Arlington, VA

(Updated at 3:45 p.m.) A large water transmission main serving Arlington ruptured early this morning amid falling temperatures, prompting major closures.

The water main break was first reported around 4:30 a.m. on the Arlington side of Chain Bridge. The northern end of N. Glebe Road, a portion of Chain Bridge Road and Chain Bridge itself were all expected to remain closed throughout the morning rush hour as a result.

(Chain Bridge and Chain Bridge Road has partially reopened as of 9:45 a.m. for drivers heading to and from D.C. and Fairfax County, VDOT said via Twitter.)

The rupture caused a portion of N. Glebe Road, on the hill leading to Chain Bridge, to collapse.

Large water transmission pipes run under the Chain Bridge, bringing water from the Dalecarlia Water Treatment Plant in D.C. into Arlington. The pipe that burst was a 36-inch transmission main, significantly larger than the typical 12-inch residential water main, WTOP reported.

Though as of 6:35 a.m. Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services (DES) reported that “crews have stabilized the transmission main break and pressure is being restored to County water lines,” much of the Arlington’s water service was impacted and nearly half of the county remains under a precautionary boil water advisory.

The boil water advisory is “expected to last until at least Sunday, after a series of testing,” according to Arlington Alert.

The closure of Glebe Road, meanwhile, is currently expected to last at least into the weekend.

The repair of the water main is expected to stretch into late Saturday or even into Sunday, DES Chief Operating Officer Mike Moon tells ARLnow. The road could remain closed until Tuesday, though there’s also a possibility it reopens this weekend, Moon said.

More permanent repairs to the road may be necessary even after it reopens, according to Moon. DES officials are still assessing the situation and expect to provide more information to the public on Saturday.

“It’s a major repair,” said DES spokeswoman Jessica Baxter. “Crews are working as fast as possible… but we don’t have a [solid] timeline for the repair and the restoration of the roadway.”

Moon noted that water service has been restored to most of Arlington thanks to redundancy in the system. There are three large transmission pipes that run from D.C. to Arlington — two hanging under the bridge, one under the river — that supply the county’s water, and there are multiple paths that the water takes into Arlington once its reached the Virginia side of the Potomac.

Arlington Public Schools, meanwhile, have closed today (Friday) due to the lack of water service, though football games will be played tonight

Two community centers are also closed, in addition to all APS facilities. Libraries are open but patrons are encouraged to bring bottled water.

Local restaurants, meanwhile, are using bottled water and disposable plates amid the boil water advisory, according to Washingtonian.

More on the boil water advisory, from a county press release:

As a precaution, Arlington County has issued a Boil Water Advisory for customers in the eastern area of the County (excluding Crystal City) who may be impacted by a large water transmission main break at Glebe Road and Chain Bridge Road. (See area… on the map.) The break caused pressure drops in several locations across the County. The advisory is a safety measure because of the depressurization.

If you live in the affected area, you should bring your water to a rolling boil for three minutes then cool before:

  • Drinking
  • Brushing teeth
  • Washing fruits and vegetables
  • Preparing baby food and formula
  • Making ice
  • Giving to pets

Information will be shared when the advisory has been lifted. Check the County website for updates.

Map via Google Maps. Some photos via Arlington DES/Twitter.

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(Updated at 10 a.m.) Firefighters are on scene of a possible apartment fire at the River Place residential complex in Rosslyn.

Heavy smoke was reported on a lower floor of one of the high-rise buildings, on the 1000 block of Arlington Blvd. A second alarm was dispatched as a precaution, according to scanner traffic.

“Expect a large fire department response in the area,” ACFD said via social media.

Firefighters investigating the source of the smoke now believe it was from a small kitchen fire, which has since been extinguished.

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(Updated at 10:45 a.m.) Arlington Public Schools may shuffle nearly a quarter of its elementary school students around to combat the county’s persistent overcrowding problems.

During a press briefing Wednesday afternoon, school officials proposed moving the majority of McKinley Elementary School students to the new Reed Elementary School, among other switches.

The Arlington School Board is expected to take action on one of two final proposals during its meeting on February 6, 2020. If approved, it would take effect for the 2021-22 school year, per APS spokesman Frank Bellavia.

“Some of our schools can’t manage the student’s lunch time, we have students who eat lunch as early as 10 a.m. and as late as 2 p.m.,” said Lisa Stengle, executive director for the APS Department of Planning and Evaluation.

“We like to keep kids together. The more we can keep groups of kids together, the better,” she said.

The first proposal idea APS shared with parents would mean:

  • The majority of current McKinley students would move to Reed.
  • The Arlington Traditional School (ATS) program would move to the McKinley building.
  • Key Immersion School would move to the Arlington Traditional School building.
  • The Key building would become a neighborhood school.

According to officials, 40% of McKinley students live in the Reed School walk zone, meaning more students who are currently riding the bus would have the option to walk to school. In addition, it would provide 100 additional seats for new ATS students.

The second proposal calls for the same McKinley, Reed, and ATS switches, plus:

  • Campbell Elementary School moving to the ATS building
  • Key, along with its immersion program, would move to the Carlin Springs Elementary School building
  • The majority of students at Carlin Springs would move to the Campbell Elementary School building
  • Campbell building becomes a neighborhood school
  • The Key building becomes a neighborhood school

Both plans are expected to affect some 20-30% of Arlington elementary school students.

“[Moving schools allows] APS to use all schools to maximum capacity, keep together as many students in each school community as possible, and keep as many students as possible walking to their neighborhood schools,” officials said in a press release.

The proposals are a larger part of the APS Elementary School Planning Project, which calls for the planning of capacity solutions as Arlington’s elementary student population is expected to exceed 30,000 by 2023 — with significant growth in the Rosslyn, Ballston, and Columbia Pike areas.

The fiscal impact of either proposal remains to be determined, according to APS Transportation Planning Director Kristen Haldeman.

Alternatively, per the planning website, if APS chooses to only redraw elementary school zoning districts without moving schools, it would affect up to 41 percent of Arlington’s elementary school population and incur additional transportation costs.

In addition, Spengle noted the county will need to build up to three new elementary schools by 2029 in order to accommodate growth, including in and around Pentagon City.

The school system will spend the next several months collecting community feedback before the School Board makes a final decision, with public meetings on:

  • November 5: An online information session on APS Engage in English and Spanish
  • November 5-24: An online community questionnaire at APS Engage
  • November 15 and 22: “Friday Facebook Live” sessions with new FAQs answered.

Several community forums are also scheduled for December, plus a School Board public hearing on January 30 at 7 p.m. in the Syphax Education Center.

The discussions come after APS redrew the boundaries of eight elementary schools last year in order to accommodate the opening of Alice West Fleet Elementary School.

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Updated 10:50 p.m. — The fire alarm has stopped and residents are returning to the building.

First responders are on the scene at 3601 Fairfax Drive where dozens of residents have been evacuated from Latitude Apartments after reports of a fire.

Residents on multiple floors of the building reported seeing and smelling smoke coming out of the building.

Nate and Kelli, two residents of the building, said the alarm went off around 10 p.m. They were on the roof when the alarm went off and they could smell smoke.

As of 10:30 p.m. firefighters were still working through the building.

Airey and Vernon Miles contributed to this story

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(Updated at 6:50 p.m.) A woman was struck by a vehicle on N. Glebe Road in Ballston during the Wednesday evening rush hour.

The crash happened around 5 p.m., at the intersection of Glebe and 11th Street N.

Witnesses told ARLnow that the woman was struck by the driver of a pickup truck, who may have run a red light, though that account and other details could not be immediately confirmed.

The woman was conscious and breathing but bleeding from the head, according to scanner traffic. A Fairfax County ambulance crew that happened to be driving by was the first on scene to start rendering aid.

“The pedestrian, an adult female, was transported to an area hospital with injuries that are considered non-life threatening,” said Arlington County Police spokeswoman Ashley Savage.

Police tell ARLnow that the driver remained on scene and the investigation into the crash is continuing. So far there’s no word of any charges being filed.

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(Updated at 4:40 p.m.) A dump truck overturned on N. Glebe Road, right before Chain Bridge, completely blocking the road to and from the bridge.

The driver was reported to be “severely trapped” in the truck’s cab, prompting a large fire department rescue response, according to scanner traffic. Multiple ambulances were dispatched to the scene, though it’s unclear if anyone else was injured.

The crash also spilled the truck’s load of cinder blocks and construction debris over the roadway. A heavy wrecker was requested to respond to the scene to assist with the cleanup.

The truck crashed after a steep and winding section of Glebe Road, which leads to a traffic signal at the intersection with Chain Bridge Road, just prior to the bridge.

Chain Bridge was expected to remain closed between D.C. and Virginia, and northbound Glebe Road is expected to remain blocked at N. Military Road, for an extended period of time — likely for “several hours.” Heavy traffic was reported on Chain Bridge Road approaching the crash scene this afternoon, with backups starting to extend into Fairfax County.

“Expect major delays as rescue work continues,” advised the Arlington County Fire Department. “Seek an alternate route.”

“Disruptions are anticipated into the evening commute,” Arlington County said via Twitter.

After an extended rescue operation, the trapped driver was removed from the truck just prior to 1 p.m. Glebe reopened to traffic between Chain Bridge Road and Military Road around 2 p.m. Chain Bridge reopened around 4:30 p.m., according to scanner traffic, though for now traffic heading from D.C. must turn on to Chain Bridge Road.

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Property owner JBG Smith announced late Tuesday afternoon a major new redevelopment push in Crystal City in the wake of Amazon’s arrival.

The developer says it is planning to redevelop “approximately 2.6 million square feet of space across five multifamily buildings and one office building.”

“The buildings include 2000 and 2001 South Bell Street (formerly 2001 Richmond Highway), 223 23rd Street, 2300 Crystal Drive, and 2525 Crystal Drive, which are all within a half mile of the Metro and Amazon’s new headquarters,” the company said in a press release.

That’s addition to JBG’s existing plans to renovate an office building at 1770 Crystal Drive, add new apartments to the Riverhouse complex in Pentagon City, and build twin apartment towers at 1900 Crystal Drive.

“The submissions are part of JBG SMITH’s ongoing collaboration with Arlington County and private sector partners to deliver a mix of new housing, retail, office, and public spaces to National Landing,” says the press release. “This is an important step toward delivering additional housing units and retail amenities in National Landing, which will help meet anticipated new housing demand and mitigate upward pressure on rents.”

JBG said it plans to offer a community benefit package to include new open space and infrastructure upgrades as part of the redevelopment.

“While the final benefits will be determined through a collaborative process with Arlington County, the package is anticipated to include the creation of new public open spaces, improved pedestrian circulation, and transportation upgrades,” the press release said.

A map of the redevelopment (above) released by JBG Smith also references planned upgrades to Route 1, which may include removal of overpasses near the Crystal City Metro station.

Reached by phone, a spokeswoman declined to comment further, referring ARLnow to the press release.

The full release is below.

JBG SMITH (NYSE: JBGS), a leading owner and developer of high-quality, mixed-use properties in the Washington, DC market, today announced that it has submitted plans to Arlington County for the redevelopment of approximately 2.6 million square feet of space across five multifamily buildings and one office building. The buildings include 2000 and 2001 South Bell Street (formerly 2001 Richmond Highway), 223 23rd Street, 2300 Crystal Drive, and 2525 Crystal Drive, which are all within a ½ mile of the Metro and Amazon’s new headquarters.

The submissions are part of JBG SMITH’s ongoing collaboration with Arlington County and private sector partners to deliver a mix of new housing, retail, office, and public spaces to National Landing. These projects are anticipated to follow 1900 Crystal Drive and RiverHouse Apartments, which are already moving through the entitlement process. Taken together, these projects constitute over half of JBG SMITH’s 6.9 million square foot Future Development Pipeline in National Landing. Based on current plans, JBG SMITH expects the 6.9 million square feet to comprise approximately 2.2 million square feet of office and 4.7 million square feet of multifamily, totaling approximately 4,000 to 5,000 units, which will all have ground floor retail. This is an important step toward delivering additional housing units and retail amenities in National Landing, which will help meet anticipated new housing demand and mitigate upward pressure on rents.

In addition, JBG SMITH has broken ground on 1770 Crystal Drive and Central District Retail, which are both currently under construction. JBG SMITH is also serving as the fee developer for Amazon’s new headquarters and the master developer for the Virginia Tech Innovation Campus.

JBG SMITH’s submission includes a robust set of community benefits that will achieve several key Sector Plan objectives, including the dedication of open space, upgrades to the streetscape, and infrastructure enhancements. While the final benefits will be determined through a collaborative process with Arlington County, the package is anticipated to include the creation of new public open spaces, improved pedestrian circulation, and transportation upgrades.

“In reimagining this vital stretch along Crystal Drive and 23rd Street, we are focused on the goals of Arlington County’s Sector Plan, as well as our collective desire to foster a vibrant, architecturally distinct 18-hour environment throughout National Landing,” said Bryan Moll, Executive Vice President at JBG SMITH. “We look forward to working with the County to review and refine our proposals, which will significantly enhance the public’s experience at the street level and add a host of new housing and amenities for the community.”

JBG SMITH expects to commence construction on these developments after receipt of final entitlements, subject to preleasing and market conditions.

JBG SMITH and National Landing

National Landing is the newly defined interconnected and walkable neighborhood that encompasses Crystal City, the eastern portion of Pentagon City and the northern portion of Potomac Yard. Situated across the Potomac River from Washington, DC, National Landing is a well-located urban community known for its adjacency to Reagan National Airport and walkable environment featuring offices, apartments and hotels. JBG SMITH currently owns 6.2 million square feet of existing office space, 2,850 units of existing multifamily space, and controls 6.9 million square feet of additional development opportunities in National Landing, excluding Amazon’s land purchase.

In addition to the Amazon project, JBG SMITH has broken ground on Central District Retail, a 109,000 square foot entertainment and shopping destination that will serve as the retail heart of National Landing. JBG SMITH also expects to start construction on 1900 Crystal Drive next year, which currently comprises two residential towers with shops and green spaces at the base. The retail components of these two projects are expected to deliver almost 150,000 square feet of street-level retail featuring an Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, specialty grocer, restaurants, bars, and other experiential offerings.

About JBG SMITH

JBG SMITH is an S&P 400 company that owns, operates, invests in, and develops a dynamic portfolio of high-quality mixed-use properties in and around Washington, DC. Through an intense focus on placemaking, JBG SMITH cultivates vibrant, amenity-rich, walkable neighborhoods throughout the Capital region, including National Landing where it now serves as the exclusive developer for Amazon’s new headquarters. JBG SMITH’s portfolio currently comprises 20.6 million square feet of high-quality office, multifamily and retail assets, 98% at our share of which are Metro-served. It also maintains a robust future pipeline encompassing 18.7 million square feet of mixed-use development opportunities. For more information on JBG SMITH please visit www.jbgsmith.com.

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(Updated at 4:05 p.m.) All lanes of Columbia Pike were blocked Monday afternoon after a pedestrian was struck and injured in a reported hit and run crash.

Initial reports suggest a woman was struck by the driver of a van while crossing the street near the Sunoco station on the western end of the Pike in Arlington. The van fled the scene after the crash, according to scanner traffic.

The woman was said to have been conscious but lying in the roadway and bleeding from the head when police arrived. Her injuries were initially thought to be potentially life-threatening, but were later determined to be minor and non-life-threatening, according to police.

The victim was rushed via ambulance to a local trauma center.

Columbia Pike is completely blocked between S. Greenbrier Street and the Arlington Mill Community Center. The road expected to remain at least partially blocked for an extended period of time while detectives investigate the crash.

Police are now seeking a white work van last seen heading north on S. Greenbrier Street.

The crash happened shortly before 2:40 p.m., at a crosswalk with high-visibility crossing lights.

As of 3 p.m., bloodied clothing could be seen balled up on the asphalt as police cars blocked off the scene. Later, detectives could be seen walking the roadway.

As of 4:05 p.m., all lanes of the Pike had reopened to traffic, according to Arlington Alert.

Vernon Miles contributed to this report

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(Updated at 3 p.m) As calls among Democrats for President Donald Trump’s impeachment grow louder, Arlington’s local congressman is helping to lead the chorus.

In May, Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) become the first member of Virginia’s Congressional delegation to call for an impeachment inquiry. Now, Beyer tells ARLnow that the latest accusations against Trump — that he withheld military aid from Ukraine before pressuring the county’s president to investigate presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son and his business dealings there — are “a turning point” for going further.

“I really don’t see any alternative to actual Articles of Impeachment right now,” Beyer said early Tuesday afternoon. “If we don’t act now, I think we lose all credibility as elected representatives and we violate our oath of office.”

“The notion of colluding with a foreign government, threatening to withhold military support… all basically to convince a foreign government to dig up dirt on a political opponent, it just boggles the mind,” he continued. “This is incredibly creative, nauseating corruption.”

Later, at an American Federation of Government Employees rally near the Capitol, Beyer remarked that “it’s a beautiful afternoon for a rally and a beautiful day to impeach a president,” according to a CNN journalist.

Beyer’s remarks come amid rapid-fire developments in the emerging Ukraine scandal.

Seven freshman House Democrats in conservative districts penned a Washington Post op-ed Monday, saying the Ukraine allegations, if true “represent an impeachable offense.” Civil rights icon and influential Congressional Black Caucus member Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) delivered a lunchtime speech on the House floor today endorsing impeachment proceedings. Joe Biden is also expected to endorse impeachment “if the White House refuses to comply with requests for information from Congress.” And after long avoiding calls for impeachment, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) reportedly now will call for a formal impeachment inquiry.

Beyer said he plans to attend a Democratic House caucus meeting at 4 p.m. today, after which Pelosi is expected to make an announcement.

“I imagine there will be very few negative voices on impeachment today,” Beyer said, though he added that he believes Pelosi has been right to hold off on impeachment proceedings up until now.

Beyer’s path from supporting an impeachment inquiry this spring to, now, pushing to prepare the Articles of Impeachment and debate them on the House floor, was informed by the seriousness of the new charges, he said.

“Is this serious enough to bring to the House floor, to the American people?” he asked rhetorically. “I’m convinced that the events of the last few days wholly satisfy that test.”

Beyer added that constituents emailing and calling his office have shifted from urging cautious action and focusing on beating Trump in the 2020 election to “100% impeach.”

“There’s this huge sense of helplessness out there that a president can completely ignore the law and destroy the dignity of the office, with no meaningful pushback from the other parts of government,” he said. “The middle has moved completely towards impeachment.”

Beyer acknowledged that the GOP-controlled Senate would be very unlikely to reach the supermajority vote required to remove Trump from office should the House approve Articles of Impeachment. That, however, could change.

“Today, no. But I think after the activity on the House floor it could be very different,” he told ARLnow. “If I were a Republican… I’d want to distance myself from him as soon as possible.”

Should Trump leave office and Vice President Pence, a former Arlington resident, ascend to the presidency, Beyer said it would likely be a net improvement in terms of leadership.

“From a policy standpoint I wouldn’t expect a lot of difference,” the congressman said. “But I would hope that if it was President Pence that he would bring a greater sense of gravity and seriousness and leadership to the position than the narcissistic chaos of Donald Trump.”

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(Updated at 12:30 p.m.) Arlington County Police responded en masse to an incident at the Ballston Quarter mall Saturday night.

In a 8:50 p.m. emergency alert, Arlington County described the incident as a “possible shooting.” Initial reports suggest a panic at the Regal Cinemas movie theater after a group of teens started shouting about an active shooter.

No evidence of a shooting was found, though police continued to search the theater throughout the night.

On Sunday morning, police said one juvenile male shouted about a shooter during a movie, leading to the panic. No shooting actually occurred, police confirmed.

The panic prompted people to flee and hide, though many sheltered in place in the theaters. In the Quarter Market food hall, below the mall, police responded to a report of people who had locked themselves in freezers. Some neighboring businesses including the Shake Shack across the street locked their doors while customers sought shelter.

One person suffered a minor injury as the mall was evacuated, police said.

Speaking to reporters, a group of Yorktown High School students who were watching IT Chapter 2 in the theater said the screen suddenly went blank and officers entered the theater, saying they were investigating a possible active shooteriVideo shows the students and other patrons walking out of the theater with their hands above their head, at the direction of police.

“It was scarier than the actual movie,” one teen said.

Another video, taken from across the street from the mall shortly after the initial report of a shooter, shows people running from the mall as sirens blared.

The panic spread as police responded to at least two other reports of armed suspects along the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor.

Around 9:15 p.m., numerous officers responded to the Uncle Julio’s restaurant in Ballston for an unconfirmed report of either a man with a gun or an active shooting. Scanner traffic later suggested that it was actually an angry customer, not a shooting.

Earlier, police also responded to the Clarendon Trader Joe’s for a report of a man with a gun and body armor. A suspect was detained but later released after an investigation determined he was legally open carrying a gun, a police spokeswoman said.

The U.S. Park Police Eagle 1 helicopter could be seen flying overhead Ballston during the incident, assisting with the search for any possible suspects, but was later cleared to return to D.C. Park Police, Metro Transit Police, Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority Police, the Federal Protective Service and Falls Church Police were among the law enforcement agencies that responded to the initial shooting reports with ACPD.

Roads around the mall are blocked by police. Officers have cleared crowds of pedestrians from outside the front of the mall, though many — including large groups of mall employees — were still standing along Wilson Blvd on either side of the mall more than an hour after the first 911 call.

There is no timetable for the mall, its parking garage and the roads around the mall reopening, Arlington County Police spokeswoman Ashley Savage told ARLnow shortly after 10 p.m., noting that officers were still conducting a “thorough” search of the building.

Video (top) courtesy Gibson L. Video (below) courtesy Naki Mendoza. Screenshot via @JasonSurbey/Twitter.

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Update on 9/11/19 — The victim has succumbed to her injuries, police say.

Earlier: A woman suffered critical injuries after being struck by a vehicle in Arlington’s Williamsburg neighborhood last night, police say.

The pedestrian crash happened around 8:15 p.m. Wednesday at the intersection of Little Falls Road and N. Ohio Street, near Nottingham Elementary School.

“Police were dispatched to the report of a pedestrian-involved crash,” said Arlington County Police spokeswoman Kirby Clark. “The pedestrian, an adult female, was transported to an area hospital with critical injuries.”

Clark said the driver of the striking vehicle remained on scene. ACPD’s Critical Accident Team is investigating the crash.

The victim, whose name and age were not released, remains in critical condition in a local hospital as of noon Thursday, according to Clark. The woman was walking three dogs at the time of the crash, one of which died at a local animal hospital and another of which was injured, she said.

On a neighborhood listserv, a local resident noted that the scene was just steps from where a local mother was struck and killed by a passing truck in 2014.

“It’s been ANOTHER accident waiting to happen!” the resident wrote of the intersection, which is only a 2-way stop . “The children on my block, including my own, saw this poor woman bleeding in the road. I don’t want them or any of us to have to see this again.”

Map via Google Maps

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