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Lane closures coming to section of Columbia Pike

Crossing Columbia Pike at S. George Mason Drive (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

A section of Columbia Pike will be reduced to one lane in each direction starting next week.

The lane closure, which is set to start Monday and stretch into January 2023, will run about a third of a mile from S. Wakefield Street to S. George Mason Drive. It will help make way for latest phase of the Columbia Pike Multimodal Street Improvements project.

“Drivers — especially those commuting along Columbia Pike — are encouraged to use alternate routes and expect delays,” Arlington County said today in a press release, noting that prep work is starting this week. “Bus stops will also be temporarily relocated to accommodate work.”

The years-long project to improve Columbia Pike’s streetscape, enhance transit infrastructure, replace aging water and sewer mains and bury utility lines has previously closed lanes on other stretches of the Pike and even resulted on the occasional rogue utility pole.

In addition to the lane closures and bus stop relocations, road crews will also be implementing turn restrictions and a reduction in the speed limit from 30 mph to 25 mph.

Columbia Pike between S. Wakefield Street and S. George Mason Drive (via Google Maps)

More on the lane closures, the plans and the project from the county press release, below.

Starting the week of Monday, Aug. 15, 2022, there will be new traffic patterns on Columbia Pike between South Wakefield Street and South George Mason Drive as part of Segment F of the Columbia Pike Multimodal Project. Crews will begin setup work the week of Monday, Aug. 8, 2022.

This project will move existing utilities underground to provide more reliable service, upgrade sidewalks to provide a better pedestrian experience, and add transit stations to improve bus operations.

This phase of construction is anticipated to last until January 2023. Drivers — especially those commuting along Columbia Pike — are encouraged to use alternate routes and expect delays. Bus stops will also be temporarily relocated to accommodate work.

While inconvenient, these roadway changes are essential to construct a safer and more accessible Columbia Pike while maintaining access to residences and businesses along the corridor, and avoiding total road closures

Lane Closures

Between South Wakefield Street and George Mason Drive, Columbia Pike will be reduced to one lane in each direction. Additionally, the speed limit in the work zone will be reduced from 30 mph to 25 mph.

These new traffic patterns are expected to go into effect on Monday, Aug. 15, 2022.

Turn Restrictions from Columbia Pike

  • Wakefield Street: Left turns from Columbia Pike to South Wakefield Street are not permitted.
  • Thomas Street: All turns from Columbia Pike to South Thomas Street are not permitted.
  • The Whitmore: Left turns from Columbia Pike to the Whitmore apartments are not permitted.
  • Driveways within the project area will be restricted to right-in/right-out.

Detours for local access to South Wakefield Street, South Thomas Street and the Whitmore will be marked.

Bus Stop Closure

The Columbia Pike bus stops at South Thomas Street will be temporarily changed:

  • Eastbound at South Thomas Street – this bus stop will close; passengers should use stops at South Wakefield Street and South George Mason Drive
  • Westbound at South Thomas Street – this bus stop will remain open
  • Affected bus routes are ART 41, Metrobus 16EGH, Metrobus 22A

Pedestrian and Resident Impacts

There will be impacts to people walking, biking, and taking transit.

The southern sidewalk on Columbia Pike between South Thomas Street and South Wakefield will be closed. People walking and rolling should cross at South Thomas Street or South Wakefield Street and use the northern sidewalk.

Residents should expect inconveniences such as: dust, mud, noise, debris, and temporary traffic and parking restrictions. In locations where parking will be prohibited during work, no-parking signs will be posted at least 48 hours in advance.

Crews will work Monday – Friday, 7 a.m.-9 p.m., except for federal holidays. Work will also occur on Saturdays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

About the Project

This work is a part of Segment F (between South Oakland Street and South Wakefield Street) of the Columbia Pike Multimodal Improvements project, which will make Columbia Pike a safer, more accessible route for all users. Arlington is transforming this main thoroughfare into a complete street that balances all modes of travel and supports high-quality, high-frequency transit service. Segment F construction is expected to be completed in Fall of 2025.

In addition to visible improvements to the road, extensive work will occur below the roadway to replace aging and leak-prone water and sewer pipes and to bury existing overhead utilities underground.

Map via Google Maps

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