More than 2,000 local children benefitted from a summer program sponsored by the company that manages highway toll lanes in the region.
Transurban, which manages the high-occupancy toll lanes on the Capital Beltway and will manage the soon-to-be-extended I-395 HOT lanes, donated $18,000 to its Outdoor Kids Fund.
The fund supported outdoor programs and environmental education for kids who attended summer camps at Upton Hill Regional Park in Arlington and Cameron Run Regional Park in Alexandria. Attendees learned about water safety and the environment, then celebrated the end of camp with a day at Upton Hill.
They were joined on their last day by officials from Transurban, as well as representatives from the parks’ managers the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, Arlington’s Department of Parks and Recreation and Arlington County Board vice chair Katie Cristol.
“NOVA Parks is a tremendous regional asset, and kudos to Transurban for providing a grant that will benefit many kids in Arlington and Alexandria,” said County Board chair Jay Fisette in a statement.
More from a press release:
The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority (NOVA Parks), Arlington Department of Parks and Recreation, Vice Chair of the Arlington County Board Katie Cristol and Transurban – the Virginia Department of Transportation’s partner on the 395 Express Lanes project, today joined area children at Upton Hill Regional Park to celebrate the Outdoor Kids Fund which was supported by Transurban this summer. The program provides enhanced outdoor experiences and environmental education for two thousand children who attend summer camps in Arlington and Alexandria.
In addition to a day at the waterpark at the end of camp, the children learn about water safety, and many of them get to experience hands-on environmental education. The two main waterparks used for the program are Great Waves at Cameron Run Regional Park in Alexandria, and Ocean Dunes at Upton Regional Park in Arlington.
“NOVA Parks is a tremendous regional asset, and kudos to Transurban for providing a grant that will benefit many kids in Arlington and Alexandria,” said Jay Fisette, Chairman of the Arlington County Board.
“At a time of severe budget pressure, having Transurban partner with NOVA Parks to improve the summer experience of our children is invaluable. These types of partnerships create lasting memories,” said Alexandria Vice Mayor Justin Wilson.
“As the Virginia Department of Transportation’s partner on the 395 Express Lanes project, Transurban is committed to the safety and wellbeing of the Arlington and Alexandria communities near the Express Lanes project corridor. Transurban is proud to support NoVA Parks as they continue providing outdoor experiences and environmental education for the community,” said Leigh Petschel, Vice President, Operations, Transurban.
“We hope this program will allow Arlington and Alexandria to serve even more of their youth with these savings,” remarked Stella Koch, Chairman of NOVA Parks. “With need high and budgets tight, this gift from Transurban is wonderful,” she continued.
“Transurban is demonstrating great corporate citizenship by supporting this program that will help some children in need have a wonderful experience,” said Eileen Ellsworth, President of the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia. “I love it when businesses and local and regional leadership come together to provide solutions,” she continued.
Photos via Facebook.
The project to extend the Interstate 395 Express Lanes from Fairfax County through Alexandria and Arlington to the D.C. line celebrated its ground-breaking ceremony this morning.
The toll lanes will be extended for eight miles north from Turkeycock Run near Edsall Road to the vicinity of Eads Street in Arlington, near the Pentagon.
The Virginia Department of Transportation partnered with toll road manager Transurban and contractors AECOM Engineering Company and Lane Construction to deliver the project. Construction is now underway and scheduled for completion in fall 2019.
The project will add a third reversible HOT lane on I-395, accessible for free by vehicles with three or more occupants and an E-ZPass Flex transponder, or for a toll by all others.
The lanes will generate funding for other transportation options in the region. Using toll money, Transurban will pay $15 million each year to local jurisdictions to help them pay for improvements. Among other projects, the south parking lot at the Pentagon is set for an overhaul, as are several nearby bridges.
The ceremony, atop a Pentagon City parking garage, marked the official start of construction. Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) was joined by Virginia Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne and elected officials from across the area, including Arlington County Board chair Jay Fisette and fellow Board member Libby Garvey.
Layne said such partnerships between state government, local agencies and federal stakeholders have been crucial to move the project along, heralded as the largest in the United States.
“We knew what the construction was going to be, but it took collaboration and trust to get this project underway,” Layne said.
McAuliffe hailed the project for solving a “major headache for so many commuters going into and out of the District, and going to and from our great Pentagon.”
He added that as Virginia’s population continues to grow — with people attracted by its low taxes, strong business environment and other amenities like breweries and wineries, McAuliffe said — projects to improve congestion on the Commonwealth’s roads are vital.
“This is finally going to be solved, and this is going to be a game-changer for residents of Northern Virginia,” McAuliffe said.
For its part, Transurban promised to be good partners throughout construction and beyond.
Jennifer Aument, Transurban’s group general manager for North America, said workers are committed to the safety of all road users during work, and urged drivers in the area to avoid distractions, wear their seatbelt and watch their speed around the construction zone.
Aument also said Transurban would be a “good neighbor” and work with nearby neighborhoods to minimize any other disruptions.
“Now, we’ll get to work,” she said.
Work has already got underway in the existing I-395 high-occupancy toll lanes. On Monday, August 7, VDOT announced full night-time closures of the lanes in both directions from the southbound HOV exit ramp near Boundary Channel Drive to the northbound exit ramp from the 95 Express Lanes near Edsall Road.
And weather-permitting, some southbound regular lanes of I-395 will be closed overnight this week between Duke Street and Edsall Road. VDOT advised drivers to travel safely and pay attention to signs posted on the road.
The program aims to “support organizations that sustain, enhance or protect the local environment and communities.” Transurban manages the HOT lanes on the Capital Beltway, and will do the same for the planned I-395 HOT lanes set to run through Arlington.
Over $550,000 has been awarded to 119 organizations around Northern Virginia since 2008, several of which that have been from Arlington. Any group can apply for a grant via the online application.
The Energy Masters Program, which promotes sustainability throughout Arlington, received grant funding to help residents at the Fort Henry Gardens apartment complex in Nauck with insulation issues, and to help refurbish over 50 units.
The CPRO received grant funding to improve the Columbia Pike farmers market and ensure that residents have access to fresh, locally sourced food. In addition, the money received was also used to design messages that were placed around schools, libraries, churches and apartment complexes and on social media about the grant program and how to apply.
In the future, CPRO plans to work with local partners such as the Arlington Food Assistance program on additional nutrition-related outreach.
Flickr pool photo by Dennis Dimmick
Traffic is backing up on I-395 after a crash in the southbound lanes near King Street.
As of 1:15 p.m., all but one lane was blocked due to the emergency response. Injuries were reported in the crash, but were said to not be serious in nature.
Arlington County Police, Arlington medics and Virginia State Police are on scene.
Update at 4:20 p.m. — Virginia State Police have issued the following statement about the charge for which Boak was wanted: “The Virginia State Police entered the misdemeanor arrest warrant into the Virginia Criminal Information Network (VCIN) on behalf of the Virginia Department of Corrections Probation and Parole. The warrant issued to the Probation & Parole Officer on May 2, 2017, in Fairfax City General District Court was for a violation of Code of Virginia 18.2-251.4 – Drugs/Alcohol: Screening Tests/Substitute Sample.”
Update at 9:55 a.m. — The suspect has died, according to an ACPD press release. He was identified as 28-year-old Daniel George Boak of Centreville. Police say he pinned an officer against another vehicle with his truck before the shots were fired.
Earlier: A man has been shot by police and at least two Arlington County Police officers have been injured on the Glebe Road exit of I-395.
The shooting happened just after 4:30 p.m. The suspect was in a black pickup truck that was heading southbound on I-395 when police attempted a traffic stop after a “hit” from a police license plate reader, according to scanner traffic.
Initial reports suggest the suspect was in heavy traffic and refusing to pull over, when officers exited their vehicle and approached. An officer was then struck by the vehicle, at which point a second officer fired shots at the driver, according to ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage.
The suspect is reported to be in critical condition. Officers attempted life-saving measures on the suspect before medics arrived.
The police officer who was struck suffered a leg injury, according to the fire department Twitter account, and was transported via ambulance to Virginia Hospital Center. The officer’s injuries were described by Savage as “serious but non-life-threatening.”
The officer who fired the shots suffered “minor” injuries, Savage said. At least two additional officers were evaluated at the scene by paramedics, according to scanner traffic.
Traffic is very heavy but still moving on southbound I-395. The Glebe Road exit and at least one lane of northbound Glebe Road is blocked.
“This will be an ongoing investigation,” said Savage. “It’ll be active for a couple of hours, I can imagine.”
The fire department’s mobile command unit and ambulance bus were dispatched to the scene. Coolers of water were brought in due to the hot, mid-90 degree weather weather.
#Update One subject is in critical condition at this time. Other patient is being evaluated for a leg injury. Avoid area and expect delays.
— Arlington Fire (@ACFDPIO) May 17, 2017
#Update expect significant delays on I395 SB due to police incident @ S. Glebe Rd.
— Arlington Fire (@ACFDPIO) May 17, 2017
UPDATE: Officers attempted traffic stop on wanted subject. Following shooting, police performed life saving measured before medics (1/2)
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) May 17, 2017
arrived on scene and transported suspect to hospital in life threatening condition. (2/2) https://t.co/JJVTbHrZYz
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) May 17, 2017
(Updated at 11:45 a.m.) A vehicle ran off the side of an I-395 overpass last night and landed on S. Rotary Road at S. Eads Street, a main entrance to the Pentagon reservation.
Once freed, the driver was transported to the trauma center at George Washington University Hospital for “further evaluation,” according to ACFD.
The vehicle — described as a hatchback or hybrid SUV — was heavily damaged in the 25-50 foot fall from the highway to the roadway below. It also took out a “large light pole” on the way down, according to a fire department Facebook post.
No other vehicles were reported to be involved.
— Arlington Fire (@ACFDPIO) February 15, 2017
— Arlington Fire (@ACFDPIO) February 15, 2017
Courtesy photo (top), photo (middle) via Google Maps
Beyer Won’t Participate in Inauguration — Don’t expect to see Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) at the inauguration of Donald Trump nor at any celebratory inaugural events. Beyer says he “will not be part of normalizing or legitimizing” president-elect Trump, whose “values and… actions are the antithesis of what I hold dear.” [Falls Church News-Press]
Cubs at the Pentagon City Ritz — The World Series-winning Chicago Cubs made the Pentagon City Ritz-Carlton their home base before meeting President Obama at the White House on Monday. The hotel is a popular destination for visiting sports teams. [Twitter]
Crash on I-395 — All but one lane of traffic was blocked on northbound I-395 yesterday following an afternoon crash near Shirlington. A police officer helped to calm down a dog who was in one of the cars involved in the crash. [Twitter, Twitter]
Arlington Group Will March in Inauguration — The Arlington-based Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) will march in Friday’s inaugural parade in D.C. The organization supports the families of fallen military service members. [WJLA]
Hot Start for Wakefield Girls — The Wakefield girls basketball team is off to an impressive 12-2 start this season. The team plays Falls Church tonight. [Washington Post]
Business Book Club at Library — Arlington Public Library has launched a Business Book Club “for adults interested in reading about business strategy, leadership and management.” The first meeting is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 28 at Central Library. [InsideNova]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
Man Found Dead in Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse — A middle-aged man was found dead in the bathroom at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Crystal City Monday afternoon. The restaurant was closed and the man was found by a cleaning crew. Arlington County police say the death is not considered suspicious. [WTOP, Fox 5]
Same-Sex Marriage Rate Falls — So far in 2016, only 1.9 percent of the more than 3,600 marriage licenses issued by the Arlington Circuit Court were issued to same-sex couples. That compares to 5.3 percent from June to December 2015, after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage nationally. The first same-sex marriage in Arlington took place in Oct. 2014. [InsideNova]
Morning Rush Hour Crash on I-395 — Several lanes of northbound I-395 were blocked near Shirlington Circle this morning due to a crash. [Twitter]
Arlington Man Reunited With Trophy — Arlington resident Larry Funkhouser has been reunited with a high school baseball trophy he won 50 years ago but had since lost. Thanks to a post on the “I grew up in Arlington” Facebook page, the trophy was located at an antique shop in Purcellville and delivered to Funkhouser just in time for Christmas. [Fox 5]
Arlington’s Family Christmas Miracle — An Arlington couple’s two-year-old has become only the fifth child in the country to receive an auditory brainstem implant surgery. As a result of the procedure, which is in a clinical trial, the child, who was born deaf, can now hear. [WJLA]
(Updated at 6:10 p.m.) D.C. police and Virginia State Police chased a stolen D.C. Housing Authority Police car down I-395 in heavy rush hour traffic Tuesday night.
Initial reports suggest a woman wanted for crack cocaine-related drug charges stole the police car in D.C. and then drove it onto I-395 in the direction of Virginia. The chase entered Arlington via the 14th Street Bridge around 5:30 p.m.
Arlington County Police did not engage in the pursuit, per department rules, according to scanner traffic.
A police helicopter was overhead, shining a spotlight down on the stolen car, as it continued to slowly make its way down traffic-clogged I-395. At least one multi-vehicle crash, near Washington Blvd, was reported during the pursuit.
Ultimately the suspect took the King Street exit into the City of Alexandria — going the wrong-way down the ramp, according to scanner traffic — and was boxed in by police.
The woman, who was reported to be pregnant, was quickly taken into custody. She was evaluated by medics for possible injuries.
Drivers should expect road and ramp closures on King Street at I-395. Numerous emergency vehicles remain on the scene as of 6:10 p.m.
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) December 13, 2016
Update at 3:10 p.m. — From an updated Virginia State Police statement:
The Virginia State Police have charged Jessica M. Pierce, 26, of Stafford, Va., with one felony count of eluding police, one felony count of unauthorized use of a vehicle, one felony count of grand larceny, reckless driving and one misdemeanor count of giving false identification to law enforcement. The charges resulted from Pierce’s crash in the City of Alexandria.
Virginia State Police were assisting the Metropolitan-DC Police Department with a pursuit that entered Virginia on Interstate 395, when the suspect vehicle – a Ford Explorer – crashed in Alexandria Tuesday evening (Dec. 13). At approximately 5:35 p.m., as the Ford Explorer was taking the ramp from westbound King Street to northbound I-395, the Explorer rammed a marked Metro PD police cruiser involved in the pursuit. The Metro PD officer was then able to pin the suspect vehicle against the Jersey wall.
The suspect driver, Pierce, was taken into custody without further incident and transported to Fairfax Inova Hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.
No police officers were injured in the crash. No other vehicles were involved in this crash.
The Virginia State Police is investigating the crash.
The Ford Explorer belonged to the DC Housing Authority Police Department.
The wreck happened on northbound I-395, approaching the Pentagon, just after 12:30 a.m.
Police say Julio Cesar Marcia Castro, a 27-year-old Maryland resident, crashed into a police SUV that was pulled over on an unrelated traffic stop. Luckily, no one was inside the police vehicle at the time of the crash.
Castro had to be extricated from his vehicle by paramedics and was transported to the trauma center at George Washington University Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Two officers were treated and released at Virginia Hospital Center for injuries from flying debris.
“During the course of the investigation, officers determined that the driver of the suspect vehicle was under the influence of alcohol,” police said in a crime report. “Julio Cesar Marcia Castro, 27, of Fort Washington MD, was arrested and charged with driving under the influence (3+ offense or 2+ felony offense), driving with a suspended license, and driving with DUI suspended license (3+ offense in 10 years).”
Castro is still in police custody in D.C., awaiting extradition back to the Virginia, said ACPD spokeswoman Ashley Savage.
— ArlingtonCountyPD (@ArlingtonVaPD) December 13, 2016
(Updated at 12:45 p.m.) The northbound lanes of I-395 are partially blocked just past Glebe Road, approaching the Pentagon, after a police chase ended in the middle of the highway.
Initial reports suggest the car was being chased for an assault on law enforcement, possibly as a result of the car ramming a Fairfax County Police cruiser.
Fairfax County Police and Virginia State Police officers chased the car up I-395 until it reportedly lost control and was boxed in by several police cruisers. The chase ended around 12:25 p.m. Arlington County officers trailed the chase and helped to assist with traffic control, according to scanner traffic.
Three occupants of the car were instructed to come out with their hands up, and were arrested at police gunpoint without further incident. No word yet on what charges they may face.
As of 12:35 p.m., one lane of northbound I-395 had reopened to traffic after being completely blocked for a short time.
Update at 11:30 p.m. — The chase started when officers tried to pull over the car in connection to a theft from a department store in Tysons Corner, according to Fairfax County Police.
Around 11:40 a.m. today (Tuesday, December 6), the Tysons Urban Team (TUT) team was investigating a larceny case at a department store in Tysons Corner Center. The suspects fled in a car. Officers located it nearby and attempted a traffic stop, but the driver did not stop and a pursuit was initiated. The pursuit traveled out of Fairfax County. Virginia State Police and Arlington County Police assisted us.The pursuit ended along I-395 and Washington Street. Initial information determined three people were taken into custody.
Wardian Wins Vegas Marathon Dressed Like Elvis — Not only did Arlington’s own marathoning superhero Michael Wardian, 42, win the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Marathon over the weekend, but he did it while dressed like Elvis Presley. Wardian even set a world record for the fastest marathon while dressed like the King, at 2:38:04. [Las Vegas Review-Journal, Competitor]
Fox Rescued from Construction Pit — The Animal Welfare League of Arlington rescued a fox from a large pit at a construction site on Monday. The fox was cold and muddy but uninjured; it was released back to “a quiet patch of trees nearby.” [Facebook]
APS Accused of Poor Communication — Arlington Public Schools is “a great school district,” says Washington Post columnist Jay Mathews, but it has communicated “poorly” regarding the potential for middle schools to move to block scheduling. [Washington Post]
Reminder: Preventing Sewer Backups — Ahead of the holiday season, Arlington County is reminding residents to avoid sending fats, oils and grease down the drain. The “FOG” from cooking and cleaning can clog home sewer lines and lead to catastrophic sewage backups. [Arlington County]
I-395 Issues on Monday — I-395 in the District was briefly blocked by anti-Trump protesters yesterday afternoon, leading to some backups. Later, a multi-vehicle crash near the Route 1 exit in Arlington blocked multiple lanes during the evening rush hour. [Washington Post, Twitter]
A van caught fire in the HOV lanes near Shirlington Circle around 2:45 p.m. The fire was extinguished by firefighters, who are still on scene examining the van’s engine compartment.
Currently, two mainline lanes and one HOV lane is squeezing by the scene, with HOV backups extending to the Pentagon.
Separately, there are currently significant delays on westbound Columbia Pike due to a reported three-vehicle crash just past Glebe Road. At least two injuries were reported in that crash, while no injuries were reported as result of the vehicle fire.
Arcing Insulator at Rosslyn Metro — An electrical issue on the Metrorail tracks outside of the Rosslyn station caused delays on the Blue, Orange and Silver lines during this morning’s rush hour. The arcing insulator prompted single-tracking and a large fire department response. [WJLA]
Beyer to Shadow DCA Worker — Today, from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) is expected to “accompany contracted wheelchair agents to learn first-hand their role helping passengers with disabilities at Reagan National Airport.” The workers and their union, 32BJ SEIU, are fighting for a $15 per hour wage. Currently, they receive as little as $6 per hour plus “unreliable tips.”
Samsung Collecting Note 7 at DCA — Electronics manufacturer Samsung has set up a booth at Reagan National Airport to collect their now recalled and discontinued Galaxy Note 7 phones, which are banned from flights due to a propensity to randomly go up in flames. [Twitter]
I-395 HOT Lane Update — VDOT updated the Arlington County Board yesterday on its “managed HOV/toll lanes” project slated for I-395. County staff is currently studying traffic and noise impacts to Arlington and the project’s allocation of at least $15 million per year to transit along the corridor, which the county believes is insufficient. [Arlington County]
Tech Incubator Founder Moves to Arlington — Evan Burfield, the founder of D.C.-based tech incubator 1776, has moved to Arlington with his wife and one-year-old daughter. Burfield chose a $1.6 million home in the Aurora Highlands neighborhood outside of Crystal City, calling it “a great buy on an up-and-coming area.” 1776 has a location in Crystal City that Burfield said is performing well. [Washington Business Journal]
Police: Arlington Man Called Reporter the N-Word — An Arlington man, 21-year-old Brian Eybers, has been arrested in Charleston, South Carolina on disorderly conduct and drug-related charges. A local TV reporter in Charleston says Eybers called him the N-word and then stood in front of his news van, blocking it from leaving. [The State]
Tonight’s evening commute was much worse than usual for many local residents.
A combination of factors — track problems on multiple Metrorail lines and a fuel spill that blocked the Outer Loop of the Beltway in Maryland — led to very crowded Metro stations and trains and very heavy traffic, particularly on I-395.
The latest Metro woes come as WMATA is reportedly considering raising fares to close a big anticipated budget shortfall.
Currently: There are significant Metro delays, traffic is a nightmare, the outer loop of the Beltway is blocked and the Nationals are losing pic.twitter.com/yGU5Pxbzec
— Arlington News (@ARLnowDOTcom) October 11, 2016
Yellow Line: Expect residual delays in both directions due to an earlier switch problem at National Airport.
— Metrorail Info (@Metrorailinfo) October 11, 2016
Orange Line: Single tracking btwn Smithsonian & Federal Ctr due to a track condition outside Smithsonian. Add'l delays in both directions.
— Metrorail Info (@Metrorailinfo) October 11, 2016
— Yumi Kim (@YumiKimSK) October 11, 2016