New Leadership for Local Dems — “The Arlington County Democratic Committee went with the more centrist option on Jan. 5, electing Steve Baker to a two-year term as party chair. Baker defeated Matt Royer in the balloting, held at the party’s biennial reorganization meeting. Baker promised to use his leadership post as ‘a collaboration and a partnership’ and ‘keep Arlington Democrats a big-tent party.'” [Sun Gazette]
W&OD Bridge Work Has Started — From BikeArlington: “Work on the @WODTrail bridge [near the caboose] was delayed but has begun today. Please follow detour signs onto the Four Mile Run Trail.” [Twitter]
Amazon Donates to Local Nonprofit — “Amazon.com Inc. donated $25,000 to Arlington nonprofit Boolean Girl to support the organization’s workshops that teach young students how to code and build electronics. Amazon’s gift from November boosts the Clubhouse educational program to meet weekly instead of monthly.” [Washington Business Journal]
It’s Friday — Following the overnight snowfall, today will be sunny, with a high near 30. Northwest wind 13 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 31 mph. Sunrise at 7:29 a.m. and sunset at 5:02 p.m. Saturday will be sunny, with a high near 33. Sunday there’s chance of freezing rain and sleet before 9 a.m, then rain likely. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 44. [Weather.gov]
Flickr pool photo by Wolfkann
W&OD Trail Detour — From the Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services: “On 12/30-31, crews will be working on the W&OD Trail Bridge east of Wilson Blvd (near the caboose). The W&OD Trail will be detoured onto the Four Mile Run trail for about ½ mile and will be clearly marked.” [Twitter]
Single-Vehicle Crash on S. Glebe Road — On Tuesday afternoon: “S. Glebe Road is partially blocked at 7th Street S. after a one-vehicle crash with airbag deployment. One vehicle occupant reported to have facial injuries.” [Twitter]
It’s Wednesday — Today will be cloudy with light rain possible throughout the day and temperatures reaching a high of 54. Sunrise at 7:26 a.m. and sunset at 4:55 p.m. Expect rain and fog tomorrow morning, with a low of 42 and a high of 54. [Weather.gov]
Flickr pool photo by Vincent
Hanukkah Safety Reminders — “Happy Hanukkah from the ACFD. During this special time, please remember a few safety tips. 1 – Battery powered candles are a safer choice to open-flame candles. 2 – Never leave lit candles unattended. 3 – Keep lit candles away from items that can easily catch fire.” [Twitter]
Trail Detours Start Tomorrow — From the Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services: “Wednesday – Friday: Expect marked detours along Lucky Run Trail due to maintenance work, weather-permitting.” [Twitter]
Road Closures for 5K Race — “The Arthritis Foundation Jingle Bell 5k Run/Walk for Arthritis will be held on Saturday, December 4, 2021. The Arlington County Police Department will conduct the following road closure from approximately 6:30 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. to accommodate the event: S. Joyce Street, between 15th Street S. and Army Navy Drive.” [ACPD]
Drama at Rosslyn-Based Politico — “Politico is known for its wildly popular Playbook newsletter, its vast reporting talent pool, and its success as the most widely recognized Beltway-centric publication. But behind the flashy exterior, billion-dollar sale, and massive draw of their star reporters lies a series of burgeoning newsroom conflicts. From personnel issues, including complaints about internal ‘woke police,’ to a divisive unionization drive, to increasing competition in the profitable D.C. newsletter space, tensions appear to be growing.” [Daily Beast]
Mild Start to December on Tap — “NOAA’s 6-10 [day], 8-14 [day] and 3-4 [week] outlooks all toasty for large parts of the Lower 48. Not a great look for big winter storms or sustained cold although confidence in mild pattern decreases by mid-December.” [Twitter, Capital Weather Gang]
Spotted This Morning: Flurries — Updated at 8:50 a.m. — We spotted very light snow falling in North Arlington around 8 a.m. today. The local National Weather Service office says these were the first flakes of the season and more flurries are possible this morning. [Twitter]
It’s Tuesday — Today will be partly sunny, with a high near 49. South wind 6 to 8 mph. Sunrise at 7:07 a.m. and sunset at 4:46 p.m. Tomorrow there is a chance of showers after 1 p.m., but otherwise it will be partly sunny, with a high near 50. [Weather.gov]
Update at 3:25 p.m. — The closure has been extended due to flooding at the construction site.
All lanes of N. Glebe Road between Military Road and Chain Bridge Road, in the northern tip of Arlington, will be closed for construction starting Friday.
The nine-day closure is the culmination of the $10 million rehabilitation project for the nearly 50-year-old bridge over Pimmit Run, just before Chain Bridge. Between Friday, Aug. 13 and Monday, Aug. 23, crews will work to replace the entire bridge deck and its underlying beams.
A winding detour around the closure, through parts of Arlington and McLean, will be put in place. Pedestrians and cyclists hoping to cross Pimmit Run will have an on-demand shuttle available to them during the closure, according to the Virginia Dept. of Transportation.
More from a VDOT press release:
North Glebe Road (Route 120) between Military Road and Route 123 (Chain Bridge Road) will be closed to traffic for about nine days beginning Friday night, Aug. 13 to efficiently replace the entire bridge deck and beams over Pimmit Run, just west of Route 123, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.
North Glebe Road will close at 10 p.m. Aug. 13 and is scheduled to reopen to traffic by 5 a.m. Monday, Aug. 23.
Vehicle traffic will be detoured via Route 123, Kirby Road (Route 695) and Chesterbrook Road (Route 689) back to North Glebe Road.
To help pedestrians get around the closure, a free shuttle for up to 12 passengers will be available Saturday, Aug. 14 through Sunday, Aug. 22 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day. Signs and posters with a phone number (240-300-3264) and shuttle information will be posted at both ends of the bridge over Pimmit Run, with the shuttle provided within ten minutes of a call (if needed, a free accessible shuttle will be provided within 30 minutes of a call). Each shuttle ride will last approximately five minutes.
The portion of the Potomac Heritage Trail under the Pimmit Run bridge will remain open, with trail access controlled by flaggers when needed.
Construction began in April on the overall project to rehabilitate North Glebe Road over Pimmit Run, which was originally built in 1973 and currently carries about 13,000 vehicles a day. The work includes improvements that will extend the overall life of the bridge and improve safety for drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians. They include:
- Replacing bridge beams, deck and barriers
- Repairing, waterproofing and providing corrosion protection to abutments and piers
- Replacing barriers and railings along bicycle and pedestrian connection to trails
- Upgrading guardrails and drainage
The $9.9 million project is financed with federal and state funds, including State of Good Repair funding used for bridges. The project is scheduled for completion this fall.
Learn more about the project at www.virginiadot.org/glebeoverpimmit.
B-52 Flyover Attracts Attention — A B-52 Stratofortress flew low and loud over Arlington Thursday morning, likely as part of an Arlington National Cemetery funeral, turning plenty of heads. [Twitter, Twitter]
Va. Coronavirus App Gets Positive Reviews — “I often use this column to warn about the dangers of apps that track you. This time, I’m going to recommend you actually install one. There’s a new kind of app that uses your smartphone’s Bluetooth wireless signals to figure out when you’ve been in contact with someone who has tested positive for the novel coronavirus… It’s called Covidwise, and works in the state of Virginia.” [Washington Post]
Pedestrian Committee Chair Slams County — “‘The response that we got back from the County Manager’s Office and senior County leadership was that pedestrians are not a priority,’ said Eric Goldstein, Chair of Arlington County’s Pedestrian Advisory Committee (PAC), during the group’s first virtual meeting last week.” [Street Justice]
New W&OD Trail Detour Monday — “Upcoming construction activity for the new W&OD Trail Bridge over Lee Highway (Route 29) in Arlington will require a trail detour for about two weeks beginning Monday, August 24.” [Press Release]
ACPD Food Drive Deemed Success — The Arlington County Police Department’s “Fill the Cruiser” food drive collected just over 6,500 pounds of food last week. [Arlington Connection]
D.C. Area Leads in Tech Leasing — “Among the 10 markets reporting the most tech leasing volume in Q2, the year-over-year change in tech leasing activity ranged from +71% (Atlanta) to -74% (San Francisco Bay Area). Washington, D.C., and San Diego were the only other markets with volume increases, while Manhattan also had a large decrease. The five markets with the most leasing volume in Q2 were Washington, D.C., San Francisco Bay Area, Atlanta, Manhattan and Dallas/Ft. Worth.” [CBRE via Potomac Tech Wire]
A portion of the Custis Trail will be detoured next week for construction of a roundabout.
The roundabout is being installed on the south side of the pedestrian underpass beneath I-66, which is currently a somewhat dangerous T-intersection. The project is part of VDOT’s larger I-66 widening project.
For two weeks, from Monday, Aug. 24 to Sunday, Sept. 6, those heading to and from the W&OD Trail on the Custis Trail will be detoured around Bon Air Park, via Wilson Boulevard and N. Lexington Street.
More from VDOT:
The Custis Trail will close in Arlington’s Bon Air Park between the Washington and Old Dominion (W&OD) Trail and the I-66 underpass for up to two weeks for construction to create a roundabout to enhance safety for trail users. The closure is planned from Monday, August 24, through Sunday, September 6. Detour signs will be posted to direct pedestrians, cyclists, and other trail users around the closure. This work is being done as a component of the Transform 66 Inside the Beltway Eastbound Widening Project.
A posted detour will route users around the closure using the W&OD Trail, Wilson Boulevard, N. Lexington Street, and N. 9th Road to reach the bike/pedestrian bridge over I-66. Delineators will be placed temporarily on a short span of Wilson Boulevard to separate cyclists from vehicle traffic and provide a wider bike lane to allow cyclists to travel in both directions for about 500 feet. The sidewalk on the north side of Wilson Boulevard will also be available for trail users.
A roundabout is being constructed on the south side of the Custis Trail I-66 underpass to improve safety and sightlines for pedestrians, cyclists, and other users of the Custis Trail and Bon Air Park. The Custis Trail remains closed under I-66 for safety reasons while an additional travel lane is added overhead. The trail is expected to fully reopen in late October 2020.
The I-66 Eastbound Widening Project will add a travel lane along four miles of eastbound I-66 and install approximately 12,000 linear feet of new and replacement noise barriers. The project also includes constructing a new direct access ramp from eastbound I-66 to the West Falls Church Metro Station at the Route 7 interchange, and a new W&OD Trail bridge over Lee Highway (Route 29).
A portion of the W&OD Trail is being put back onto a temporary pavement trail and off sidestreets as VDOT continues work on a new trail bridge.
The new detour will take trail users, who previously had to travel on nearby streets, on a 200-foot temporary pavement path adjacent to the new bridge under construction.
The bridge will separate trail users from traffic at the intersection of Lee Highway and Fairfax Drive in the East Falls Church aera, with the aim of enhancing safety for both trail users and motorists.
“This section of the W&OD Trail serves approximately 1,500 trail users on weekdays and over 2,000 on weekends,” VDOT said on its website. “On weekdays, the W&OD Trail is a significant commuter route, carrying a steady flow of cyclists in both directions, tying together much of the region’s trail network. On weekends, the trail is a prime recreational resource for thousands of cyclists, runners, walkers, and more.”
A press release noted that the new configuration will mostly remain in place until the project is completed, though the previous detour onto side streets could come up again during some phases of construction.
Meanwhile, work continues on the bridge with an expected opening this fall. New abutments and bridge beams have been installed, VDOT said, with crews currently working on installing steel onto the deck. Concrete pours are expected to finish by late April.
“W&OD Trail bridge construction is part of the Transform 66 Inside the Beltway Eastbound Widening Project, which is adding a travel lane along four miles of eastbound I-66 and installing approximately 12,000 linear feet of new and replacement noise barriers,” VDOT said. “The project also includes constructing a new direct access ramp from eastbound I-66 to the West Falls Church Metro Station at the Route 7 Interchange, which is scheduled to begin in spring 2020.”
A $2.6 million project to renovate Benjamin Banneker Park will close the park and a portion of the W&OD Trail starting the week after Thanksgiving.
The project, which was given the green light in September, will widen the trails from 8 to 12 feet and upgrade the athletic field, playground, picnic area, dog park and more.
“We are giving people a two week notice to make adjustments,” said Arlington Dept. of Parks and Recreation spokeswoman Susan Kalish. “The trail and park will close December 3. We’ve provided detour recommendations on sandwich boards around the park as well as online. We are putting up a banner at the dog park directing people to the web to find an alternative dog park.”
Not everyone is happy about the trail detour, which will redirect pedestrian and bike traffic from the park — near the East Falls Church Metro station — to the busy intersection of N. Sycamore Street and 19th Street N., which has traffic lights and pedestrian crossing signals.
“Many of us are caught off guard with the total closure of the trail between the creek and the soccer field for the duration of the project,” said Kelly Alexis, a local resident, in an email to county staff that she also sent to ARLnow and other concerned residents.
“Arlington County has provided only one re-route option — funneling all pedestrian and bicycle traffic to the most congested possible intersection; passing across the entry and exit to the EFC Metro Kiss-and-ride lot,” Alexis continued. “This was not part of the plan that was presented to us at the open meetings and has a major impact on bicycle and pedestrian traffic.”
In response to a request to complete trail construction first, before the other park changes, a county staffer said that was not a viable option for a number of reasons. Among them: the need to fence off the trail from the rest of the under-construction park — thus creating “a safety concern for users who would then have very limited egress through a long confined corridor in the park if they were endangered or injured.”
Kalish said she is not aware of any plans to make changes to the detour.
Construction is currently expected to wrap up between July and September of 2020, according to the county website.
If you cruise Rosslyn streets late at night, you might want to avoid Wilson Blvd in Rosslyn over the next month.
From Sundays through Thursdays between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., Wilson Blvd is scheduled to be closed between N. Oak and N. Quinn streets.
The closures are expected to start Sunday, Aug. 18, and continue through the end of September.
The street will be closed to allow Dominion workers to upgrade power service to handle Arlington Public Schools’ new Heights Building and the redevelopment of 1555 Wilson Blvd as luxury condos and retail, according to a press release.
Cars and buses are expected to be detoured north to Key Blvd during the closures, though the sidewalk on the south side of the street will remain open for bicycle and pedestrian traffic.
(Updated at 4:50 p.m.) Eastbound Clarendon Blvd was closed between N. Veitch Street and N. Courthouse Road for most of Friday due to a water main break.
Crews started digging up the street near the former Cosi this morning in an effort to fix the 12-inch pipe, and as of 4 p.m. were still working.
A detour was in place for eastbound traffic, though one lane reopened Friday afternoon.
Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services says that a number of water customers in the area, including businesses, are without water.
Update 4:20pm: Water service is restored in the Courthouse area affected by today's water main break. One lane of Clarendon Boulevard is being reopened for pm rush hour eastbound #vatraffic. pic.twitter.com/23Zq6rxM62
— Arlington Department of Environmental Services (@ArlingtonDES) June 7, 2019
Incident: Water Main Break
Location: EB Clarendon Bl btwn N Veitch and N Courthouse Rd
Impact: A traffic detour is in place. ETA to completion is 3 pm. Seek alternate routes. Questions? Call 703-228-6555. pic.twitter.com/GZbP3P6Ewf
— Arlington Alert (@arlingtonalert) June 7, 2019
Photo courtesy anonymous
Construction work around some of the Pentagon’s parking lots is prompting a new round of traffic changes and detours in the area.
Work focused on the new I-395 express lanes previously prompted the closure of the west side of S. Eads Street from Army Navy Drive to where it nears the Pentagon’s south parking lot at S. Rotary Road. Starting yesterday (Tuesday), workers are now moving to the east side of S. Eads instead, allowing traffic to use both sides of the street once more in the area.
Drivers will now be able to access the 395 HOV lanes as normal once more, but there are still some detours planned for the area, according to a press release.
During the morning rush hour, from 6-9 a.m., drivers will be able to use S. Rotary Road to access I-395’s southbound HOV lanes, but won’t be able to access a section of the western side of S. Eads Street. Anyone on 395 will be able to turn left to reach the Pentagon’s south parking lot, or turn right onto S. Eads.
During the afternoon rush hour, from 3-8 p.m., both sides of S. Eads Street will be fully accessible.
TRANSPORTATION ADVISORY: EFFECTIVE 1/22/19. NEW traffic pattern on Eads St. to begin on or about 1/22/19. Both lanes will open up with restrictions as construction continues. Please use caution and pay attention to updated signage and traffic control officers. #395expresslanes pic.twitter.com/7xfjuUTqjL
— WHS Transportation (@WHS_Transport) January 22, 2019
Signs will be posted to guide drivers about all these changes, and construction is expected to continue through the spring.
A full 395 HOV shutdown is also scheduled for this weekend, starting at Friday (Jan. 25) at 11 p.m and concluding Monday (Jan. 28) at 4 a.m.