Plans to replace the nearly 70-year-old Mount Vernon Avenue Bridge are set to move forward with more than $17 million in state funding.
On Saturday, the Arlington County Board is slated to accept the state funding and adopt a resolution committing the county to pitch in local funding. The $28 million project is in an early design phase, according to the county’s project webpage.
“The Mount Vernon Avenue bridge project will replace the deteriorated roadway substructure and reuse the existing piers, which are stable,” per a county report. “The new bridge will include wider sidewalks and bike lanes in both directions.”
The project will extend the new sidewalks and bike lanes to the intersection of Arlington Ridge Road and S. Glebe Road and improve connections from the bridge to the Four Mile Run Trail, according to the county. The northern sidewalks are currently closed to prevent more wear and tear.
The Mount Vernon Avenue bridge is one of five bridges that allow vehicle traffic across Four Mile Run, between Arlington County and the City of Alexandria. It and the W. Glebe Road bridge, both built in the 1950s, were found to be structurally deficient in 2018 and identified for replacement.
“Both bridges are of a similar design and construction and have experienced significant deterioration as they approach the end of their useful life,” according to a county report.
This spring, after a number of weight and access restrictions, the W. Glebe Road Bridge was closed to allow for the replacement of the road deck and beams. Work on the Mount Vernon Avenue Bridge will begin after this bridge reopens.
“The replacement of the West Glebe Road bridge is expected to be substantially completed in fall of 2023 and will be fully open to motorized and non-motorized traffic prior to construction commencing on the Mount Vernon Avenue bridge,” per the report.
Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services posted a photo last week of concrete being poured for the bridge replacement project.
This just in from the West Glebe Road bridge. Here we see concrete being piped in from above while crews make it smooth on the bridge deck. Who wants to build their own at home with their Legos? ✋https://t.co/iBZpWFf691 pic.twitter.com/ESyHwH1YqH
— Arlington Department of Environmental Services (@ArlingtonDES) December 8, 2022
The Mount Vernon Avenue Bridge will remain open to motorists, pedestrians and cyclists during construction, although there will be vehicle travel lane reductions, per the county website.
Arlington County and the City of Alexandria will hire a firm to complete the designs, which are currently 30% complete. Then, the project will go out for bid and a contractor will be selected.
“The new bridge will include integrated art elements by artist Vicki Scuri that will enhance the bridge aesthetically,” according to the county report. “The new bridge and the integrated art elements will be completed simultaneously.”
The county says her forthcoming art installation for the Mount Vernon Avenue Bridge will provide more lighting on the Four Mile Run trail and “connect the design of the bridge to the communities of Arlington and Alexandria,” per the project webpage.
Commuters may be familiar with a current example of Scuri’s work adorning a bridge over Route 50. Her work will also be incorporated into the W. Glebe Road Bridge replacement.
The two bridge replacement projects are funded with a combination of local and state dollars as well as federal funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, which President Joe Biden signed last year.
Of the $17.2 million in state funding that the County Board is set to appropriate, about $4.2 million comes with a local funding requirement. This will be shared equally between Arlington and Alexandria under the terms of an intergovernmental agreement that governs their joint responsibility to maintain and inspect the bridges and share short- and long-term rehabilitation and replacement costs.
Construction is wrapping up at the intersection of Langston Blvd (Route 29) and Glebe Road.
Last week, the traffic signals hanging from wires were swapped out for new mast-arm signals. This week, the contractor is expected to complete the remaining sections of sidewalk, curb ramps, and curb and gutter, according to the county’s project webpage.
These changes were part of a years-long project to add dedicated left turn lanes, make bus stop upgrades, take utilities underground and replace an old water main. The changes were intended to improve safety, access and travel times for motorists, pedestrians and transit riders at the intersection.
And now, the county says the project is almost done.
“Construction on the intersection improvements is nearing the finish line,” the project’s webpage said.
Work was anticipated to be completed by this coming spring, but progress is moving faster than expected.
“Spring ’22 was the expected completion date when we started construction, but work has been ahead of schedule and we now expect substantial completion in September,” Arlington Department of Environmental Services spokesman Eric Balliet said.
It’s a beautiful day to check out the new signal lights at VA-120/Glebe Rd @ US-29/Langston Bl. @WTOPtraffic @ARLnowDOTcom pic.twitter.com/kE6gpKcWQz
— Joe Conway, WTOP (@JoeConwayWTOP) August 27, 2021
The county said it will be releasing a schedule of the project’s final paving and the installation of the final pavement markings, both of which will likely occur at night this month (September).
The first phase of the project, including utility undergrounding, kicked off in 2017. The county has spent years obtaining easements from property owners along Glebe to allow the roadway expansion.
The County Board approved a $3.88 million contract for the remainder of the work in December 2019. Work started on this phase in May 2020, according to the project webpage.
This phase included the new exclusive left-turn lanes along N. Glebe Road “to ensure safer turning movements and reduce delays,” the county said. North-south traffic on Glebe had previously flowed only in one direction at a time, allowing turns without a dedicated turn signal but causing backups during rush hour.
The phase also included the mast-arm traffic signals with new phasing and timing, the upgraded water mains and stormwater infrastructure, enhanced crosswalks and bus stops, widened sidewalks and accessible curb ramps and commercial driveway aprons.
The need for upgrades to Langston Blvd and Glebe Road dates back to studies conducted in 2004.
“[The study] identified considerable traffic backups at the Lee Highway and Glebe Road intersection,” the county webpage said. “The backups resulted in traffic cutting through the neighborhood.”
Work could begin soon on the 65-year-old W. Glebe Road Bridge, which Arlington County says is “structurally deficient.”
This Saturday, the Arlington County Board is set to approve a $9.9 million contract that would kickstart the project. Improvements include replacing the top of the bridge, repairing its supports and making it more pedestrian- and cyclist-friendly.
According to the county, the bridge is in poor condition and requires attention soon. The bridge has been restricted to vehicles weighing fewer than five tons since a routine inspection in November 2018 uncovered structural problems.
The bridge “needs immediate superstructure replacement as further deterioration of the beams may result in bridge closure for [an] extended period,” a staff report said.
W. Glebe Road Bridge will remain open to vehicles and pedestrians during construction, which is expected to last 18 months, the county said, adding that extra time is needed to move underground utilities.
“The project includes removing the existing prestressed concrete superstructure and constructing a new superstructure with steel girders and a concrete deck,” the report said. “The project also includes repairing the existing substructures, and installing new,
wider sidewalks, bike lanes, architectural features and enhanced lighting.”
This bridge is the first to be rebuilt as part of an agreement between Arlington and Alexandria to share the costs of rehabilitating and maintaining five bridges across Four Mile Run which connect the two jurisdictions. Once the repairs are complete, Arlington will be fully responsible for inspecting and maintaining the W. Glebe Road Bridge.
The next bridge slated for attention is Arlington Ridge Road, which needs to be repaired in two to five years, according to the county. Other bridges in the agreement are at Shirlington Road, Route 1 and Potomac Avenue.
The county said it has received community feedback in favor of replacing the bridge, adding separate areas for pedestrian and bicycle traffic and incorporating art.
Such art elements would “connect the design of the bridge to Four Mile Run and the communities that live in the area,” the report said.
According to the county, some people voiced concerns about the length of the project. A shorter build time would require closing the bridge, staff said.
“The public prefers the bridge remain open during the construction period,” the county said.
Photo (1) via Google Maps, (2-3) via Arlington County
The county could soon get started on some eagerly awaited improvements to Wilson Blvd in Virginia Square this spring.
Between 2009 and 2012, Arlington County completed two previous phases of road construction from N. Quincy Street to N. Lincoln Street, adding new sidewalks, streetlights, trees, bus shelters and a traffic signal at Oakland Street.
The second phase was divided into two different areas, with the first one finished in 2010 and the second one in 2012.
Now, last part of the project has been split into “east” and “west” phases along N. Kenmore Street.
The County Board is now set to award Sagres Construction Corp. a contract and $1,084,766 for the work needed for the “west” portion between N. Monroe Street and N. Kenmore Street. Construction could then begin next spring and then wrap the following summer.
For the final section, which spans from N. Kenmore Street to 10th Street N., construction is expected to start in spring of 2020 and then finish in spring of 2021.
Project elements for both “east” and “west” include new curbs and gutters, ADA-compliant sidewalks, traffic signal improvements, Carlyle-style streetlights and trees along the street. Upgrades to the storm sewers and new asphalt paving, signing and markings will also happen, according to the county.
“During the conceptual design process, residents especially noted concern for providing a safe pedestrian crossing at the N. Kenmore Street intersection,” according to county documents.
The Board is set to approve the contract at its meeting Saturday (Dec. 15) as part of its consent agenda, which is generally reserved for noncontroversial items.
Map via Arlington County
Starting this week, construction to improve the intersection of Lee Highway and N. Lynn Street in Rosslyn will significantly narrow a portion of the Custis Trail.
The Custis Trail will be restricted to six feet wide for the section between N. Fort Meyer Drive and Lynn Street, as crews work to transform one lane of Lee Highway into additional trail width and buffer space.
The trail narrowing will last for nine to 10 months while construction takes place on the south side of the trail.
Construction on the two-year, $9.3 million project officially kicked off in May and will happen in phases to reduce impacts on pedestrians, bicyclists and drivers, according to the county.
Workers will add wider sidewalks, on-street bike lanes and improved curb ramps as the northbound and southbound sections of Lee Highway meet Lynn Street.
The project will also include improvements to the Custis Trail as it runs alongside Lee Highway, including bicycle and pedestrian facility upgrades, lane reconfiguration and widening of the trail.
For street beautification efforts, the “Corridor of Light” public art installation will get added to each of the four corners of the Interstate 66 bridge.
The county is helping to fund the construction. The project, expected to wrap up in spring 2020, will require some lane and sidewalk closures.
Photo via VDOT and rendering via Arlington County
McCoy Park, a humble triangle of grass and trees between Lee Highway and I-66 near the new MOM’s Organic Market, is set for some upgrades.
Arlington County is in the midst of a design process for the park. A public open house is planned for Wednesday, Dec. 14 at 7 p.m., in a first floor conference room at Courthouse Plaza (2100 Clarendon Blvd). Residents can also share their thoughts via an online survey on the project page.
The draft plan for the park calls for more landscaping and amenities, including:
- A re-aligned sidewalk
- A seating deck with tables and chairs
- A shade canopy
- An interactive chalk art plaza with Four Square and Tick-Tac-Toe games
- Flowering trees, shrubs and perennials
- Trash and recycling receptacles
- “Discovery path” stepping stones
- New signage
The improvements are expected to be paid for with $125,000 in funding from the developer that built the adjacent shopping center, MOM’s market and apartments.
Additionally, the county is considering offering a dog bag dispenser and a Little Free Library — if it can find sponsors for either amenity.
The design process for the park is expected to wrap up within the first three months of 2017.
Old Dominion Drive and the park outside Gunston Community Center are getting upgrades.
On Saturday, The Arlington County Board unanimously approved $7.3 million worth of contracts to construct sidewalks on both sides of the arterial road from 38th Street N. to west of N. Glebe Road. The improvements will also install as well as curbs and gutters, traffic and pedestrian signals and stormwater upgrades.
Of the contract, $2.34 million will be coming from the Virginia Department of Transportation, and the rest will be coming from local bond funding and money from the HB 2313 transportation funding law.
“Old Dominion Drive is one of the last arterials located within a County neighborhood without sidewalks on either side,” the county said in a press release. The improvements are expected to be finished by fall 2016
The county also approved a nearly $600,000 contract for improvements around Gunston Community Center in the Long Branch Creek neighborhood. The money will go toward renovating the parking lot, outdoor basketball court and lighting. The parking lot and courts will be closed starting in March and are expected to reopen in the summer. People using the community center’s turf fields and indoor facilities will be directed to park at the adjacent Gunston Middle School parking lot.
“These two projects are prudent, timely investments in maintaining and upgrading our existing infrastructure,” said Arlington County Board Chair Mary Hynes.
Photo via Google Maps
An ambitious plan to add amenities to Potomac Overlook Regional Park (2845 N Marcey Road) has been scaled back as a result of negative feedback from residents.
The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority has released a “Version 2.0” of its Potomac Overlook improvement plan. Officials say they made changes to the plan after receiving concerns and criticism at a community meeting last week and in the comments section of an ARLnow.com article.
The new plan removes a proposed zip line, rock wall and paved parking lot from “near-term consideration.” It also establishes a “Natural Resources Advisory Committee” to study some elements of the original plan prior to any implementation. Plan elements selected for further study are the signature “tree house overlook,” a small urban farm, and any removal of healthy trees.
Elements of the plan that the park authority intends to move forward with over the next few years include:
- New programming and interpretive signage
- Tearing down an aging performance stage and replacing it with a new stage/shelter
- Renovating the Bird of Prey structure
- New kiosk/signage at park entrance
- New scout camping area near a fire circle in the back of the park
- Historic Donaldson barn site interpretation
- Adding more wood chips to trails
“We are calling this Potomac Overlook Improvement Plan Version 2.0, and I think it will please many who have shared their views with us,” said Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority Executive Director Paul Gilbert.
Improvements have been proposed for Potomac Overlook Regional Park, and one of the suggestions is to add the park’s first actual “overlook.”
The park land is managed by the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority (NVRPA), which held a meeting last night (Monday) to present the proposed improvement plans.
One of the ideas is to construct an overlook in the tree canopy where visitors could rent equipment and participate in educational programs. The site could also potentially be rented out for events.
Some of the other proposed improvements are:
- Create bus drop off plaza/welcome area with information kiosk and covered area for up to 75 persons.
- Relocate and/or improve park signage.
- Move gate further down entrance road and add parking — can add approximately 20 head-in spaces in clearings on each side of road with minimal tree loss.
- Add new asphalt cap to park roadway.
- Expand area of amphitheater to hold larger events by trimming back the vegetation on the upper side of the bowl.
- Add rock climbing, zip lines or large swings or similar features to attract groups, and help rent shelters.
- Replace existing stage with a shelter that could be rented, or used as a stage when needed. This new shelter would use the existing solar panels on its roof. Improve the interpretation of the solar shelter.
- Implement a small 2-acre urban farm or community garden, and develop interpretation of Donaldson farm and the historic foundations located near center of park, just off the paved path.
- Renovate and expand the aging birds of prey facility — an extremely popular destination for school groups visiting the park.
- Remove outdated and dilapidated elements such as “simple pleasures trellis,” solar fan bench and toddler terrace.
- Add scout camping area in cleared area behind the Indian Garden.
- Consider reestablishing a healthy orchard area to do a “pick your own” program.
- Request long-term lease or gift of Marcey Park from Arlington County.
In addition to upgrading the existing facilities, the plan suggests revamping programs offered at the park. The ideas include the following:
- Expand the number of weeks summer camps are offered.
- Drop camps for older kids that do not fill.
- Expand camps for younger kids that are in demand.
- Offer half day camps.
- Institute on-line registration process.
- Use more summer seasonal staff, and reduce distance of field trips.
- Offer merit badge programs with scout camping for a value-added experience.
- Do fewer concerts with bigger names to improve returns.
- “Yappy Hour” events using tennis courts on scheduled evenings.
- Explore after school nature programs for area elementary schools.
- Partner with external organization to operate the Urban Agriculture area.
Funding for the project would come from the NVRPA, with the possibility of some assistance from the Northern Virginia Regional Park Foundation.
So far no start date has been set for the beginning the work because the plans are preliminary. NVRPA is currently focusing on soliciting comments and suggestions from the community, which can be emailed to [email protected] NVRPA will hold at least one more meeting with community members regarding finalized plans before renovations begin.
Although the overdue project to revamp the Clarendon Metro Plaza is expected to be completed this month, there’s a request for the County Board to approve funding for additional improvements.
In May, the Board approved a contract worth more than $760,000 to the Fort Myer Construction Company. The project involved improving the area around the Clarendon Metro station and part of the nearby park with new landscaping, irrigation, seating and ADA-compliant sidewalk ramps. The construction was originally estimated to be finished before Clarendon Day in September, but the expected completion is now sometime this month.
The already approved upgrades end near the center of Clarendon Central Park near the Metro elevator. The new funding request is for more than $197,000 to allow Fort Myer Construction to begin improvements on the western part of the plaza. The county staff report states that not continuing westward with the construction “would create a disjointed appearance to the park.” It further states the contract extension “will allow the entire Clarendon Central Park to be visually unified while bringing the west end of the park into compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.”
The main improvements to the west end would be to replace existing pavers with ADA-compliant, smooth rolling concrete surface pavers that will match those on the east end. The war monument at the far west end would not be affected, but the area surrounding it would be re-worked. The paved area approaching the monument would be flattened to improve accessibility, and a mulched bed would be installed around two existing trees. Additionally, the proposed project would replace existing curb ramps and benches, and upgrade the irrigation system.
County staff said approving the additional funding now would allow Fort Myer Construction to begin the next phase of improvements immediately after completing the improvements already underway. That would cut down on costs due to the contractor’s materials and equipment already being on site.
Staff members recommend the County Board approves the funding and contract extension at its meeting tomorrow (Saturday).
(Updated at 3:05 p.m.) The National Park Service will be installing a series of safety improvements along the George Washington Parkway, intended to make Memorial Circle and several Mt. Vernon Trail crossings across the parkway less dangerous.
The improvements were announced this morning by Rep. Jim Moran (D). Work on the improvements will start next week and will wrap up by the fall. Among the planned changes, according to Moran’s office:
- “Replacing many of the directional and regulatory signs in the Circle and on Memorial Bridge”
- “Installing rumble strips bumps to alert drivers before each of several specific crosswalk areas”
- “Painting directional arrows, information, and symbols directly onto the pavement to help drivers select proper lanes early”
- “Moving one crosswalk area from where there are two lanes to where it is only one lane wide”
The announcement comes just three days after a cyclist was struck by a car and injured at a trail crossing just south of Memorial Circle. Several other accidents and close calls have been reported at GW Parkway trail crossings over the past two years.
“It’s a confusing area and unfortunately we have a lot of accidents involving bicyclists and motorists and joggers,” U.S. Park Police spokesman Sgt. Paul Brooks acknowledged earlier this week.
Moran says the changes should help make things safer for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers alike.
“The health and safety of those commuting to work or simply exercising along the Potomac River should never be threatened due to poor infrastructure planning,” the congressman said in a statement. “I am pleased the National Park Service has agreed to put needed fixes into the trails and roads surrounding Memorial Circle. With the scheduled improvements, tourists, commuters, pedestrians, and cyclists will be able to truly share the road.”