Arlington, VA

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.

The park closure and trail detour were originally advertised as starting this week, but everything is still open, for now.

“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.

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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.

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(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.

https://twitter.com/ReadyArlington/status/1136987403313385472

https://twitter.com/JoeyConway/status/1136954688212021254

Photo courtesy anonymous

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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.

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.

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Morning Notes

Arlington Police Involved in D.C. Standoff — County police are working with their counterparts in D.C. to arrest a man wanted on rape charges in Arlington. When they attempted to arrest him last night, he barricaded himself inside his home on the 3300 block of Mt. Pleasant Street N.W. [Twitter, PoPville]

ART Route Changes Start This Weekend — Riders on Arlington Transit’s 41, 42, 43 and 75 lines may notice some schedule adjustments starting Saturday. Service will become more frequent on all of the lines, and the northbound stop at the Courthouse Metro Station will become permanent. [Arlington Transit]

Arlington Planners Bring ‘Smart Growth’ Strategies to Md. — At a talk yesterday, the head of Arlington County’s planning division shared some wisdom on “Arlington’s smart growth journey” to planners in Prince George’s County, Md. “As a regional, national and international model of smart growth, Arlington, has demonstrated… how the mistakes and impacts of suburban sprawl can be corrected and avoided through a visionary and continuous commitment to innovative planning,” the event program noted. [Prince George’s County]

Valley Fest Road Closures This Weekend — S. Oakland Street will play host to the second annual Valley Fest, backed by New District Brewing and other local businesses and artists. There will be plenty of beer on tap, but police warn to watch out for some road closures. [Arlington Police]

Leaf Blowers Irk Arlingtonians — Some county residents raised a stink with the County Board over the pervasive drone of leaf blowers, now that fall is nearly here. But local officials say their hands are tied by state law and likely can’t pass any sort of ordinance to limit the noise. [Falls Church News-Press]

Head ‘Back to the Future’ with Rhodeside Grill — The Rosslyn-area restaurant is offering throwback cocktails and dishes from the 1950s and 1980s to commemorate the classic comedy. The event is set for Oct. 12. [Facebook]

Detours on Arlington-McLean Border This Week — Work to replace a culvert will result in the closure Valley Wood Road in McLean, running just near Williamsburg Middle School and Discovery Elementary School. [Tysons Reporter]

Firefighters Extinguish Bellevue Forest Blaze — County firefighters say an attic fan caught fire in a home on the 3100 block of N. Quincy Street around 6 p.m. last night. There were no injuries. [Twitter]

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A section of the Custis Trail running alongside I-66 near Rosslyn is set to close for the next month.

Starting today (Monday), workers will start repairing the trail as it runs between N. Adams Street and McCoy Park to make it a bit more hospitable to cyclists. Construction is set to last through Aug. 24.

Specifically, Arlington’s Department of Parks and Recreation and its contractors will focus on “a series of bumps, or undulations, on the trail surface near the pedestrian flyover bridge over I-66,” according to a blog post by Bike Arlington program manager Erin Potter.

“This part of the Custis Trail is too narrow (between a retaining wall and I-66) to allow repair work to happen while the trail is open,” Potter wrote.

The county plans to post signs for detours for both pedestrians and cyclists near the closed section of the trail. Walkers and runners will be redirected down N. Adams Street and then along Lee Highway to bypass the construction, while bicyclists have their choice of three different options.

Bike Arlington has full details on the detours posted on its website.

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Construction around one of the Pentagon’s parking lots kicking off this week could produce some big headaches for drivers and bus riders alike.

Starting this morning (Monday), work will shut down 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.

That will shift both northbound and southbound traffic to the east side of the street. In the mornings, from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., that will cut off access to I-395’s northbound HOV lanes and Army Navy Drive from S. Rotary Road. Crews will post a detour and drivers should follow signs. In the same time period, access to northbound S. Eads Street from the right lane of S. Rotary Road will be reserved for anyone heading for I-395’s southbound HOV lanes.

Construction will include “median reconfiguration, road widening, pavement and drainage work,” according to VDOT, prompting some major traffic snarls.

“As current traffic volume along Eads Street is near capacity during peak periods, we expect significant traffic congestion and delays along Eads Street,” VDOT wrote in an advisory. “Periodic nighttime/weekend closures may also take place to complete the construction activities.”

VDOT is recommending that drivers looking to reach the I-395 HOV lanes during the construction to use the ramps near the Pentagon’s north parking lots at Boundary Channel Drive instead.

Arlington Transit is also warning bus riders looking to reach the Pentagon to expect “significant delays for ART buses entering and exiting” the facility’s lots. ART plans to issue service advisories as needed.

VDOT says work will shift to the east side of S. Eads Street sometime this fall, then last for an additional two months. The construction is included as part of the broader project focused on the I-395 express lanes.

Photo via VDOT

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Morning Notes

Arlington Named Top Digital County Again — “Arlington County is the No. 1 digital county in the nation for a third straight year. The Center for Digital Government and National Association of Counties 2018 award recognizes Arlington for its best technology practices in areas of open government, transparency, public engagement, planning, cyber security and operations.” [Arlington County]

Robbery in Courthouse — Two men reportedly robbed the Dunkin’ Donuts on Wilson Blvd in Courthouse yesterday evening. The men demanded money and fled the scene with cash but did not display any weapons during the robbery, according to initial reports. [Twitter]

Kaine to Campaign in Arlington Today — Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) tonight “will host a ‘Neighbor to Neighbor’ community conversation in Arlington to engage Northern Virginia voters on the critical issues facing our country and take their questions.” The event is taking place at the Barcroft Park Picnic Shelter (4200 S. Four Mile Run Drive) at 6:30 p.m.

Britney Spears Touches Down in Arlington — Britney Spears arrived at Reagan National Airport ahead of the kick off of her summer tour. Photos and video show her walking through the terminal with a small entourage. [Daily Mail]

Arlington to Pay to Help Retain Federal Tenant — “Arlington taxpayers will be on the hook for nearly $8 million over 10 years to subsidize a lease that will retain the Office of Naval Research in the county. County Board members on July 14 are expected to approve an incentive package that will keep the federal agency in its current 314,000 square feet of office space in Ballston.” [InsideNova]

Suspect Hailed Cab After Pike Burglary — “A burglar made his getaway from a scene in Arlington by hailing a taxi, according to officials. The Arlington County Police Department said the burglar targeted a business in the 3100 block of Columbia Pike near the Westmont neighborhood at about 10:25 a.m. on Sunday.” [Fox 5 DC]

George Mason Drive Detour — A “small detour” will be in place this weekend on N. George Mason Drive “as crews above remove the old half still remaining from the soon-to-be-replaced Carlin Springs Road Bridge.” [Twitter]

White Ford Bronco Profiled — Prolific local 90s cover band White Ford Bronco is the subject of a newspaper profile that dubs it the “undisputed king of D.C. cover bands.” The profile recounts that “at a recent concert at the Clarendon Ballroom, guys in button-down shirts and Birkenstocks pumped their fists to the chorus of ‘Mr. Jones.'” [Washington Post]

Metrobus Delays This Morning — Metrobus passengers reported delays and missed routes this morning, which WMATA says was the result of “bus operators reporting late to work as part of a collective labor action by their union.” [Twitter, WTOP]

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(Updated at 3:25 p.m.) Demolition work is set to get started next week on the S. Clark Street overpass in Crystal City, and that will prompt a handful of traffic detours through the end of the month.

Workers will begin removing the elevated section of the road over 15th Street S. next Monday (July 16) and the demolition is set to run through July 26. The county doesn’t plan to use any explosives in this process, and will merely remove the overpass in sections.

The work will impact eastbound 15th Street S. from July 16-17, with detours set to help drivers reach Route 1 and 18th Street S. Then, the demolition will cause problems on the westbound section of the road from July 18-26, with similar detours planned.

The demolition work will run from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, though detours will continue on weekends. At least one sidewalk under the bridge will remain open at all times as the work progresses.

The county closed the S. Clark Street overpass to traffic in February to kick off work on this project, with the ultimate goal of easing traffic patterns in the area and encouraging more development along Route 1. Ultimately, the county plans to re-align S. Clark Street in the area to open up more green space in the area, projecting to wrap up that effort in 2022.

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The southbound lanes of S. Glebe Road are detoured between Walter Reed Drive and 20th Street S. due to a water main break.

Repair crews are currently on site, digging up the roadway to access the leaking section of pipe. Repairs on the 8-inch main are expected to stretch into the afternoon.

Northbound traffic on Glebe, meanwhile, is down to one lane.

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Morning Notes

Chamber Calls for Pause on Housing Conservation District — The Arlington Chamber of Commerce is calling for the Arlington County Board to pump the brakes on a proposed Housing Conservation District policy, set for a vote at tomorrow’s Board meeting. The Chamber says the policy would affect more than 450 privately-owned properties. “The County’s failure to provide any notice to property owners that would be affected by the Framework is inconsistent with Arlington’s established government process and the level of transparency the community has come to depend on,” said Chamber President Kate Bates. [Arlington Chamber of Commerce]

Carlin Springs Bridge Work to ResumeDemolition of the Carlin Springs Road Bridge over George Mason Drive was curtailed by winter weather last weekend, but is set to resume this weekend. Drivers should expect a number of detours in the area. [Twitter]

Fisette Tribute Packs Local Church — “A Dec. 13 tribute to departing Arlington County Board Chairman Jay Fisette was about 90 percent heartfelt thanks for his 20 years of service in elected office. And about 10 percent celebrity roast.” The event was so well-attended that the parking lot of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington was filled to capacity by those whom Fisette has not yet convinced to take the Car-Free Diet. [InsideNova, InsideNova]

Gossip: Britt McHenry Back on Local Airwaves? — A noted local Twitter user who goes by the name “Clarendon Bros” shared some local TV gossip last night, claiming that Britt McHenry was seen auditioning for a job at Fox 5. McHenry at one point lived in Arlington — it is unclear if she still does — and had a well-publicized run-in with local towing company Advanced Towing. [Twitter]

Fox Leaves Crystal City BID — “After more than a decade running the Crystal City Business Improvement District, Angela Fox is stepping down. The BID’s board of directors announced Fox’s departure Thursday, but has not named a permanent replacement.” [Bisnow]

Local Homebuilder Getting Bigger — “Arlington-based homebuilder CalAtlantic Homes is purchasing Home South Communities, a privately held homebuilder based in the Atlanta area. CalAtlantic itself is in the midst of a $9.3 billion merger with Miami’s Lennar Corp. (NYSE: LEN), expected to close early next year.” [Washington Business Journal]

Realtor Group Extends Clothing and Food Drive — “Despite the weather, the first community wide drop off for the Arlington Realtors Care (ARC) initiative, held on Saturday, Dec. 9 was a great success. ARC is sponsoring a second community wide drop off date scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 16 at RGS Title.” [Press Release]

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