expect substantial completion in September,” Arlington Department of Environmental Services spokesman Eric Balliet said.

The county said it will be releasing a schedule of the project’s final paving and the installation of the final pavement markings, both of which will likely occur at night this month (September).

The first phase of the project, including utility undergrounding, kicked off in 2017. The county has spent years obtaining easements from property owners along Glebe to allow the roadway expansion.

The County Board approved a $3.88 million contract for the remainder of the work in December 2019. Work started on this phase in May 2020, according to the project webpage.

This phase included the new exclusive left-turn lanes along N. Glebe Road “to ensure safer turning movements and reduce delays,” the county said. North-south traffic on Glebe had previously flowed only in one direction at a time, allowing turns without a dedicated turn signal but causing backups during rush hour.

The phase also included the mast-arm traffic signals with new phasing and timing, the upgraded water mains and stormwater infrastructure, enhanced crosswalks and bus stops, widened sidewalks and accessible curb ramps and commercial driveway aprons.

The need for upgrades to Langston Blvd and Glebe Road dates back to studies conducted in 2004.

“[The study] identified considerable traffic backups at the Lee Highway and Glebe Road intersection,” the county webpage said. “The backups resulted in traffic cutting through the neighborhood.”

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