The West Glebe Road bridge partially reopened yesterday, though pedestrian and bicycle traffic will have to wait to make use of the span over Four Mile Run.
The bridge had severely deteriorated, requiring partial closures over the years until the bridge was fully closed last summer.
Work then began to replace the deteriorated roadway substructure, while reusing existing piers to shorten the construction time and keep costs down, according to Arlington County.
The bridge partially reopened yesterday (Wednesday) with one lane open in each direction.
According to the county website:
As of March 8, 2023, the West Glebe Road bridge is open to motor vehicle traffic, with one lane open in each direction. Pedestrian and bike traffic will continue to detour on the temporary bridge to the east of the main bridge.
The bridge is expected to fully open in summer of 2023, after completion of work on parapets, substructure, and streetlights.
The county says the next phase of construction will see the bike lane, curb and sidewalk put into place.
The Four Mile Run Trail underpass on the north end of the bridge remains closed until reconstruction is completed.
Some breaking news on the West Glebe Bridge: pic.twitter.com/QQV38teGd2
— Justin Wilson (@justindotnet) March 9, 2023
Repairs are in progress on the bridge that takes traffic from southbound I-395 to Route 1 in the Crystal City area.
The $4 million Virginia Dept. of Transportation project will “improve safety and extend the overall life of the bridge,” which was originally built in 1976.
More from a VDOT press release:
Repairs are underway on the weight-restricted (20 tons) southbound I-395/Route 1 Exit 8C bridge, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation. The project will improve safety and extend the overall life of the bridge, which carries southbound Route 1 over the 395 Express Lanes, the northbound I-395 general purpose lanes and northbound Route 110.
The project includes retrofitting and spot painting structural steel, and replacing the catcher beam system and strip seal at the joint.
During the project, some day and overnight single-lane closures may be scheduled, along with occasional overnight full closures of the bridge with detours.
The bridge, which was originally built in 1976 and rehabilitated in 1999, is about a fifth of a mile long and averages 20,000 vehicles a day.
The $4 million project is financed with federal and state funding and is scheduled for completion in late 2023. […]
Drivers are reminded to use caution when traveling in active work zones. Be alert to new traffic patterns and limit distractions.
The entrance to the bridge has been the scene of numerous crashes caused by drivers trying to exit across multiple lanes at the last second, as documented by public safety watcher Dave Statter.
Plans to replace the nearly 70-year-old Mount Vernon Avenue Bridge are set to move forward with more than $17 million in state funding.
On Saturday, the Arlington County Board is slated to accept the state funding and adopt a resolution committing the county to pitch in local funding. The $28 million project is in an early design phase, according to the county’s project webpage.
“The Mount Vernon Avenue bridge project will replace the deteriorated roadway substructure and reuse the existing piers, which are stable,” per a county report. “The new bridge will include wider sidewalks and bike lanes in both directions.”
The project will extend the new sidewalks and bike lanes to the intersection of Arlington Ridge Road and S. Glebe Road and improve connections from the bridge to the Four Mile Run Trail, according to the county. The northern sidewalks are currently closed to prevent more wear and tear.
The Mount Vernon Avenue bridge is one of five bridges that allow vehicle traffic across Four Mile Run, between Arlington County and the City of Alexandria. It and the W. Glebe Road bridge, both built in the 1950s, were found to be structurally deficient in 2018 and identified for replacement.
“Both bridges are of a similar design and construction and have experienced significant deterioration as they approach the end of their useful life,” according to a county report.
This spring, after a number of weight and access restrictions, the W. Glebe Road Bridge was closed to allow for the replacement of the road deck and beams. Work on the Mount Vernon Avenue Bridge will begin after this bridge reopens.
“The replacement of the West Glebe Road bridge is expected to be substantially completed in fall of 2023 and will be fully open to motorized and non-motorized traffic prior to construction commencing on the Mount Vernon Avenue bridge,” per the report.
Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services posted a photo last week of concrete being poured for the bridge replacement project.
This just in from the West Glebe Road bridge. Here we see concrete being piped in from above while crews make it smooth on the bridge deck. Who wants to build their own at home with their Legos? ✋https://t.co/iBZpWFf691 pic.twitter.com/ESyHwH1YqH
— Arlington Department of Environmental Services (@ArlingtonDES) December 8, 2022
The Mount Vernon Avenue Bridge will remain open to motorists, pedestrians and cyclists during construction, although there will be vehicle travel lane reductions, per the county website.
Arlington County and the City of Alexandria will hire a firm to complete the designs, which are currently 30% complete. Then, the project will go out for bid and a contractor will be selected.
“The new bridge will include integrated art elements by artist Vicki Scuri that will enhance the bridge aesthetically,” according to the county report. “The new bridge and the integrated art elements will be completed simultaneously.”
The county says her forthcoming art installation for the Mount Vernon Avenue Bridge will provide more lighting on the Four Mile Run trail and “connect the design of the bridge to the communities of Arlington and Alexandria,” per the project webpage.
Commuters may be familiar with a current example of Scuri’s work adorning a bridge over Route 50. Her work will also be incorporated into the W. Glebe Road Bridge replacement.
The two bridge replacement projects are funded with a combination of local and state dollars as well as federal funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which President Joe Biden signed last year.
Of the $17.2 million in state funding that the County Board is set to appropriate, about $4.2 million comes with a local funding requirement. This will be shared equally between Arlington and Alexandria under the terms of an intergovernmental agreement that governs their joint responsibility to maintain and inspect the bridges and share short- and long-term rehabilitation and replacement costs.
A pedestrian bridge in the Rosslyn area is closed after inspectors founds something worrisome.
The bridge over Route 50, connecting N. Fairfax Drive and Fort Myer Drive in the Radnor-Fort Myer Heights neighborhood, was found to have deteriorating concrete in sections, according to Arlington County. The span is closed while crews work on repairs.
More from a county press release:
Engineers are closing the pedestrian bridge connecting North Fairfax Drive to Fort Myer Drive over Arlington Boulevard, effective immediately, as a result of a bridge inspection today, Thursday, December 8, out of an abundance of caution.
Pedestrian access over Arlington Boulevard will be maintained on the Rhodes Street bridge to the west and North Meade Street to the east.
The restrictions will stay in place until further notice. The Arlington Boulevard multi-use trail will remain open on the north side of the bridge.
Crews had been conducting maintenance work on the bridge’s surface. An inspection revealed deterioration of the concrete in some sections of the bridge. The bridge will be temporarily closed while crews work on these repairs.
It’s a little less park-like than New York City’s High Line, but Arlington County has come up with a concept for new pedestrian bridge from Crystal City to National Airport.
Now, it is asking people to share their feedback.
Over the past year, the county, the Virginia Department of Transportation and a Boston-based civil engineering firm have evaluated 16 possible bridge and tunnel connections across active train tracks, the GW Parkway and National Park Service land.
After concluding the site could not accommodate tunnel entrances, VDOT and the county were left to consider two bridges. Today (Tuesday), Arlington launched a public engagement period for a preferred alternative, moving the needle forward on what’s being called the Crystal City to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport Multimodal Connection project — or CC2DCA.
The county proposes starting the bridge at the planned Virginia Railway Express Crystal City station at 2011 Crystal Drive and ending in the second level of DCA’s Terminal 2 parking garage.
If built, it would take about five minutes to walk the 1,300 feet from the station to the airport, per a press release from the National Landing Business Improvement District.
The bridge would be an enclosed girder bridge running perpendicular to the rail tracks.
Then, the CC2DCA would run at an angle over the GW Parkway.
Initially, the county considered an arch bridge, but a bridge supported with girders would allow the county to link the connector with the Mount Vernon Trail without re-aligning it, per a staff presentation.
Once it links up with DCA’s Terminal 2 parking garage, pedestrians would have a dedicated walkway through the garage to the terminal. This path would eliminate 40 parking spaces, according to the presentation.
Ballpark estimates put the project at $43 million, the presentation said. So far, CC2DCA already has over $38 million in committed funds.
Now through Nov. 6, people can share their feedback in English, Spanish and Chinese, attend a public meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 25, or submit comments via email, according to the project webpage.
“The team is sharing concepts to make sure needs and priorities are aligned,” Dept. of Environmental Services spokeswoman Claudia Pors tells ARLnow. “This is the preferred recommended alternative to date, but it hasn’t been approved by any agencies as of now.”
After collecting public feedback, the county plans to present its recommendation to federal agencies in December, Pors said.
The preferred alternative could be confirmed by next spring and the design phase could start by the end of 2023, per the National Landing BID press release.
The second-place contender would have started at 2231 Crystal Drive and ended at the third level of the Terminal 2 parking garage. Staff ultimately decided against it because it was projected to cost $64.5 million, would eliminate 130 parking spaces at the airport and it would not be as centrally located for rail users, per the staff presentation.
First Day of School Three Weeks Away –” It seems as if summer just started, but before you know it, the 2022-23 school year in Arlington will be starting. The first day of classes for Arlington Public Schools is Monday, Aug. 29.” [Patch]
Pet Adoptions Down Slightly — “The Animal Welfare League of Arlington reports that 2,444 cats, dogs and small animals were adopted from its shelter during the 12-month period ending June 30. That’s down slightly from the 2,587 in the preceding year, which may be a positive sign that things are calming down in the get-along-with-COVID world that is now being experienced.” [Sun Gazette]
Another Gun Seized at Airport — ” Transportation Security Administration officers at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington stopped a Charlottesville man on Wednesday from bringing his loaded handgun onto a flight… The man told officials that he was in a rush to fly to Florida to attend a funeral and ‘forgot that he had his loaded gun with him,’ according to TSA.” [Patch]
Arlington Man Charged With Robbery — “The investigation determined the suspect entered into the business, selected a beverage and allegedly attempted to leave without paying. A female employee confronted the suspect, who ignored her and selected additional merchandise. The employee attempted to stop the suspect, during which he struck her before fleeing the scene on foot. During the course of the investigation, it was determined that the suspect had stolen merchandise from an additional business.” [ACPD]
West Glebe Bridge Demolition — “After months of being closed, much of West Glebe Road Bridge has finally been torn down ahead of eventual reconstruction. Demolition started earlier this week and is expected to finish by the week of Sept. 5. Demolition work is expected to continue Monday-Friday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.” [ALXnow]
It’s Monday — Humid throughout the day. High of 91 and low of 76. Sunrise at 6:17 am and sunset at 8:13 pm. [Weather.gov]
New Rail Bridge Design Revealed — “The new rail bridge will be built with many of the features in the existing span, including its structure, material and form, with steel girders and similar pier spacing, according to preliminary site plans approved this month by the National Capital Planning Commission. The plans also call for the use of Ashlar stone cladding for the bridge piers, and abutments and walls near the George Washington Memorial Parkway.” [Washington Post]
County Board Approves ‘Heights’ Parking — From School Board member Barbara Kanninen: “‘APS did us a solid.’ Thx @kcristol for that comment regarding our hosting the County’s temp fire station for several years! Glad to see the use permit for Phase 2 [of The Heights building in Rosslyn] approved this morning, providing important universal access improvements for all students, esp @APS_Shriver.” [Twitter]
APS Hiring Hundreds of Teachers — “Officials in Arlington Public Schools will also spend the summer working to fill an atypically large number of empty positions. Arlington, which enrolls 27,045 students, according to state data, saw 284 teachers resign between August 2021 and mid-May 2022. The district usually employs about 3,000 teachers, per spokesman Frank Bellavia. That is 96 percent higher than the average number of resignations between 2018-2019 and 2020-2021: 145.” [Washington Post]
Free Chicken Today — “July 18th is Nelson Mandela’s birthday. His birthday is recognized and celebrated world wide as Mandela day; a day for us all to inspire change and make a difference in our communities. At Nando’s we are proud of our South African heritage. We will join in celebrating his birthday on July 18th by following his example and giving back to our communities.” [Nando’s Peri Peri]
Cyclist Struck on Busy Ramp — “Police, fire on scene of cyclist struck by driver on the WB Route 50 / Washington Blvd ramp. Cyclist was thrown from bike and is being treated by medics, per scanner.” [Twitter]
Treasurer Honored, Again — “Arlington County Treasurer Carla de la Pava received the President’s Award for her service and leadership to the Treasurers’ Association of Virginia (TAV). The award was presented during the association’s annual conference in June. It is the second time de la Pava has be recognized with the President’s Award.” [Arlington County]
More Bad Driving on I-395 — From Dave Statter: “You’ll want to see this one. Driver goes bowling with the barrels & almost takes one along for the ride. @VaDOTNOVA time for clean-up again on aisle 8C.” [Twitter]
It’s Monday — Mostly cloudy, with rain and possible storms in the evening. High of 88 and low of 74. Sunrise at 5:59 am and sunset at 8:33 pm. [Weather.gov]
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
Five “Complete Streets” roadway project designs are ready for community feedback.
As part of Arlington County’s Complete Streets program, the projects aim to improve safety and access on local roads. The changes are usually made in conjunction with repaving projects and mostly involve re-striping the roadway, sometimes at the expense of parking or through lanes.
According to the project website, the five stretches of roadway that are up for improvements this year are:
- Wilson Boulevard — N. George Mason Drive to N. Vermont Street (Bluemont)
- Clarendon Boulevard — N. Garfield Street to N. Adams Street (Clarendon / Courthouse)
- Clarendon Boulevard — Courthouse Road to N. Scott Street (Courthouse / Rosslyn)
- S. Abingdon Street / 34th Street S. — Bridge over I-395 (Fairlington)
- N. Ohio Street — 12th Road N. to Washington Boulevard (Madison Manor / Highland Park-Overlee Knolls / Dominion Hills)
Those interested in giving feedback on the designs can fill out an online form on the project website through Wednesday, July 6. The final plans are expected to be released in late summer or fall.
S. Abingdon Street bridge
The county’s Department of Environmental Services plans to remove under-utilized parking from the S. Abingdon Street bridge over I-395 in Fairlington.
The project would add buffer zones to the bike lanes to improve access for cyclists and safety for those using the sidewalks, while narrowing the travel lanes for speed control, according to its concept design summary.
Residents previously expressed concern about drivers speeding on the bridge while students walk to and from school.
The bridge is also part of a planned VDOT rehabilitation project, which will include adding concrete protective barriers and replacing bearings.
Wilson Blvd between N. George Mason Drive to N. Vermont Street
The segment of Wilson Blvd in Bluemont between N. George Mason Drive and N. Vermont Street, near Ballston, could see additional high contrast markings at high conflict crosswalks, according to the designs.
The plan is to reduce Wilson Blvd to one travel lane in each direction, with a center turn lane into N. George Mason Drive to better control vehicle speed.
The design plan also includes modifying markings to extend the left turn lane near N. George Mason Drive. The project would also add bike lanes and a continuous center turn lane east of the fire station.
The section of Wilson Blvd between George Mason and the Safeway grocery store saw similar changes last year.
Clarendon Blvd from N. Garfield Street to N. Adams Street
A segment of Clarendon Blvd is set for changes between N. Garfield Street and N. Adams Street, in the Clarendon and Courthouse area, including the removal of nine parking spots.
Apart from reducing parking spaces, the project team also plans to add high contrast markings at high conflict crosswalks. A bike box is set to be added at Clarendon Boulevard’s intersection with N. Garfield Street to make turning easier for cyclists.
The plan will also add parking protection to the bike lane between N. Garfield Street and N. Edgewood Street. A county summary says residents in the area expressed concern about speeding, unsafe pedestrian crossings and double parking in the bike lane.
The 21st Street N. bridge over I-66 is set to get a minor makeover.
The bridge — located north of Courthouse, near the MOM’s Organic Market — was built in 1980 and carries around 1,400 vehicles per day. It was described as “deteriorating” in a project review carried out by the Virginia Department of Transportation in 2017.
VDOT plans to resurface the concrete bridge deck, close the deck joints, repair the concrete piers and abutments of the bridge, as well as replace its bearings, according to a news release. The project is not expected to change the width of the existing lanes and sidewalks on the bridge, which is also located near McCoy Park.
Construction is scheduled to begin next summer. The work is not expected to close any existing roads that may significantly disrupt traffic, according to the project’s website, and should improve the bridge’s safety and longevity.
The estimated cost is $3.4 million, which is paid for by federal and state funds, including money from Virginia’s State of Good Repair program, VDOT said.
A virtual public meeting is set for 7 p.m. tomorrow (Tuesday), during which the project team is scheduled to give a presentation and answer questions from the audience.
Those interested in participating can register for the meeting on the project website beforehand. Those who do not register can instead call 1-866-901-6455 to listen in on the meeting, according to VDOT.
After the meeting, interested members of the public will be able to voice their opinions on the project through an online form, email or U.S. Mail. The public comment period is set to end on Monday, July 11.
Map via Google Maps
Arlington Medic Saves Man at Nats Game — “The Clements were sitting in the front row of section 209 when John suffered a heart attack. He thought he was going to die… Jamie Jill, an Arlington County EMT, and Lindy Prevatt, an emergency room nurse, were sitting in different sections when they saw something was wrong and jumped into action.” [NBC 4]
Arlington Soccer Players on National TV — A group of Arlington Soccer players were prominently featured last night on an NBC Nightly News segment on the 50th anniversary of Title IX. [Twitter]
Would-Be Candidate Changes Mind — “Brandon Clark is officially off the Nov. 8 ballot for School Board after he decided not to make the run. Clark, a public-school teacher, initially announced plans to seek the Democratic endorsement for the School Board seat being vacated by Barbara Kanninen. But he later dropped that bid, saying he instead would run as an independent in the general election. Then he changed his mind again, getting out of the race entirely.” [Sun Gazette]
Rail Bridge Proposal Advancing — “For now, a single rail bridge carries millions of Amtrak and Virginia Railway Express passengers and freight trains between Virginia and D.C. each year. But a $1.8 billion expansion plan to ease that congestion and add a new bridge for pedestrians and cyclists spanning the Potomac River is picking up steam… The National Capital Planning Commission is scheduled to vote July 7 on the project’s preliminary site development plans.” [Washington Business Journal]
May Home Sales Stayed Strong — “It’s an admittedly lagging indicator in a fast-evolving market, but Arlington home sales held up strong in May, according to new data, overcoming inventory challenges and a more complex economic environment. A total of 313 properties went to closing during the month, down just 6 (or 1.9%) from a year before.” [Sun Gazette]
It’s Thursday — Rain in the morning and afternoon. High of 74 and low of 64. Sunrise at 5:45 am and sunset at 8:39 pm. [Weather.gov]
From a new Columbia Pike library to a dedicated pickleball court, County Manager Mark Schwartz’s proposed 10-year $3.9 billion capital improvement plan would fund projects across Arlington.
The first 10-year plan for capital projects in four years would budget for infrastructure projects between 2023 and 2032. The CIP proposal, slated for adoption in July, is a 40% increase from the plan approved four years ago, Schwartz said in his presentation to the County Board Tuesday.
“This CIP proposal aims to address current and future capital needs in Arlington County as we emerge from the financial setbacks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Schwartz said in a statement. “We want to focus on key planned investments in addition to following through on commitments from prior plans to benefit county residents and businesses long-term.”
Stormwater projects would receive $331.3 million in funding, including $77 million for Spout Run, $14.7 million for Torreyson Run, $28.5 million for Crossman Run and $49.5 million for Lubber Run — all flood mitigation efforts. Streams and water quality funding is proposed at $52.1 million and maintenance at $50.2 million.
While Metro remains one of the largest investments in the CIP, at $356.4 million, the proposal also outlines $1.8 billion in non-Metro transportation funding. This includes $16 million for Vision Zero street safety improvements program, $64 million for bridge replacements and renovations, and $89 million for bike and walk programs.
Other highlights include:
- Columbia Pike library replacement ($31.6 million)
- Planning for future investment at the Quincy Street site ($16.4 million)
- Army Navy Country Club Trail ($4.9 million)
- Maintenance and expansion of Capital Bikeshare program ($16.8 million)
- Continued funding for Columbia Pike transportation improvements, supporting the remaining reconstruction and the Transit Station program ($117 million)
- Bridge replacements and renovations, including replacing the W. Glebe Road and Mt. Vernon (Arlington Ridge Road) bridges and design and construction of Shirlington Road Bridge ($64 million)
- Construction of new entrances to the Ballston ($147.5 million) and Crystal City ($91.4 million) Metro stations and investment in the transitway extension to Pentagon City and Potomac Avenue ($33 million)
The proposed CIP includes new park programs that focus on emerging needs and natural resiliency, a new fire station on the west end of Columbia Pike, and facilities consolidation to enable remote work for county staff.
Schwartz said the needs of the county have changed since the last 10-year CIP, as the county is in “a world shaped by the pandemic where we do our business differently.”
Michelle Cowan, deputy county manager overseeing the Department of Management and Finance, noted during the presentation that the finance department works entirely remotely now, potentially a harbinger of a money-saving reduction in the county’s office footprint.
“We have reduced our footprint which… allows us then to do some really strategic consolidations that you’ll hear about in other county buildings that could get us out of some aging assets,” Cowan said.
The CIP will continue to fund debt service obligations for the investment in housing at Barcroft Apartments, construction of Fire Station 8, which is scheduled to be completed in fall 2023, and the design and planning process for the proposed Arlington boathouse.
Preliminary construction funding for the lower boathouse site is included in the later years of the CIP.
This CIP returns funding levels for the Arlington Neighborhoods Program, formerly the Neighborhood Conservation Program, which are projects identified by individual neighborhoods and include street improvements, streetlights, parks, beautification and sidewalks. The program had steep cuts in previous CIPs.
The 2023-32 CIP proposal would provide $85.2 million in funding to the program. That includes $4 million of funding for projects in fiscal years 2023 and 2024, and would increase to $9 million in 2030 and 2031, Director of Management and Finance Maria Meredith said.