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Major backup after GW Parkway blocked by crash (via Google Maps)

The northbound lanes of the GW Parkway were Friday afternoon blocked after reports of a “major” crash near the second scenic overlook.

The Arlington County Fire Department is among those that responded to the crash, south of Chain Bridge in Arlington. So far there’s no word on injuries nor the exact nature of the crash.

Northbound traffic was diverted onto Spout Run Parkway, but a significant number of drivers may have gotten stuck in the backup after Spout Run.

Drivers on the southbound GW Parkway were also seeing delays near the crash scene due to the emergency response.

Update at 1:50 p.m. — All lanes have reopened, according to U.S. Park Police.

Photo via Google Maps

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GW Parkway between Spout Run and Chain Bridge (photo via Google Maps)

Rolling single-lane closures are coming to a busy portion of George Washington Memorial Parkway starting today (August 1) and continuing through Friday (August 5).

Impacted will be the seven-mile segment of the GW Parkway between Spout Run Parkway in Arlington and the I-495 interchange in McLean.

The closures are needed to complete survey work for the road’s first major rehab project in six decades, the National Park Service announced in a press release late last week.

Northbound lane closures will take place between 7 a.m. and 2:45 p.m. while the southbound closures will run from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

These will be rolling, single-lane closures, meaning the road won’t be shut down completely. However, NPS is still asking drivers to “proceed with caution in these areas and consider using alternate routes” over the next five days.

Concurrent closures maximize the number of survey crews and minimize the duration of closures.

“Single lane closures are needed to create a safe work zone for surveyors conducting surveys,” the press release reads. “These surveys are needed to inform the design for the northern parkway rehabilitation project.”

For the first time since it was built in 1962, the northern section of the GW Parkway is getting a major overhaul. This is the busiest section of the parkway, according to NPS, serving 26 million drivers annually.

“The project will retain and revive the historic beauty and significance of the parkway – including opening scenic views to Washington, D.C – while updating aspects of it to improve the driving experience, safety and water drainage,” notes the agency’s website.

The work will include replacing asphalt, redesigning interchanges, reconstructing stone walls and barriers, replacing the drainage system, lengthening some entrance and exit lanes, and rehabbing the parkway’s historic overlooks.

In recent years, the road has had to close at least several times due to sinkholes.

The $161 million infrastructure project is being funded by the Great American Outdoors Act. Earlier this month, a number of federal officials and local lawmakers participated in a ground-breaking ceremony that kicked off the work.

The project’s first step is the design phase, which starts this week with surveying. Construction is expected to start next year and be completed in 2025.

The full press release from the National Park Service about this week’s lane closures is below.

On Monday, August 1 through Friday, August 5 there will be single lane, rolling closures in the northbound and southbound right lanes between Spout Run Parkway and the 495 interchange. Drivers should proceed with caution in these areas and consider using alternate routes.

  • All northbound closures will take place from 7 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.
  • All southbound closures will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

All work is weather dependent, and closures are subject to change. Concurrent northbound and southbound closures and maximizing survey crews minimizes the duration of lane closures.

Single lane closures are needed to create a safe work zone for surveyors conducting surveys. These surveys are needed to inform the design for the northern parkway rehabilitation project.

The NPS has closed parking lot C-2 and part of parking lot B at Turkey Run Park as part of the project to rehabilitate the north section of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. These parking areas will be closed for the duration of the project.

The rehabilitation of the northern section of the parkway was announced by the Department of the Interior on December 7, 2021. In partnership with the National Park Service, the Federal Highway Administration awarded a $161 million contract to rehabilitate this section of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. The project will improve the driving experience, safety and water drainage while retaining and reviving the historic beauty and significance of the parkway – including opening scenic views to Washington, D.C.

Photo via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

Walking along Columbia Pike at twilight (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Local Man Sentenced for Philly Fire — “The first protester to face sentencing for setting police cars ablaze during the 2020 racial injustice protests in Philadelphia received a 364-day federal prison term on Monday — nearly nine months less than the time he’s already spent behind bars since his 2020 arrest. Ayoub Tabri, 25, of Arlington, Va., has been incarcerated since he confessed to FBI investigators that he threw a lit road flare into a Pennsylvania State Police car during the demonstrations that erupted in Center City.” [Philadelphia Inquirer]

No Change in HQ2 Construction Plan — “Amazon.com Inc. has confirmed it is pausing construction on office towers as part of planned expansions in its two main Seattle-area and Nashville hubs, but it is not halting its hiring at either location, nor does it plan changes to its HQ2 campus thus far… ‘We remain committed to bringing 25,000 jobs to HQ2 and are looking forward to celebrating the opening of Met Park next spring and breaking ground at Pen Place early next year,’ Amazon spokeswoman Rachael Lighty said.” [Washington Business Journal]

Homebuyer Demand Still High Here — “Fears of an autumn of disquiet and a winter of discontent in the real-estate market may be growing, but in Arlington, summertime buyer interest remains strong, according to new data. The county led all D.C.-region localities in the monthly T3 Home Demand Index, created by the Mid-Atlantic multiple-listing service Bright MLS.” [Sun Gazette]

GW Parkway Work Starting Soon — “For the first time since the George Washington Parkway was completed 60 years ago, the scenic past-its-prime commuter route — combined-with-a-national park and trail system — is getting a major rehabilitation. And it will begin soon. ‘We anticipate by late summer to be involved in transition lanes,” said Charles Cuvelier, superintendent of the George Washington Memorial Parkway.'” [WTOP]

RIP @UnsuckDCMetro — Matt, the creator of the Twitter account @unsuckdcmetro and a indefatigable critic of WMATA, reportedly passed away over the weekend. Here’s a podcast episode we recorded with him in 2018. [ARLnow, Apple Podcasts]

Arlington Donut Shops Make Local List — “Whether it’s breakfast or dessert, anyone with a sweet tooth will surely agree that doughnuts are an irresistible choice. This American staple will always be a crowd pleaser, and these NoVA spots will show you exactly why.” [Northern Virginia Magazine]

It’s Tuesday — Humid and mostly cloudy throughout the day. High of 88 and low of 74. Sunrise at 6:00 am and sunset at 8:32 pm. [Weather.gov]

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File photo

Update at 10:15 p.m. — All lanes have reopened.

Earlier: Northbound lanes of the GW Parkway are closed for an investigation after a serious crash.

The crash happened along the Parkway, just north of N. Glebe Road, around 5:30 p.m.

One person was trapped in a vehicle and rescued by firefighters. They were brought via ambulance to a local hospital.

The northbound lanes were still closed as of 6:15 p.m. and are expected to remain closed for an extended period of time for a crash investigation, according to U.S. Park Police. Traffic is being diverted onto Spout Run Parkway.

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Traffic on northbound GW Parkway due to crash (via Google Maps)

Update at 1:45 p.m. — The crash has been cleared and the lanes reopened.

Earlier: Traffic from the northbound GW Parkway is being diverted onto Spout Run Parkway due to a crash.

A crash and reported fire has closed the Parkway’s northbound lanes at the first scenic overlook in Arlington. Drivers caught between the crash and Spout Run are sitting at a standstill.

So far there’s no additional word on the nature of the crash or on injuries.

Photo via Google Maps

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A particularly sharp bend in the GW Parkway near Key Bridge has claimed another vehicular victim

An SUV overturned in the southbound lanes around 1:15 p.m., blocking all lanes and causing a backup that still extends as far north as the Windy Run bridge as of 2 p.m. The driver was able to get out on their own after the crash and was evaluated for injuries by Arlington medics.

Reported as a single-vehicle crash, it happened amid rainy weather in a part of the Parkway that has seen numerous crashes in both directions. It appears that this afternoon’s crash damaged temporary concrete barriers set up in front of the permanent wooden barriers that had been damaged by a previous crash.

Arlington firefighters and U.S. Park Police both responded to the scene. Continued southbound delays are expected until crews can complete the clean up process.

Update at 2:55 p.m. — The earlier closure has been lifted and delays have dissipated. 

Map via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

The U.S. Air Force Memorial and surrounding construction at twilight (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Cristol Calls Out Displacement ‘Lie’ — “Time will tell, as it always does, but Arlington elected officials say the public and some activists are mistaken if they believe there will be wholesale displacement of residents of the Barcroft Apartments complex in South Arlington. At a May 14 meeting, County Board Chairman Katie Cristol – not one normally known for getting rattled while on the dais – decried as a ‘lie’ the displacement rumors at the sprawling, 1,334-unit apartment complex.” [Sun Gazette]

Crash Last Night on GW Parkway — From Alan Henney: “Another auto went over the wall on the northbound side of the GW Pky prior to the Key Bridge in Arlington. Amazingly driver is out uninjured after his auto slid down the embankment.” [Twitter]

Marymount University Commencement — From Princess Reema bint Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the U.S.: “It was my tremendous privilege to give the commencement at @marymountu, a university that like many around the U.S. hosts Saudi students. It was my absolute honor to receive an honorary doctorate, thank you to the faculty and Dr. Becerra for this special day.” [Twitter, Sun Gazette]

Metro CEO and COO Resign — “The WMATA Board of Directors has accepted Paul Wiedefeld’s decision to make his retirement effective today. In addition, Chief Operating Officer Joe Leader has resigned, effective immediately.” [WMATA, DCist]

New Skyline Development Proposal — “Madison Marquette has filed plans to convert two Baileys Crossroads office building into live/work lofts, advancing a vision to resuscitate the huge multibuilding cluster known as Skyline Center. By repurposing the mostly emptied office spaces — which meet planning and code requirements to serve as apartments and/or offices for small firms — Skyline can once again become ‘the gravitational center for the area.'” [Washington Business Journal]

Body Cams for Falls Church Police — “Police officers with the City of Falls Church will now be equipped with body-worn cameras beginning this month.” [WJLA, City of Falls Church]

It’s Tuesday — Clear throughout the day. High of 77 and low of 59. Sunrise at 5:55 am and sunset at 8:17 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Morning Notes

A kite stuck up a tree in Rosslyn (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Another Malfunctioning Walk Signal — Just over a week after this, another reported crosswalk signal issue: “Instead of telling you when it’s safe to cross the street, the walk signs in Crystal City, VA are just repeating ‘CHANGE PASSWORD’. Something’s gone terribly wrong here.” [Twitter]

School Board Meeting Was Mostly Maskless — “For those playing the ‘how many Arlington School Board members will go mask-free at the first board meeting after requirements were lifted?’ home game, the winners were those who had put their money on four out of five. Board members David Priddy, Cristina Diaz-Torres, Reid Goldstein and chairman Barbara Kanninen were maskless at the March 10 meeting, as was Superintendent Francisco Durán. School Board member Mary Kadera kept her mask affixed.” [Sun Gazette]

Survey Work on GW Parkway — ” A $161 million ‘complete rehabilitation‘ of the northern section of the George Washington Memorial Parkway is being planned… Through Friday, March 18, there will be single-lane closures along the northern section of the George Washington Memorial Parkway for bridge surveys. Drivers should proceed with caution in these areas and consider using alternate routes, according to an NPS alert.” [WUSA 9]

Arlington Doc Helping Refugees — “An Arlington doctor is not only battling the pandemic in Northern Virginia, but he also travels across international borders to help those in need. The current refugee crisis that began with Afghans in 2021, now includes Ukrainians facing a similar fate of displacement and an uncertain future. For three years before COVID-19 spread across the globe, Dr. Ali Karim helped build wells in Nigeria, aided orphans and women in Kabul, Afghanistan and filmed a documentary about his solo journey.” [WJLA]

Days Inn Redevelopment Update — “The plans to replace the Days Inn at 2201 Arlington Boulevard with 262 multi-family units and around 3,000 square feet of retail were filed with Arlington County last week. The eight-story project will also have surface and underground parking. STUDIOS Architecture designed the building.” [Urban Turf]

Social Sports Return to Crystal City — “Sand Volleyball is BACK in National Landing starting this May with a few fun new additions – Bocce and Corn Hole!” [Twitter]

Yes, It’s Getting Windier — “Our analysis of wind data shows that the strongest gusts have become more frequent recently. Last year featured more big wind gusts than any recent year, a trend that has continued into this year. Wind advisories, issued by the National Weather Service when gusts are expected to top 45 mph, have also been on the increase since the mid-2000s.” [Capital Weather Gang]

It’s Tuesday — Mostly cloudy throughout the day. High of 66 and low of 40. Sunrise at 7:21 am and sunset at 7:17 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Overturned vehicle and police activity on the Spout Run entrance from the GW Parkway (Photo courtesy @airwolf782)

A vehicle possibly involved in a robbery in Georgetown has overturned on the GW Parkway.

The wreck happened around 3:15 p.m. in the northbound lanes of the Parkway, near Spout Run, leaving the vehicle on its roof.

Two occupants are out and said to be in police custody. An Arlington police K-9 unit was dispatched to the scene, initially to search for a person still believed to be on the run, though it’s unclear whether that is still the case.

Firefighters and medics, as well as police from several jurisdictions, are now on scene.

Public safety watcher Alan Henney reports that the people in custody are suspects in a robbery of an optical store in D.C.’s Georgetown neighborhood. There have been a number of such robberies across the region in recent months, including at least two in Arlington.

The exit from the northbound GW Parkway to the Spout Run is currently closed as a result of the emergency activity.

Photo courtesy @airwolf782

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Closure due to crash on the GW Parkway (via Google Maps)

(Updated at 2:50 p.m.) Northbound lanes of the GW Parkway were closed before Key Bridge today due to a serious crash.

The crash happened shortly before 11:45 a.m. and reportedly involved a vehicle that ran off the side of the roadway and overturned, injuring several people.

Northbound traffic was at a near-standstill for nearly a mile, between the Roosevelt Bridge and the crash.

All lanes reopened by 1:45 p.m., according to WTOP.

Map via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

Wednesday’s sunset in Westover (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

County Covid Testing Booth Still Closed — From Arlington County: “The @curative #COVID19 testing kiosk at Arlington Mill Community Center will be closed tomorrow, Jan 6, due to COVID-related staffing shortages. The kiosks at Court House Plaza and Virginia Highlands Park are scheduled to open at 9 AM. Thank you for your flexibility.” [Twitter]

APS Orders Tests for All Students, Staff — “We have ordered a supply of KN95 masks, particulate filters for an APS provided mask, and at-home rapid antigen test kits for every staff member and student. Supplies for these items are limited but we anticipate them soon and will send additional communication when available.” [Arlington Public Schools]

APS Custodians Clear School Sidewalks — From Arlington Public Schools yesterday afternoon, before the announcement that today would be another snow day: “Thank you custodians and grounds staff for clearing our walkways, roadways and buses to ensure a safe return to school!” [Twitter]

Flight Cancellations at National Airport — From NBC 4’s Adam Tuss yesterday: “MAJOR problems at @Reagan_Airport right now as flight cancellations and delays have piled up. One traveler just told me their flight was cancelled 5 times over 3 days. Airlines tell me there are staffing issues and the winter weather didn’t help. This is a SIGHT!” [Twitter]

Florida Men Stopped With Guns at DCA — “During a search of a Florida man’s carry-on bag on Dec. 28, TSA officers using an X-ray machine discovered an unloaded .40 caliber handgun and 116 bullets. On Saturday, TSA officers stopped another man at a DCA checkpoint with a .40 caliber handgun loaded with six bullets. In both unrelated cases, TSA officers alerted the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority police, who arrested the men and confiscated the guns an ammunition.” [Patch]

No County Board Tie-Breaker This Year — “State law allows the Arlington board to appoint a tie-breaker from within the ranks of the public. It also requires that, if the board does not want to do so, it must hold a vote to that effect at the start of each year. Board members dutifully voted down a tie-breaker at their Jan. 4 organizational meeting, which had been delayed a day due to inclement weather.” [Sun Gazette]

Photos of Aftermath of GW Parkway Crash — “#DCsBravest Fireboats assisted @ArlingtonVaFD as they conducted an extremely difficult rescue of a victim trapped in a car 70 feet down a cliff. Our Fireboat returned in daylight to retrieve gear and check vehicle stability. Photos show how challenging this rescue was.” [Twitter, Twitter, Patch]

It’s Thursday — Today will be partly sunny, with a high near 39. Sunrise at 7:27 a.m. and sunset at 5:01 p.m. Snow tonight and overnight, 2-4 inches of accumulation. After the snow, Friday will be sunny and breezy, with a high near 32. West wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph. [Weather.gov]

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