A crash on southbound I-395 near Arlington Ridge Road temporarily closed the highway.
The crash happened in the usual rainy weather spot — as traffic rounds a curve en route to the Glebe Road and Shirlington exits. All southbound lanes were closed for a period of time, but three lanes have since reopened, with the crash moved over to the right-hand side.
Separately, a crash has been reported on the northbound GW Parkway near Key Bridge and is currently causing “traffic issues,” according to scanner traffic.
At the height of the evening rush hour, only one lane of westbound Army Navy Drive is open at S. Fern Street due to a two-vehicle crash.
The crash happened at the intersection shortly after 6 p.m. An SUV involved in the crash overturned as a result of the impact. Another vehicle suffered heavy front-end damage.
The occupants of the vehicle were able to get out on their own power and no one has been transported to the hospital.
If approved at tomorrow’s (Saturday) County Board meeting, a portion of one of Crystal City’s thoroughfares will receive a substantial upgrade and a speed limit downgrade.
Crystal Drive is currently a one-way street between 26th and 27th streets, but as part of an ongoing conversion project it will be turned into a two-lane roadway. The project will also add a right turn lane at the northbound intersection of Crystal Drive and 26th Street S., a left turn lane at the westbound intersection of Crystal Drive and 27th Street S., and bike lanes and sidewalk improvements.
The two-lane expansion in other sections of Crystal Drive occurred in 2013. The two-lane conversion between 26th and 27th Streets S. will be the third and final phase of the street’s conversion to an almost entirely two-way road.
At tomorrow’s meeting, the County Board will vote on a contract for the $1.2 million project.
At the same meeting, the Board will also vote on whether to authorize a public hearing on lowering the speed limit along Crystal Drive from 30 to 25 mph.
The county’s Transportation Master Plan recommends 25 mph as the standard speed limit on arterial streets in Arlington’s downtown districts where there are high volumes of pedestrians and high density land development. A study of the local traffic was conducted at the request of the Crystal City Business Improvement District and determined that Crystal Drive qualified for a speed limit reduction.
If approved, the speed limit reduction will be considered at the Board’s Oct. 20 meeting.
Photo and map via Arlington County
Work is wrapping up on improvements to one of Courthouse’s trickiest intersections, with some night paving set to close a few streets this week.
The county is putting the finishing touches on some changes to sidewalks and bus stops around the intersection of Wilson and Clarendon Boulevards, near the Courthouse Metro station. Starting last night (Tuesday), workers began paving the area and the county expects the work to last through Friday (Sept. 7).
Arlington officials are advising drivers to avoid the area where Clarendon Blvd meets N. Veitch Street and 15th Street N. during the paving, set to run from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. through the rest of the week.
Workers permanently closed the lane turning from Clarendon Blvd. to 15th Street N. in March, and have spent the ensuing months widening the sidewalks in the area and adding a new bus stop to accommodate additional Arlington Transit service in the area. The county hopes the project “will improve pedestrian safety, circulation and access in and around Courthouse Plaza,” per its website.
Construction was originally set to wrap up sometime this winter, but the county says it’s now “nearing completion, ahead of schedule.”
(Updated at 10 a.m.) Arlington Public Schools is indefinitely suspending its incentive program to push employees out of their cars, after the effort proved to be a bit too successful — and expensive.
The school system’s Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Commuter Program provides stipends to employees for turning to public transit, walking, bicycling, carpooling and other options to limit the number of cars going to and from schools.
It was budgeted for $222,600 last year, but School Board spokeswoman Linda Erdos said actual expenses were over $389,000. While the difference was covered in last year’s budget, Erdos said the budget for the program remained the same for FY 2019 without the same flexibility.
“No one wanted to make any changes, but we also had to find a way to reduce the growing deficit,” said Erdos in an email. “Carpoolers and transit users also receive stipends, and staff believed that maintaining those programs was important because it immediately reduces an employee’s direct costs for commuting (fares, toll fees and fuel) and keeps the number of cars in school parking lots lower.”
Erdos said the school system looked at reducing the stipend for walkers and bicyclists, but were still left with a $50,000 deficit.
At last Thursday’s School Board meeting (Aug. 30), Assistant Superintendent of Facilities and Operations John Chadwick stated that part of the reason the bicyclists’ and pedestrians’ incentives were targeted was because the data showed they’d be more likely to continue using those methods to get to school.
“Looking at numbers and usage, those members of staff who used to bike and walk would be most likely to continue using walking and biking to school,” said Chadwick. “If we applied the benefit to users of the carpool, we would likely get more people returning to single use cars and have more cars around our schools, more congestion, which causes safety concerns and issues of air quality. Faced with a difficult decision, we determined it would be most useful to suspend bike [and] walk benefits.”
Teachers at the Aug. 30 meeting said they dismayed by the decision.
“Two years ago, the incentive program helped me change my habits,” said Aaron Schuetz, a physics teacher at Yorktown High School. “Now, biking to work is my primary mode of transportation… [it was] disappointing to get email that it was cancelled.”
The suspension of the motor-free benefits was effective Sept. 1, which some teachers noted was an abrupt change.
“I was surprised to see benefits eliminated with three days notice,” said Jeffrey Bunting, an english teacher at Yorktown High School. “I found the process maybe a little cynical how it was eliminated… I fully agree there are probably improvements that can be done, but I encourage the Board and Mr. Chadwick not to throw the baby out with the bathwater.”
Erdos said the Office of Multimodal Transportation Planning in the Department of Facilities & Operations will continue to work on reorganizing the program and will release more information later this year about the changes.
Photo via Arlington Public Schools
(Updated at 2:15 p.m.) The ramp from northbound I-395 to the northbound GW Parkway, just prior to the 14th Street Bridge, is blocked due to a crash.
Initial reports suggest the crash involves an overturned vehicle. Police and firefighters are on the scene.
No word yet on injuries.
Several lanes of northbound I-395 are also closed due to the emergency activity. Traffic on I-395 is heavy approaching the bridge and the crash.
Prep work for major construction on the Memorial Bridge is prompting some lane closures and other travel disruptions in the area over the next few days.
Workers are planning to set up “staging areas” just south of Memorial Circle to prepare for a full rehab effort on the bridge later this fall, which will include a full weekend shutdown of the bridge in mid-September.
That means drivers in the area can expect “temporary lane closures as trucks deliver material there,” largely during the day. The closures could also impact the Mount Vernon Trail, with the National Park Service warning that the trail likely won’t close entirely but “users may have to wait while workers move material over it.”
The NPS recently had to schedule overnight lane closures on the G.W. Parkway and Washington Blvd to pave roads leading up to the stage area, but it expects that today (Friday) was the last day of those disruptions.
Labor Day should also mark the end of work on the Windy Run Bridge along the G.W. Parkway. Workers are hoping to do away with the lane closures and shifts that have marked that section of the parkway for the last few weeks sometime after the holiday.
Photo via National Park Service
Construction is underway on an extension of the sidewalk along the south side of Old Dominion Drive to connect the Cherrydale Firehouse to N. Thomas Street.
Along with the new sidewalk, a series of storm drainage improvements are being constructed.
Construction will close the curbside travel lane along the eastbound Old Dominion Drive during work hours; Monday through Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. or until 2 p.m. on Fridays.
Undergrounding of the utilities was completed in June. The project is expected to be completed in spring 2019.
Photos via Arlington County
A vehicle overturned in the southbound HOV lanes of I-395 during Tuesday’s evening rush hour.
The crash was reported shortly before 6:45 p.m. near Shirlington. It left one vehicle on its side, completely blocking the HOV lanes.
The driver of the vehicle was reportedly able to get out and was not seriously injured. Traffic is being diverted onto Shirlington Circle.
Starting Sunday (Aug. 26), I-66 will be hit with overnight lane closures. Over the next two months, lane closures will occur between 9:30 p.m. and 5 a.m. on the eastbound lanes.
The first lane closures will close the outside lane to allow crews to strengthen and repave the shoulder. Once this work is completed, the lanes will shift to allow crews to work on widening the median.
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) warned that late-night travellers to expect delays and urged drivers to use caution near road work.
The repairs are part of the broader I-66 Eastbound Widening Project expected to add a new lane along four miles of I-66 by fall 2020.
The project comes with several local improvements, including new sound barriers, a new bridge over Lee Highway for the Washington and Old Dominion Trail, and constructing a new direct access ramp from I-66 to the West Falls Church Metro Station.
The westbound lanes of Lee Highway near N. Oak Street in Rosslyn are now closed, after a traffic light collapsed and fell on the roadway.
County police have now set up a detour in the area and are advising drivers to follow posted signs around the section of the road.
TRAFFIC ALERT ⚠️: Westbound Lee Highway at N. Oak Street is closed for a downed traffic light. Traffic in the area is being diverted. Follow posted directions. pic.twitter.com/9jwgFAORnL
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) August 20, 2018
The road was first closed around 10:30 a.m.
Photo via @ArlingtonVAPD
Heads up if you’re heading home to Arlington via the Key Bridge tonight — a vehicle fire has closed both lanes heading out of D.C.
D.C. police say some traffic is still flowing into the city, but are otherwise warning of big back-ups heading toward Rosslyn.
Police added that the fire has been put out. No word yet on when the lanes will reopen.
Traffic Alert: NW, OB Key Bridge BLOCKED due to a vehicle fire.[the fire has been knocked]; IB One Lane AVAILABLE
MPD and DCFEMS on the sce
— DC Police Traffic (@DCPoliceTraffic) August 15, 2018
S. Walter Reed Drive is slated for several changes that, among other alterations, are designed to make the roadway more pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly.
Construction kicked off last month (July) between 11th Street S. and 13th Street S. That work is scheduled to be completed later this year and primarily targets S. Walter Reed Drive’s intersection with 12th Street S., improving crosswalks and building curb extensions and new ADA-compliant curb ramps.
Also included in the project is the reconstruction of three raised medians to run along that portion of the roadway and alterations to an existing bike boulevard, which will be moved from 12th Street S. to 11th Street S. between S. Highland and S. Cleveland Streets.
Drivers should expect one travel lane to be closed from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays to accommodate construction. Pedestrians will see sidewalk detours and temporary crosswalks, and on-street parking will be restricted.
That plan has been in the works for years, and the county awarded a $1.8 million contract for it in May. Construction aims to add ADA-compliant bus stops, new crosswalks and curb ramps, more street lighting and improved signals for drivers and pedestrians.
The project also intends to make travel between the Four Mile Run Trail and the Washington & Old Dominion Trail safer and to realign westbound S. Arlington Mill Drive in an effort to make the crossing more accessible to pedestrians and cyclists. The county has been piloting the realignment at the intersection of S. Walter Reed Drive and S. Arlington Mill Drive with a temporary installation since June 2017.
Additional changes to the designated portion of the roadway will include a slight widening of travel lanes and resurfacing.
Plans are underway to address Arlington Memorial Bridge’s crumbling facade and deep structural issues, but over the next week it will mean extra traffic for morning commuters across the bridge.
From today (Monday) until Friday (Aug. 17) two lanes of Arlington Memorial Bridge on the G.W. Parkway will be closed to prepare the bridge for full rehabilitation later this fall. The rightmost westbound lane will be closed from 6 a.m. until 3 p.m. and the center eastbound lane will be closed from 9:30 a.m. until 3 p.m.
The parkway will also see late evening closures over the coming week to prepare the bridge for rehabilitation later this fall. From Wednesday, Aug. 15 until Sunday, Aug. 19, one northbound lane of the parkway will be closed south of Memorial Circle, near the Potomac River. Closures will start at 7 p.m. and end at 5 a.m.
The plan is to move the construction equipment from the road to a fenced staging area on the river. Workers on-site will direct traffic as heavy equipment is moved into the construction site.
Cyclists and pedestrians on the Mount Vernon Trail may also experience delays during this process. While the trail won’t close, the equipment will be passing over the trail and workers onsite will be directing traffic on the trail.
The full bridge rehabilitation later this fall will reduce the bridge to three lanes of traffic: one eastbound, one westbound, and one that will shift to accommodate rush hour traffic.
In 2016, the Federal Highway Administration informed the National Park Service (NPS) that, without repairs, the bridge will require full closure in 2021. According to NPS, the current schedule of closures will help strengthen the bridge; adding new concrete to the roads, reinforcing the rusted steel drawbridge, and making repairs to the underside of the road. The full rehabilitation later this fall will replace the drawbridge span, replace most of the concrete across the bridge with prefabricated concrete panels.
The NPS is also closing lanes on the Windy Run Bridge to keep up with additional bridge rehab needs, with work running through the fall.
Photo via National Park Service
A new water main is almost finished being installed along a portion of Columbia Pike as construction continues on the roadway, according to a July 31 construction update from the county.
The water main work represents part of construction that runs along Columbia Pike from Arlington’s border with Fairfax County through Four Mile Run Drive. Expected to last about three years from its kickoff in February, the project includes moving overhead utilities underground, changing out older water and sewage pipes and making street improvements.
Drivers should continue to expect lane closures and other traffic changes during construction, and should keep an eye out for left turn restrictions in work zones. Pedestrians will see sidewalk detours.
The county expects sanitary sewer updates to begin this month. Planned streetscape improvements will aim to establish wider sidewalks, enhance traffic signals and add new street lights, among other changes.
This work is part of broader Columbia Pike Multimodal Street Improvements, which hope to make the roadway “a safer, more accessible route for all users,” according to the project page.
In all, planned and completed improvements run along Columbia Pike from the county line to S. Joyce Street with work expected to continue through 2021.