Opower Staying in Arlington — In a “symbolic economic development win” for Arlington, Courthouse-based tech firm Opower will be staying put, at least for a couple of years. The company, which was visited by President Obama in 2010 and went public in 2014, was considering a move and was being courted by property owners in D.C. It has renewed its 42,000 square foot lease in Courthouse Tower (1515 N. Courthouse Road) through May 2018. [Washington Business Journal]
Arlington Has ‘Scars’ from Former Railroad Lines — Even in places in Arlington that have since been paved over with development, you can still see the “scars” from former rail lines in aerial photos. D.C. also has its fair share of “scarhitecture.” [Greater Greater Washington]
Orange Line Delays This Morning — There were delays on Metro’s Orange Line this morning after trains started single-tracking between West Falls Church and Vienna due to a track problem. [Twitter]
Flickr pool photo by Brian Irwin
Starting tonight, commuters on westbound I-66 can expect delays from nighttime lane closures.
The Virginia Department of Transportation will pave westbound 1-66 between Lee Highway and the Dulles Airport Access Road in Fairfax County overnight, causing some lanes to be closed.
Crews will start paving the road tonight at 10 p.m., and will continue for the next three weeks. Paving is scheduled to occur between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., Sunday through Friday.
During the construction, commuters should expect delays and are advised to take alternate routes.
“While VDOT fully understands the impact of night work on the residents, the traffic volumes on I-66 do not allow us to do this work during the day,” the department said on its website. “VDOT has held several meetings with the contractor to come up with ways to minimize the impact of noise stemming from night operations. VDOT staff will work closely with the contractor to reduce the impact of delivery trucks and construction equipment during each operation.”
The paving is part of a $33 million project to improve westbound 1-66 by connecting the on-ramp at Washington Blvd to the off ramp at Dulles Airport Access Road. Once completed, there will be a one-mile auxiliary lane and a new 12-foot shoulder.
VDOT will hold a public meeting on Oct. 7 about “Transform 66,” a project to turn 1-66 into a toll road during morning and evening rush hour and increase the HOV requirement to three people. The meeting will be from 7-9 p.m. at Washington-Lee High School (1301 N. Stafford Street).
(Updated at 6:20 p.m.) It’s slow going for drivers and bicyclists on the stretch of Wilson Blvd between N. Wayne and N. Adams Street in Courthouse, as two construction projects are underway.
Wilson Blvd is currently down to one lane, with cars navigating through traffic cones, due to construction on the new Hyatt Place hotel and a county project to install fiber optic cables below the street, said county spokeswoman Jessica Baxter.
Driving down the stretch of Wilson puts the cars half on the bicycle lane, while crews access underground wiring for fiber optic cable installation. The utility project is set to finish in the “early part of next week,” Baxter said.
Once the utility work is finished, the left lane and parking lane on Wilson Blvd will reopen to vehicles, she said.
However, the righthand parking lane and possibly one travel lane of Wilson Blvd between N. Wayne and N. Adams Street will remain blocked off until the end of September for hotel construction, Baxter said, and lanes may also be closed periodically after that.
“Each periodic closure will require the issuance of a right-of-way use permit from the Department of Environmental Services, and that closure will only be for the timeframe requested on such permit,” she said.
The new Hyatt Place in Courthouse, the hotel brand’s first in Arlington, is on schedule for an August 2016 opening, according to Jim Villars, a spokesman with Schupp Company, the hotel’s developer. Contrary to information from the county, Villars said the hotel construction project will not require the closure of a travel lane on Wilson Blvd.
The topping out of the eight floor structure is expected to be complete before the end of the month, Villars said. At that point, all eight floors above grade and the two floors below grade for underground parking will have been built.
After sealing the structure, crews will start constructing the hotel’s interior, he said.
Once finished, the Courthouse Hyatt Place will 161 rooms, two restaurants and a bar. The hotel will also be the first hotel with gold LEED certification in Arlington and the first Hyatt Place to receive gold LEED certification, according to Villars.
The company is currently looking for a tenant to fill one of the restaurant spaces, which is almost 1,300 square feet, he said. The hotel is replacing a low-rise commercial building that was formerly home to Wilson Tavern.
Starting tomorrow, drivers should prepare for possible delays when traveling to Reagan National Airport from Crystal City or the southbound GW Parkway.
The National Park Service and the Federal Highway Administration are planning to begin maintenance on the Route 233 bridge, which connects Jefferson Davis Highway in the Crystal City area to the airport. An off-ramp from the southbound lanes of the GW Parkway also connects to the bridge.
Single lane closures on the bridge are planned from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in both directions, according to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. At least one lane will be open on the bridge and on the GW Parkway ramp will remain open during the nine month project, which will replace the bridge’s median, among other improvements.
“In addition to directional signage, Airports Authority Police and Park Service Police will be present to assist in directing drivers through the area and to minimize the traffic impact in the construction zone,” the Airports Authority said in a statement.
Drivers should expect delays and detours when using the bridge to access the airport.
“The Park Service and Federal Highway Administration bridge construction project will allow for better access to and from the airport and add safety improvements to sidewalks and trails for pedestrians,” the Airports Authority said.
Starting Monday morning, commuters will have to find an alternate route to get from the GW Parkway to the Key Bridge.
National Park Service will close the ramp from southbound GW Parkway to Key Bridge starting before rush hour Monday morning and running through Friday, Aug. 28. The ramp will reopen Saturday morning, said NPS spokesman Aaron LaRocca.
NPS will be replacing the entire surface of the ramp while it is closed. The repairs include milling the road, replacing gravel and overlaying with asphalt.
There will be no detours. NPS advises commuters to find alternate routes and to expect delays.
Ramps to the 14th Bridge and on and off GW Parkway are also affected by the construction.
Single-lane closures will occur in both directions between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Two-lane closures are expected between 7 p.m. and 5:30 a.m. The lane closures are expected to cause delays.
NPS will work to minimize disruptions to travelers using Reagan National Airport.
Construction is anticipated to be finished by mid-December 2015, barring any inclement weather delays.
“Every effort will be made to minimize traffic delays and accomplish the work in a timely manner. The NPS regrets any inconvenience and appreciates all motorists’ understanding and patience,” NPS said.
Photo via Google Maps
Arlington Public Schools are closed. All preschool programs, Enjoy Arlington classes and sports leagues are canceled. Synthetic fields are closed.
Garbage collection will take place, and those whose garbage day is Thursday are also asked to put their carts out for collection.
An overnight refreeze may result in slippery conditions on the roads and sidewalks this morning. Pedestrians and drivers are encouraged to exercise extra caution.
Arlington Transit has modified its morning service schedule in light of the slick streets. From an ART alert email:
- ART will operate at Severe Service Levels on the 41 & 51 and also the 42, 45, 77, & 87.
- ART 41 & ART 45 will not serve Columbia Heights West. Buses will run only to/from Columbia Pike & Dinwiddie.
- ART 42, 45 & 77 will not serve S. Courthouse Road
- ART 77 will not serve Walter Reed between Arlington Mill & S. Glebe (the hill)
- ART 87 buses will run AM Peak, but expect delays. ART 87A and 87X will not be served
- As the ice melts mid-day, more service will be provided. We will post more alerts.
Shirlington Oktoberfest Road Closures — Several streets in the Shirlington area will be closed Saturday for the annual Capitol City Brewing Mid-Atlantic Oktoberfest. As seen in a county-produced video, there are a number of ways to get to the event without a car. [Arlington County, YouTube]
Composting Will Add to Waste Collection Cost — A plan to add a composting program for organic materials to Arlington’s solid waste collection could cost Arlington homeowners an extra $30-35 per year. Currently, homeowners pay just under $300 annually for Arlington’s residential waste collection. [Sun Gazette]
Delays on Blue, Yellow Lines — Metro riders on the Blue and Yellow lines can expect some additional delays this weekend. Due to track work, trains will run every 16 minutes (instead of every 12 minutes) during daylight hours. [WMATA]
Flickr pool photo by eschweik
The incident happened at 2:52 p.m., when the man intentionally climbed down to the tracks and stood there, about 15 seconds prior to a train entering the station, according to WMATA spokesman Dan Stessel.
“The train operator saw the man and stopped the train in time,” Stessel told ARLnow.com. “Third rail power was taken down, and the man climbed back onto the platform under the supervision of the train operator and the station manager.”
“The man was not injured,” Stessel continued. “He was transported to the hospital for a psychological evaluation.”
Orange Line delays from the incident have since been cleared, according to WMATA.
Photo via @mikekap3
The Blue Line will single track between Arlington Cemetery and Foggy Bottom to allow for fiber-optic cable installation. Orange Line trains will single track between Clarendon and Foggy Bottom, also to allow for fiber-optic cable installation.
Trains on both lines will run every 26 minutes between 10:00 tonight (Friday) and system closing on Sunday.
Delays due to maintenance work are also expected on the Red and Green lines. Metro says the work is part of its larger infrastructure “rebuilding” effort.
“Metro is investing $5.5 billion to install new rail, ties, platforms, escalators, signals, lighting, communication systems, and more,” the agency said in a press release. “It represents the largest capital investment — and work effort — since the system’s original construction in the early 1970s.”
There are significant delays on the Blue and Yellow lines due to a track problem near Reagan National Airport.
The delays are impacting both inbound and outbound trains on both lines. From WMATA:
Metrorail customers on the Blue and Yellow lines will experience delays of approximately
2030-35 minutes this morning as trains share a single track between Braddock Road and Pentagon City. Shortly before 5 a.m., an accidental leak of hydraulic fluid on the outbound track created a slippery condition for trains. Personnel are on the scene working to clear the fluid to allow two-track train operations to resume. The clean up effort is expected to last through rush hour.
Work on the Orange, Blue and Yellow lines will result in longer travel times for riders. The work is being done as part of what WMATA terms “the massive effort to rebuild Metrorail.”
Due to testing associated with the Silver Line construction project, the Orange Line will be split into two sections between Arlington and Fairfax County. One section will operate between Vienna and West Falls Church, the other between East Falls Church and New Carrollton. A shuttle bus will be provided between the East and West Falls Church stations. Riders taking the shuttle should add 20 minutes to their travel time, Metro says.
Work on the Blue Line will result in single-tracking between Stadium-Armory and Addison Road, and between Van Dorn Street and Braddock Road. Trains will depart every 20 minutes on either end of the Blue Line. Metro advises riders to expect an extra 15 minutes of travel time.
Bridge work between Braddock Road and Huntington on the Yellow Line will result in trains running every 24 minutes between the Huntington and Mount Vernon Square stations. To continue a trip from Virginia to points north of Mount Vernon Square — like U Street — riders will need to get on the Green Line, which will be running every 16 minutes this weekend.
This weekend’s work will begin at 10:00 p.m. on Friday and continue through system closing on Sunday. See the WMATA website for additional information about work on the Red and Green lines this weekend.
A foggy condition referred to as “low ceiling,” which causes decreased visibility, is apparently combining with at least some of the airport’s approach lights being out of service.
Currently, DCA lists “excessive delays” on its webpage. Average wait times are reportedly hovering around 45 minutes. That’s better than some of the multi-hour delays being experienced in other parts of the Northeast due to the low ceiling.
Be sure to check your flight status with your airline before heading to the airport, or check the FAA’s online flight delay information page.
A cracked Yellow Line rail, caused by the recent dramatic downward swing in temperatures, is forcing trains to use a single track near the Pentagon.
The track problem is causing 20-30 minutes delays on the Yellow Line and slight delays on the Blue Line, according to WMATA. As a result, Metro is advising customers to use the Blue Line instead of the Yellow.
Crews will not be able to fix the cracked rail until after the morning rush hour, according to Metro spokesman Dan Stessel.
Flickr pool photo by BrianMKA
A train malfunction at McPherson Square forced trains to single track through the station, backing up Orange and Blue Line trains heading into the District from Arlington.
Metro reports that the disabled train has since been cleared, but that delays are continuing in both directions.
Adding to the Metro woes, medics were just dispatched to the Rosslyn Metro station for a report of a sick customer.