Ballston’s bevy of construction projects has led to another headache for drivers near Wilson Blvd.
Workers recently wrapped up some work on sidewalks at the intersection of N. Randolph Street and Wilson Blvd, near a trio of large construction projects: Ballston Quarter, Ballston Exchange and Liberty Center. That included the installation of a new curb extension designed to make life a bit easier on pedestrians, who were previously a bit baffled by construction at the intersection.
But the downside of that sidewalk work is that the newly finished curb blocks off most of N. Randolph Street’s right-turn lane. The road frequently gets backed up, particularly during the evening rush hour, creating crowded conditions on the side street.
County officials say they’re aware of the problem and are hoping to fix it, but the wet weather has made that a bit of a challenge.
“The curb extension was constructed and [lane] re-striping usually follows,” Jessica Baxter, a spokeswoman for the county’s Department of Environmental Services, told ARLnow. “This is weather-dependent and requires that no moisture be on the pavement.”
Baxter says that work is now set to take place next Saturday (Feb. 23).
In the meantime, she said the developer managing the project has placed traffic cones in the lane to make it clear that drivers can’t use the lane.
“The right lane will go away while the next lane over will become either a thru lane or right turn lane,” Baxter said.
A new round of construction is kicking off at one of Clarendon’s trickiest intersections, and that means more lane closures and traffic changes.
Starting today (Wednesday), workers plan to start major sidewalk expansions at the “Clarendon Circle” intersection, or the area where Clarendon, Washington and Wilson boulevards meet.
The county expects the widening work to last through April, with the ultimate goal of having the new sidewalks ready “in time to allow businesses to have outdoor seating during the spring and summer months.” Much of the construction centers on the intersection of Washington Blvd and N. Irving Street, the home of both O’Sullivan’s Irish Pub and The Liberty Tavern.
County officials signed off on the $2.5 million Clarendon Circle overhaul this summer, in a bid to make the intersection a bit easier to navigate for pedestrians and cyclists, in particular. In addition to the sidewalk expansions, the project will include the installation of new bike lanes, the widening of Washington Boulevard to four lanes — while nixing the current reversible lanes — and the addition of upgraded traffic signals.
The construction first started prompting major traffic changes in the area early this month, and now the county is warning of additional changes. Those include a prohibition on left turns in the following areas:
- Northbound Wilson Boulevard to N. Irving Street
- Northbound Wilson Boulevard to westbound Washington Boulevard
- Southbound Wilson Boulevard to eastbound Washington Boulevard
- Westbound Washington Boulevard to southbound Wilson Boulevard
Some portions of the sidewalk will also be closed on both the Washington Blvd and Wilson Blvd sides of N. Irving Street. The left turn from eastbound Washington Boulevard to Clarendon Boulevard also remains off-limits, and will likely be shut down through this summer.
The county is hoping to have all of the work wrapped up by sometime in 2020, weather permitting.
The project is designed to move in conjunction with the county’s plans to do away with the reversible lanes on Washington Boulevard and create a “T” intersection with 13th Street N. That construction is projected to kick off sometime this winter, after the county cleared the way for the redevelopment of the nearby Red Top Cab properties.
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.
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
Update at 1:05 p.m. — The crash has been cleared and the HOV lanes have reopened.
Earlier: The northbound HOV lanes of I-395 near Shirlington Circle are blocked by a crash involving ten vehicles, including two dump trucks.
One car, a taxicab, can be seen resting on a concrete barrier, wedged between the truck and another taxicab. Five people are being evaluated for injuries, according to the Arlington County Fire Department.
A large fluid spill has been reported as a result of the crash.
Police and firefighters are on scene. HOV traffic is stopped approaching the crash, though police are working to clear out some of the backed up traffic. The HOV lanes are expected to remain closed into the afternoon.
#Update: Crews assessing 5 patients, no entrapment, 10 vehicles involved. Units continuing to control fluid leaks. Sorry, if you’re in the traffic. We ask for your patience as we work to mitigate the hazards.
— Arlington Fire (@ArlingtonVaFD) December 10, 2018
UPDATE: There is a diesel fuel spill on the 395 HOV lanes and they will be blocked for at least two hours.
— VA Express Lanes (@VAExpressLanes) December 10, 2018
The eastbound lanes of Columbia Pike are currently blocked by a crash near the intersection with S. Four Mile Run Drive.
Airbags were deployed in the crash and medics are responding for report of non-life-threatening injuries.
Eastbound traffic is being diverted and is backing up before the crash scene. Drivers should avoid the area.
A reported four-vehicle crash has completely blocked the HOV lanes of I-395 near Shirlington.
Police and firefighters are on scene, evaluating four people for possible injuries, according to scanner traffic.
Traffic cameras show northbound HOV traffic at a standstill past King Street.
Update at 12:20 p.m. — All lanes have reopened.
Workers are gearing up to make some repairs on the S. George Mason Drive bridge over Four Mile Run, so be on the lookout for some lane closures.
The county kicked off work on the bridge on Monday (Nov. 26), and it will likely last through spring 2019.
Workers will reduce from two lanes in each direction down to one as construction proceeds, but only during “non-rush hours,” according to a county NextDoor post.
The work will primarily focus on “patching and sealing,” mainly on “good weather days” through early next year.
Then, the county plans to repaint the bridge in summer 2019.
Photo via Google Maps
The Arlington Memorial Bridge is now set for a second full shutdown next weekend, as the lengthy rehab work on the aging structure inches forward.
The National Park Service announced today (Tuesday) that the bridge will be completely closed to drivers, cyclists and pedestrians starting at 9 p.m. next Friday (Dec. 7) through 5 a.m. the following Monday (Dec. 10). The NPS commissioned a similar shutdown in late September, and says another could be on the way in January.
Workers recently reduced the bridge down to three traffic lanes from its original six to allow for construction work as part of a $227 million effort to shore up the Potomac River crossing. Planners believe the work is necessary to avoid a complete shutdown of the Memorial Bridge in the coming years, and they expect work to continue through 2021.
“We’re closing the bridge to keep everyone safe,” Acting NPS Superintendent Blanca Alvarez Stransky wrote in a statement. “We need your cooperation in observing these closures. If anyone enters the work area during the closure, it will increase the amount of time we need to complete the work.”
The NPS is advising anyone who normally relies on the bridge to seek alternate routes next weekend, and even suggesting that boaters “approach the bridge with caution and avoid the area near its center span.” According to a release, workers plan to use the shutdown as a chance to “install a temporary support structure under the middle arch of the bridge” and “begin to remove steel from the center span of the bridge.”
Once the closure is over, the NPS says the bridge will return to its current, three-lane traffic pattern, with one eastbound lane, one westbound lane and a reversible third lane to match the direction of rush hour traffic.
The park service expects that traffic pattern will last until construction is over, and is also warning of an additional “limited number of full bridge closures on weekends and occasional, short full closures of the bridge at night.”
Photo via @NPSjennyas
A crash at the intersection of N. Pershing Drive and Route 50 is causing significant backups.
The crash was reported around 5:45 p.m. As of 6 p.m., all westbound lanes of Route 50 (Arlington Blvd) were blocked and traffic was backing up past Courthouse.
So far there have been no reports of serious injuries.
Westbound I-66 was temporarily blocked approaching the N. Glebe Road overpass due to a crash involving two vehicles this afternoon.
One of the vehicles ran off the side of the road into a ditch and overturned, according to scanner traffic. Another vehicle could be seen on traffic cameras stopped in the left-hand shoulder, but has since been moved to the right-hand shoulder.
Both lanes of WB I-66 were briefly blocked by debris and the emergency response, causing a lengthy backup that appeared to extend to the Rosslyn area.
So far, no serious injuries have been reported.
Mi and Yu Opening Update — According to its website, Mi and Yu Noodle Bar, which was originally expected to open in September in the revamped Ballston Quarter mall, is now slated for a February 2019 opening. The opening of the mall — and the numerous new restaurants that will call it home — was at last check delayed until late October. [Mi and Yu Noodle Bar]
Improvements for McKinley Road — “Arlington County Board members on Oct. 20 are expected to award a contract worth up to $426,700 for modify curbs and intersections and establish a median along McKinley Road from Wilson Boulevard north to 11th Street North. The project is designed to improved safety for pedestrians and bicyclists in the corridor, including students attending McKinley Elementary School.” [InsideNova]
Memorial Bridge Work, Woes — Rehab work is well underway on the Memorial Bridge, but long-term lane closures are continuing to cause — in the words of one commuter — “insane” traffic backups during rush hour. [Twitter, Twitter]
Major construction work on the Arlington Memorial Bridge kicked off late last night (Sunday), snarling traffic for thousands of commuters headed into D.C. this morning.
Traffic cameras and maps showed heavy backups along both I-395 and Washington Blvd approaching the bridge for the morning rush hour. Other nearby roads, like the G.W. Parkway and Arlington Blvd, also saw heavy delays, no doubt worsened by the morning’s dreary conditions.
The National Park Service has closed three of the bridge’s six lanes to allow for the $227 million rehab project, which planners say is needed to avoid a full shutdown of the bridge in the coming years.
The NPS plans to keep one eastbound lane and one westbound lane open at all times, then reverse one lane to match the direction of traffic in the morning and afternoon rush hours. One of the bridge’s sidewalks will also be closed at all times as the work continues.
AAA is warning commuters to avoid the bridge if at all possible between now and the expected end of construction in 2021, reasoning that the delays for the 24.8 million vehicles to cross the bridge each year are too substantial to be ignored.
“If possible, avoid the Arlington Memorial Bridge altogether. Seek alternate routes and try other modes of transportation, if you can, while construction is underway,” John Townsend, a spokesman for AAA Mid-Atlantic, wrote in a statement. “Plan your trips across and around the Memorial Bridge. If you must use the bridge, do the right thing, drive carefully and slowly through the construction site, watch for construction workers, expect changing travel patterns and possible delays, exercise extreme caution, and minimize distractions.”
The NPS has details about the bridge’s new traffic pattern, and suggestions for commuters looking to avoid the bridge, available on its website.
ACPD Expands Push to Make County Bar Scene Safer — County police are making their “Arlington Restaurant Initiative” permanent after piloting the program earlier this year. The initiative involves working directly with local bars to promote responsible alcohol service and reduce crime. [Arlington County]
Prepare for Years-Long Memorial Bridge Lane Closures — As part of extensive renovation work that’s involved complete shutdowns of the bridge, federal officials say they need to shut down three of the bridge’s six lanes, and a sidewalk, from now through 2021. [NBC4]
Sun Gazette Endorses John Vihstadt for County Board — Arlington’s weekly paper supports the independent incumbent for the lone Board seat on the ballot this fall, arguing that Democrat Matt de Ferranti deserves consideration but has not “made much of an attempt at telling the electorate what, specifically, the incumbent has done wrong in the past four years.” [InsideNova]
Metro Leaders Show Little Interest in Service Increases — With debate heating up over Metro’s strategy to lure back riders, a WMATA Board meeting turned contentious today. One member charged that “it would be crazy for this authority to simply run more trains in off-peak times chasing additional passengers.” [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo via wolfkann
The lengthy construction work at Reagan National Airport has now shut down the cell phone waiting lot for drivers picking up arrivals, with rolling lane closures in place as part of the latest headache for travelers.
The cell phone lot shut down Monday (Oct. 8) to clear the way for the construction work, and will be closed indefinitely, airport officials announced last week. As a concession, drivers will now be able to park for free for up to an hour in any of the airport’s three terminal parking garages.
Segments of lanes along the upper-level Terminal B/C ticketing road will also be shut down 24 hours-per-day through mid-November. Officials plan to maintain at least two travel lanes at all times.
These latest closures have also forced Reagan to change the pick-up locations for shuttle buses at Terminals B/C. Anyone arriving at gates 10 through 45 should head upstairs to ticketing on level three, then look for the new stops near the JetBlue/Alaska Air entrance. Pick-up spots for taxis and rideshare drivers won’t be impacted by the work.
Over the past few months, the construction has irked taxi drivers at the airport, who claim that Reagan officials have poorly managed the construction to give preference to Uber and Lyft drivers and hurt their business.
Neighbors have complained about the work as well, after the airport set aside a staging lot for rideshare drivers that snarled traffic in the area — Arlington officials ultimately agreed to re-open an exit to a street adjacent to the lot in a bid to address the issue.
Airport leaders expect that work on the construction, dubbed “Project Journey” and primarily designed to replace the three security checkpoints at Terminal B/C with two new buildings, will run through 2021. However, they plan to wrap up most of the work on the arrival lanes by the middle of next year, when construction will focus on the airport’s interior.
Two left-hand lanes of southbound I-395 are blocked due to a driver suffering a medical emergency.
The incident happened on the main line of the highway between Arlington Ridge Road and S. Glebe Road, around 2:15 p.m.
More via Twitter:
Driver reportedly swerved across lanes of traffic, stopped car and crawled out onto highway
— Arlington Now (@ARLnowDOTcom) October 1, 2018
INCIDENT: Road Closure
LOCATION: SB I 395 at Glebe (Exit 7)
IMPACT: Due to police and fire activity the two left-hand lanes of SB 395 are currently closed. Expect delays. pic.twitter.com/SQPIfQov3R
— Arlington Alert (@arlingtonalert) October 1, 2018
Update at 3 p.m. — Lanes have reopened.