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Pothole on N. Courthouse Road

A pothole on N. Courthouse Road has been forcing some drivers to slow to a crawl and has been producing a big bumpy surprise for others.

The pothole is located in the northbound lanes of N. Courthouse Road, between Route 50 and 13th Street N, just a couple of blocks from County government headquarters.

The left side of the pothole is a big dip. The right side contains a portion of raised pavement. Drivers who hit the dip with their left tire and the bump with their right tire risk bottoming out and scraping the undercarriage of their car.

Most drivers we observed were able to see the pothole and slow down before hitting it. We first Tweeted about the pothole last Tuesday. As of this morning, it’s still there.


Eastbound Route 50 before the now-closed Courthouse Road bridge

VDOT crews have started tearing down the bridge from Courthouse Road to eastbound Route 50, leading to numerous closures, detours and delays in the area.

Today through Sunday night, traffic on westbound Route 50 is being diverted onto 14th Street N., up to Wilson Boulevard, down Barton Street and back to Route 50 via 10th Street. This afternoon, a long line of traffic was observed before the detour, which is in place to allow for the two-day demolition of the bridge.

Through August, when construction of a new bridge is expected to be completed, eastbound Route 50 drivers heading to Courthouse will have to drive past Courthouse and take the Rhodes Street bridge to 14th Street.

Drivers in Courthouse seeking to get on to eastbound Route 50, who used to be able to use the Courthouse Road bridge, will now have to take the Rhodes Street bridge to the Arlington Boulevard service road that leads to the difficult blind merge with Route 50 near the U.S. Marine Corps (Iwo Jima) memorial. Temporary traffic lights have reportedly been placed at the Arlington Boulevard/N. Meade Street intersection, before the entrance ramp, to help with traffic flow.

The bridge demolition is part of the $39 million Route 50/Courthouse Road interchange project. The project is scheduled for completion in October.


Courthouse Road bridge over Route 50

(Updated at 2:15 p.m.) The heavily-used Courthouse Road bridge, which connects Courthouse with eastbound Route 50, will be torn down in two weeks.

The bridge is expected to close on Friday, Jan. 25. VDOT is planning to block and reroute westbound I-50 in the Courthouse area from Jan. 26-27 to allow for the bridge demolition work. That weekend, westbound traffic will be directed around the closure via 14th Street, Wilson Boulevard, Washington Boulevard and 10th Street.

From Jan. 25 to late August, when construction of a new Courthouse Road bridge is expected to wrap up, drivers trying to get from eastbound Route 50 to Courthouse will have to drive past the former bridge and instead take the N. Queen/Rhodes Street bridge, turning left on 14th Street to eventually reach Courthouse Road.

The bridge demolition is part of the $39 million Route 50/Courthouse Road interchange project. The project is scheduled for completion in October.

Photo courtesy (bottom left) Keith Hall

Work on the Courthouse Road bridge (photo courtesy Keith Hall) VDOT map depicting Courthouse Road bridge demolition and detour


(Updated at 10:05 a.m.) Workers are on the scene of a water main break that has shut down part of S. Courthouse Road in the Penrose neighborhood.

Buses and cars are being re-routed away from the work, which has closed S. Courthouse Road between 6th and 8th Streets.

As of 10:00 a.m., the break itself was repaired, but workers are now filling the hole and repairing the street.

The road is expected to be closed for about two more hours, so drivers should plan on finding alternate routes until around noon.


The ramp from westbound Route 50 to Courthouse Road is now closed, cutting off a key route for drivers heading from D.C. to the Courthouse area.

VDOT tells us the closure will last about 6-8 weeks while crews construct a new ramp as part of the Route 50/Courthouse Road interchange project.

As a detour, drivers are encouraged to take the Queen Street exit from WB Route 50, about a half mile before Courthouse Road. VDOT says exit signs will then direct drivers up 14th Street, to 15th Street, and finally to Courthouse Road.

Not every driver seems willing to abide the ramp closure, however. Today we spotted a minivan with diplomatic license plates that drove up to the closure, then reversed in traffic on Route 50, and weaved between a pair of orange barrels to get on to Courthouse Road.



Drivers coming to and going from Courthouse on eastbound Route 50 will have to find another route later this summer. VDOT is planning to demolish the busy Courthouse Road bridge as part of the ongoing Route 50/Courthouse Road interchange project.

VDOT spokeswoman Jennifer McCord says the agency is currently planning on closing and tearing down the bridge either in late August or early September. She said the exact timing of the demolition is contingent on some other work, including the completion of new ramps to and from westbound Route 50 and Courthouse Road.

Once the closure is in place, eastbound Route 50 drivers will be directed to the next exit — Rhodes Street — and detour signs will point them back to Courthouse Road. McCord said engineers are still working on a detour for those trying to get on eastbound Route 50 from the Courthouse area.

A new Courthouse Road bridge is expected to be complete by Spring 2013, McCord said.

Another interchange project-related closure is planned for Monday. Workers are planning to close Fairfax Drive, which runs parallel to Route 50, from N. Taft Street to N. Scott Street. The closure is expected to remain in place until project completion in fall 2013.

Photo courtesy Keith Hall


VDOT crews are preparing for a number of significant road closures as a result of the ongoing Route 50/Courthouse Road interchange project.

Westbound Route 50 will be completely closed between Courthouse Road and 10th Street from 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 24 to 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 25. The closure is being put into place to allow the demolition of the bridge from 10th Street to eastbound Route 50. During the demolition process, drivers will be encouraged to avoid the closure area and use Washington Boulevard as a detour to Route 50. The 10th Street bridge itself will close starting on Thursday, March 22.

Longer-term closures are also planned starting next week.

The ramp from westbound Route 50 to N. Fairfax Drive (between Courthouse Road and 10th Street) will close starting on March 22, as will the stretch of Fairfax Drive between Scott Street and Courthouse Road that runs parallel to Route 50. Both closures will be in place “until work nears completion in fall 2013,” according to VDOT.

VDOT will put detours in place during the closures.

In place of the bridge from 10th Street to eastbound Route 50, drivers can use Washington Boulevard to North Pershing Drive back to Route 50 as a detour. Instead of the ramp from westbound Route 50 to Fairfax Drive, drivers can use 10th Street as a detour.

Maps of the detours are available from the VDOT project website.


An Route 50 exit used by Clarendon area drivers is set to close for the rest of the week.

The Fairfax Drive exit from Route 50/Arlington Boulevard will be closed from Wednesday to Friday so that VDOT contractors can install new storm water infrastructure. The construction is part of the ongoing Arlington Boulevard/Courthouse Road/10th Street interchange project.

Lane closures are also planned in the area on both east- and westbound Route 50, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., through Friday.

Work on the interchange project is scheduled to continue through fall 2013, and is expected to result in additional periodic lane, exit and road closures.

Image via Google Maps


Various lane closures due to work on the new Courthouse interchange could cause some additional traffic headaches starting this weekend.

The Virginia Department of Transportation will be closing up to two of three lanes in each direction of Route 50 from 10th Street to N. Rhodes Street. Those closures will take place at night, from 9:00 p.m. to 5:30 a.m., starting on Sunday and running through Thursday, February 2. Daytime closures from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. will begin on Monday and continue until Friday, February 3.

VDOT warns drivers that although late night closures don’t officially begin until 9:00 p.m., preparations for the road work could start as early as 7:00 p.m. Drivers should use extra caution in the area and be aware of construction crews.

The $39 million project to redesign the interchange at Route 50, Courthouse Road and 10th Street was launched to improve accessibility and safety in the area. Aesthetic improvements will also be added.

The project’s second phase of utility relocation is scheduled to be finished this spring. The entire project is slated to be completed in fall of 2013.


The lefthand lane on westbound Route 50 near the Courthouse Road exit has finally reopened, after more than a year of utility work.

The lane closure lasted about 10 months longer than originally anticipated. The utility work was performed in preparation for VDOT’s Courthouse interchange project, which is expected to get underway this month.

A tipster says the jersey walls separating the two righthand lanes of westbound Route 50 from the newly-paved lefthand lane were removed during the day on Friday.


Construction on the new Route 50 / Courthouse Road interchange is set to begin this month.

The project, which is expected to wrap up in 2013, will result in major improvements to what is now a rather confusing and even dangerous series of on and off-ramps. In the meantime, however, drivers will have to put up with some minor headaches as the project forces the closure of some busy routes and ramps, starting later this year.

Among the closures, according to VDOT:

  • Westbound 50 ramp to N. Courthouse Road (Winter 2011 to Spring 2012)
  • Fairfax Drive between N. Troy Street and N. Scott Street (Winter 2011 to Spring 2012)
  • Ramp from southbound 10th Street to eastbound Rt. 50 (Spring 2012 to Winter 2012/Spring 2013)
  • Ramp from eastbound Route 50 to Courthouse Road (Fall 2012 to Winter 2012/Spring 2013)

For each closure, there will be a signed detour. Some local residents have expressed concern that the detours would siphon highway traffic onto residential streets, but we’re told that transportation planners expect the impact on residential streets to be minimal.

See maps of each detour, after the jump.

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