Arlington County is preparing to move forward with utility undergrounding and street improvements along Columbia Pike.
The County Board is expected to approve a contract for work along a section of the Pike at its meeting this Saturday, May 19. The $5.7 million contract would go to Sagres Construction Corporation, and includes work from S. Wakefield Street to Four Mile Run.
Utility underground is the first phase of the project, to be followed by a variety of additions and upgrades. Some of the improvements include new bus shelters, traffic signals, bike racks, ADA compliant ramps, street lights, trees and wider sidewalks. That stretch of Columbia Pike will also be resurfaced with a new layer of asphalt.
County staff has been working to ensure customers have access to all the buildings along the affected stretch of road, as well as to public transportation. Lane closures and traffic disruptions should be expected during construction, but will be during non-rush times. Night work is also possible, which could create some construction noise.
A Department of Environmental Services spokeswoman said assuming the board approves the contract on Saturday, work should begin in July. It will take about 15 months to complete. Project updates will be posted on the county’s website.
Two organizations designed to improve Rosslyn have decided to merge.
After 21 years in business, Rosslyn Renaissance (RR) will cease to exist and its urban design work will be taken over by the Rosslyn Business Improvement District (BID).
RR was created by the Arlington County Board in 1991, and lists its mission as “to work with residential, commercial, cultural, and government communities to realize Rosslyn’s potential as a distinctive urban environment through a focus on urban design and development.”
“Rosslyn Renaissance has helped to lay the foundation for Rosslyn’s future growth,” said Board President Jeffrey L. Kovach in a press release. “The BID will build upon and continue RR’s work, planning for Rosslyn today and in the future.”
RR’s work has helped with accomplishments such as securing a donated space for Artisphere, adding 98 additional affordable housing units and installing a pedestrian esplanade to Key Bridge.
“RR board members were the drivers to create the BID in 2003, and that is among the greatest of RR’s accomplishments,” said BID Executive Director Cecilia Cassidy. “The new organizational structure will bring us full circle. It is a graduation of sorts for the two groups – to Rosslyn’s benefit.”
The BID board has created an Urban Design Committee, which will incorporate all members of the Rosslyn Renaissance committee.
The two organizations will host a tribute event tonight in the main ballroom of the Key Bridge Marriott. The event is scheduled to include remarks from Rep. Jim Moran, Del. Patrick Hope and County Board Chair Mary Hynes. Board members and founders of Rosslyn Renaissance will also be recognized during the tribute.
The Columbia Pike Branch Library will be closing for a few weeks due to building improvements.
Structural upgrades at the Arlington Career Center, where the library branch is located, have been on-going for nearly a year. The library has been able to stay open during renovations up until this point, but soon work to replace the ceiling tiles and heating and cooling ducts will create enough dust that it will be forced to close.
The closure is expected to start on May 15 and end after June 4.
“As tenants of the Career Center facility, the library appreciates all the planning and work Arlington Public Schools has put into this project and the entire community will benefit for years to come,” said Arlington Public Library spokesman Peter Golkin. “In the meantime, the library’s other seven locations will do all they can to make Columbia Pike patrons feel welcome.”
The following measures will be in place at the Columbia Pike branch until it reopens:
- As of now, all non-DVD items checked out from this location will be due June 13.
- Beginning May 8, all DVDs checked out from this location will be due on June 13.
- An external book drop will be maintained outside the library. Returns can also be made at any of the other Arlington Public Library locations.
- Holds will continue to be processed until May 4 at 5:00 p.m. After May 4, holds will be made available on the Central Library holds shelf. They can also be designated for delivery to any other Arlington public library.
Crystal City’s main drag will be getting a major facelift. A contract has been awarded to convert Crystal Drive from a one way street into a two way street.
During its meeting on Saturday, the County Board voted unanimously to award the $1.9 million contract to Ardent Company, LLC. In addition to the street conversion, the three phase project will improve intersections along Crystal Drive with new traffic signals and ADA compliant ramps and crosswalks. A southbound bicycle lane will also be added.
The new design is expected to make the street safer and easier to navigate, as well as preparing the area for future development and a streetcar.
Construction for phase one is supposed to begin in June and is scheduled to finish by the end of this year. That covers the portion from 12th Street South to 15th Street South. Two other construction phases will follow — one from 23rd Street South to 26th Street South, and another from 26th Street South to 27th Street South.
The county will post notices about periodic lane closures before they happen. The goal is to only close down one lane at a time to minimize the impact to drivers.
Funding for the project was previously approved and appropriated in the Transportation Capital Fund.