Arlington, VA

(Updated at 9:45 p.m.) Traffic throughout Arlington has reached apocalyptic levels as the closure of the Beltway’s Inner Loop continues well into the night.

Shortly before 2 p.m., a tanker truck overturned as part of a multi-vehicle crash just prior the American Legion Bridge. The cleanup from the crash and the hazmat response from a fuel spill prompted the complete closure of I-495 northbound before the bridge, sending tens of thousands of drivers bound for Maryland and D.C. into Arlington to try to make it across the remaining Potomac bridges.

In Fairfax County, that has meant gridlock on main eastbound arteries like Chain Bridge Road and Georgetown Pike. In Arlington, it has resulted in the following almost unthinkable traffic scenarios as of 9 p.m. on an otherwise clear and calm day:

  • Both directions of I-66 are jammed between Glebe Road and the Roosevelt Bridge.
  • Northbound N. Glebe Road is a virtual parking lot for more than two miles from just past Washington Golf and Country Club to Chain Bridge. The backups have been getting longer as the night goes on.
  • Northbound Military Road is a solid line of traffic from Zachary Taylor Park to the Glebe Road on-ramp. Police have shut down access to the road at Nelly Custis Drive, according to a tipster.
  • Side streets in the Old Glebe neighborhood are filled with cars attempting to find shortcuts.
  • Eastbound Route 50 is “in gridlock from Pershing Drive.”
  • Numerous highway on-ramps throughout Arlington have been closed by police to try to control traffic.
  • Eastbound Lee Highway is backed up to the MOM’s Organic Market.
  • Multiple intersections in Rosslyn are reported to be near-gridlock near Key Bridge, with police on scene directing traffic.
  • Northbound I-395 is crawling past Pentagon City.

The Inner Loop remains completely closed and is expected to remain closed until midnight or later.

The nightmare traffic has led to hours in the car for commuters and some frayed nerves. Police have responded to numerous reports of road rage incidents, as well as crashes on traffic-clogged streets.

More from social media:

Maps via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

APS on Two Hour Delay — Arlington Public Schools are opening today on a two hour delay. “The Extended Day program will also open two hours late and morning field trips are canceled,” APS said. [Twitter]

Chain Bridge Closes Due to Ice — Chain Bridge was closed for much of the morning rush hour this morning due to icy conditions on the bridge. Multiple crashes were reported, though the bridge has since reopened. [Twitter, Twitter]

Amazon News Roundup — Per the Washington Business Journal: The neighborhoods around the Rosslyn area might have been rebranded as “Capital View” had it been chosen for Amazon’s HQ2. The retro Americana hotel in Crystal City is hoping to stay put and revamp a bit as Amazon moves in. The Crystal City BID is working to expand its boundaries and, if successful, may be renamed the National Landing BID. Finally, while Virginia is mostly welcoming Amazon with open arms, in the other half of the HQ2 equation, New York City, Amazon is facing protests and opposition from local lawmakers.

Amazonians May Invade Dating Scene — DCist asks: “Will Amazon Bring A Bunch Of Rude Workaholics To The D.C. Dating Scene?” [DCist]

Money Diary of a Local Parent — As part of a money diary feature, Slate asks: “How Much Does a Dad of Two Spend on His Kids During One Week in Arlington, Virginia?” [Slate]

E-CARE This Weekend — The Arlington Environmental Collection and Recycling Event (E-CARE), “a biannual event at which residents can safely dispose of household hazardous materials (HHM), bikes, small metal items and other recyclable items,” is set to happen this weekend at 1425 N. Quincy Street. The event is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 17  from 8:30 a.m.-1 p.m. [Arlington County]

Flickr pool photo by Jenn Vogel

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Morning Notes

Simple Greek Now Open — Fast-casual restaurant chain The Simple Greek has opened its new Rosslyn location in the Colonial Plaza shopping center. A ribbon cutting ceremony yesterday was followed by long lines at lunchtime. [Twitter, Twitter]

WiFi Available in Underground Metro Stations — As of today, free wireless internet service should be available in every underground Metro station. Per yesterday’s announcement from Metro: “Customers can log-in by selecting the ‘Metro-Public’ network in their device’s Wi-Fi settings.” [WMATA]

Signs Up for Sfoglina — “Coming soon” signs are up for the new Rosslyn outpost of the acclaimed Fabio and Maria Trabocchi restaurant Sfoglina Pasta House. The restaurant is located on the street level of the office building at 11oo Wilson Boulevard. [Twitter]

Water Rescue Near Chain Bridge — D.C. police and firefighters rescued two people whose kayak overturned in the Potomac River near Chain Bridge last night. Both were evaluated by medics but “neither have physical injuries,” per DCFEMS. [Twitter, Twitter]

Fox News Coming to Iwo Jima Memorial — On Sunday, Fox News Channel will broadcast a portion of its America’s News Headquarters program (noon-2 p.m.) from the Marine Corps War Memorial near Rosslyn. Elizabeth Prann will co-anchor “ANHQ” from the Memorial, “where the nation will be preparing for the Fourth of July fireworks celebration,” according to a Fox press release.

Arlington Has Millions in Prepaid Taxes — “The Arlington treasurer’s office still has about $8 million sitting untouched in its coffers, waiting to be applied to future tax payments. But that’s less than half the $17.2 million in total prepayments submitted by Arlington taxpayers in the waning days of 2017, hoping to beat changes to federal tax law that made some mortgage-interest payments non-deductible in 2018.” [InsideNova]

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Both lanes of Chain Bridge Road at N. Glebe Road are currently closed.

Arlington Police say a tree fell on power lines in the area, and they’re warning drivers near the D.C. limits to find another route.

There’s no word yet on when the road may reopen, and Arlington’s traffic management systems already show heavy backups in the area.

Photo and map via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

Lost Hikers Found Near Chain Bridge — Two men who had apparently been hiking along the Potomac River got lost and had to call emergency dispatchers after one of them fell and hurt himself. The call came in around 2:30 a.m. this morning. Arlington, Fairfax County, D.C. and U.S. Park Police units helped to search for the men — Fairfax used its police helicopter — and eventually they were found and transported to the hospital. [WUSA 9]

Video: ACFD Responds to FC Vehicle Fire — A minivan caught on fire in Falls Church over the weekend and a camera was rolling as Arlington County firefighters arrived to extinguish the blaze. [Twitter]

Holiday Decorations Going Up — Around Clarendon yesterday — and perhaps in other parts of the county as well — lights, window paintings and other festive decorations were being put up in anticipation of the holiday season. [Instagram]

Arlington Mill Gym Floor Installed — The new gym floor has been installed and is ready to use at the Arlington Mill Community Center. The gym’s previous floor had to be removed due to water damage stemming from a March snow storm. [Twitter]

County Announces Human Rights Award Winners — Among the recipients of Arlington County’s 2017 James B. Hunter Award winners are: Signature Theatre’s Eric Schaeffer; the Building Bridges community initiative; Saint George’s Episcopal Church and its refugee advocacy; Café Sazón and its support of immigrant rights; and Freddie’s Beach Bar in Crystal City, which is considered the only gay bar in Northern Virginia. [Arlington County]

Reporter Accused of Unwanted Advances in Local Bar — New York Times reporter Glenn Thrush has been suspended following accusations that during his time at Arlington-based Politico, he made unwanted sexual advances at young, female colleagues while drinking at a Rosslyn bar. [Vox]

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Arlington County firefighters helped to rescue a woman who fell down an embankment near Chain Bridge this afternoon.

The incident happened around 3 p.m. Initial reports suggest a 72-year-old woman fell 100-150 feet down an embankment along the Potomac Heritage Trail.

A fire department technical rescue team was dispatched to the scene, but rescuers were able to eventually walk the patient up the hill and to an ambulance, where she was evaluated for injuries, according to scanner traffic.

Police blocked the inbound lane of N. Glebe Road near the bridge during the rescue, due to a large number of fire department vehicles in the roadway.

Image via Google Maps

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The Arlington County Sheriff’s Office served an eviction at 201 Chain Bridge Road, the palatial former home of former multimillionaire Rodney Hunt, on Monday.

Also known as the the RPH Mansion, the 20,000 square foot estate has, over the past couple of years, hosted wild “mansion parties,” one of which led to a drive-by shooting in nearby McLean this past summer. It is also a frequent destination for police, with numerous robbery, burglary and disturbance calls during that time span.

The Washington Post reported in September that Hunt was fighting eviction after the property, which overlooks the Potomac River and was once valued at $24 million, was sold to at a foreclosure auction for $7.3 million. In December, Hunt lost his legal battle to keep the home. On Jan. 11, a Writ of Possession was issued, according to court records, marking the last legal step before Monday’s eviction.

Two unmarked moving vans and several people could be seen inside the gates of the property Monday afternoon. A number of Sheriff’s Office vehicles were parked outside. At one point, a black Lincoln Town Car was towed out of an underground garage.

Hunt’s case, meanwhile, continues to be a source of fascination and intrigue. He went from having an estimated net worth of $265 million in 2007 to foreclosure in 2012, bankruptcy in 2015 and then spending part of last year in jail for a parole violation. Two fines from his August court appearance — for $236 and $91 — are marked past due in court records.

Last year ARLnow.com received an anonymous letter, sent via the mail, raising questions about Hunt’s path to bankruptcy. The letter suggested there was a conspiracy against Hunt; the accusations were similar in tone to Hunt’s own assertions in court papers, as reported by the Post.

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Fairfax County police car lightsN. Glebe Road is currently closed between Chain Bridge and N. Military Road due to a single-vehicle rollover crash.

The crash happened around 10 a.m. The driver was able to “self-extricate” from the vehicle, which was flipped on its roof, according to scanner traffic.

Glebe Road is closed while a tow crew works to remove the flipped vehicle and clean debris from the roadway.

The driver’s injuries are believed to be minor.

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arlington-historical-markers-series-screenshotThere are more than 80 historical markers scattered throughout Arlington County’s 26 square miles, but if you’re like many locals, you probably haven’t visited all of them.

A recently launched video series from Arlington Public Schools will let you learn about some of those sites without leaving your computer.

The program, hosted in part by APS Superintendent Dr. Pat Murphy, highlights 11 of the county’s most significant historic sites.

Since the series debuted earlier this summer, it’s already uncovered some interesting tidbits about the area, such as:

And there’s more history on the way. Next up, the series will tackle historical sites such as the Necostin Indian Site at the Roosevelt Island Parking Lot, Stratford Junior High School (which currently houses the H-B Woodlawn secondary program) and the Reevesland farmhouse.

Screenshot via Arlington Historical Markers video

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The huge Chain Bridge Road mansion that hosted a party that led to a drive-by shooting in McLean on Sunday is slated to hold another bash this weekend.

The “Leo Birthday Splash Party” will run from 3-9 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 20, according to the flyer. An online ticketing page — tickets are $30 — and the flyer say the event will feature a DJ and other musical performances, bottle service, a cash bar, Caribbean cuisine, a bathing suit contest and an appearance by local party promoter/exotic dancer Cream.

Off-site parking in McLean with a free shuttle to the mansion will be provided for guests, the flyer says.

NBC 4 reported last night that the 20,000 square foot mansion, which sold at a foreclosure auction in June for $7.3 million (it was once valued at $23-24 million), has been used as a “party house,” according to neighbors.

Numerous photos and videos have been posted to Instagram from what’s labeled as the “RPH Mansion” — the initials of its owner (or, possibly, former owner), businessman Rodney P. Hunt. Many of the Instagram posts depict young people partying poolside as a DJ performs.

Event flyers sent anonymously to ARLnow.com (above) detail a number of events that have taken place at 201 Chain Bridge Road over the past month, including the Eritrean Festival Uber Mansion Afterhour Event where a dispute allegedly led to Sunday morning’s shooting. Events at the mansion date back to at least 2013, when it hosted an “epic” New Year’s Eve party with free valet, two floors of partying and four cash bars.

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(Updated at 11:10 p.m.) One lane of Chain Bridge was blocked during tonight’s evening rush hour due to a grim discovery near the bridge.

An apparent dead body was spotted by hikers about 150 yards north of the bridge this afternoon. The body is said to be located on the rocks, close to the Potomac River.

Arlington County firefighters responded to the scene, and the fire department’s technical rescue team rappelled down the cliffs to access the body. A D.C. fire boat and a U.S. Park Police helicopter also assisted in the recovery operation.

At about 6:40 p.m., a member of the Arlington County Police Department was rappelling down the cliff, with assistance of a technical rescue team member, to investigate the scene, a police source told ARLnow.com.

Police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck confirmed a “large emergency response” at the scene, on the Virginia side of Chain Bridge, and said that crews are likely to remain on scene for an extended period of time.

One lane of the bridge was open in each direction at the accident scene, with heavy traffic reported on both the Virginia and D.C. sides of the bridge.

Photos viewed by ARLnow.com, taken from a distance, show that the victim was a light-skinned male. He appeared to be bleeding from the head and holding a dark object in his hand.

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