(Updated at 10:15 a.m.) The Arlington County Board is set to vote on planned renovations to Madison Manor Park.
Board members will decide whether to approve a $2.82 million contract for upgrades to the 5.4 acre park at 6225 12th Road N., in the Madison Manor neighborhood, along the W&OD Trail.
- Renovating and painting the basketball court for basketball and volleyball
- Renovating the combination athletic field, picnic shelter and playground
- Installing some fencing around the playground, athletic field, and basketball court
- Landscaping improvements with 70 percent native species
If approved, the Board would award the contract to Gaithersburg, Maryland-based construction company Highway and Safety Services, Inc.
The playground, picnic area, walkways, signage, and parking area are also listed in the project’s description but no details were shared on the intended changes to those parts of the park.
The county has said one goal of the renovations is to better comply with the standards from the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The county’s Department of Parks and Recreation designed the new park upgrades, according to its website on the project.
Photo via Arlington County
Arlington County has pledged to inspect the Madison Manor neighborhood’s sewers more often after sewage flooded homes last month for the third time since 2001.
“Typically, our maintenance program calls for inspections of our sewer pipes every four years; however, we have more aggressive schedules of 1, 3 and 6 months for known problem areas,” said Jessica Baxter, a spokeswoman for the Department of Environmental Services.
“Given the most recent blockage on April 7, 2019, Water Sewer Streets crews will now be monitoring, inspecting and cleaning this location on a six-month rotation,” Baxter added.
Sewage flooded five homes on N. Powhatan Street on April 7, which required crews to work through the night to address the underlying blockage, ARLnow previously reported.
“Three houses on the street were flooded with county sewage both in  and in 2001,” wrote three Madison Manor residents in a letter to ARLnow this week. “On April 7, when the county sewage system failed us for a third time, five houses were affected.”
Tree roots blocking the sewer main caused the first two floods, Baxter said, with debris in the sewer main causing the most recent backup. The county lined the pipes in 2002 to protect from intruding tree roots, she said. It also added a second pipe segment downstream in 2008 to improve flow.
Each flood of raw sewage cost homeowners tens of thousands of dollars, according to copies of bills and insurance claims reviewed by ARLnow.
One neighborhood resident, Anne Riley, said her home was flooded all three times, with the latest flood costing $18,000. She wrote in an email that she is submitting a claim to her homeowners insurance but will have to foot her policy’s $2,000 deductible.
“Three times in 20 years is ridiculous,” Riley said. “We don’t even know all we lost.”
Another neighbor, Dave Oaks, said he couldn’t supply receipts for the flood damages to his home in 2001 and 2008 because they were stored in boxes in the basement — which were destroyed in last month’s flood.
Oaks noted the damages from this year’s flood will “run into the tens of thousands” and shared the costs he’s incurred so far:
- Remove the filth, damaged furniture and contents, salvage and store remaining contents, de-water, dry and disinfect, remove the bottom 3 feet of drywall, all flooring, doors, and baseboards, haul off all the debris (initial estimate ~$8,500)
- Rebuild walls, doors, baseboards, flooring, re-set bathroom fixtures, paint (initial estimate ~$11,500)
- Replace washer, dryer, water heater (estimate ~$2,800)
- Replace contents (no idea since we haven’t finished our inventory)
- $500 insurance deductible
Neighbor Karen Lewis cited similar costs for the April flood. She told ARLnow that she spent $9,900 so far to inspect the furnace and remove her basement’s contaminated drywall, carpeting, downstairs shower, and hot water heater.
“Our homeowners insurance company estimates the rebuilding costs will be at least $16,000, before even beginning to replace our destroyed or contaminated furnishings and possessions,” she said.
(Updated at 2:45 p.m.) Sewage flooded a number of houses on N. Powhatan Street earlier this week, but officials say they’ve addressed contamination worries for a nearby public park.
Five homes in the Madison Manor neighborhood were flooded early Monday morning after a sewer main clogged, and it took crews all night to clear the line, per a statement from the Department of Environmental Services (DES). Officials said they don’t yet know what caused the blockage.
Neighbor Steve Starr told ARLnow he worried about nearby Madison Manor Park being contaminated, but those concerns were addressed by county crews.
A DES spokeswoman confirmed there was sewage discharge “adjacent to the park” from a house’s sump pump but that the sewage had “mostly infiltrated to the ground,” and that crews had applied disinfectant to the area. There was no impact to nearby trails, which connect to the W&OD Trail, the spokeswoman said.
Starr noted that crews were dispatched quickly to start the cleanup process inside the homes.
“Residents of N. Powhatan woke up to men in moon suits entering their houses to clean sewage,” he said.
The full statement from DES is below.
There was a sewage backup that was reported last night, impacting approximately five homes in the 1200 block of North Powhatan Street. Crews worked overnight to flush the line and were able to break through the blockage around 1 a.m. The flow in the main quickly returned to normal and houses started to see relief around the same time as well. The line has been cleaned and inspected and is now back in service. We will continue to monitor it and investigate the potential issue for the blockage.
If customers continue to experience issues, please contact the Water Control Center at 703-228-6555.
Photo via Steve Starr
A perilously perched tree has prompted the temporary closure of a playground near East Falls Church.
The severe rain storms of the last few days has caused a “tree-mergency” in Madison Manor Park (6225 12th Street N.).
Susan Kalish, a spokeswoman for the county’s Department of Parks and Recreation, says the rain managed to so thoroughly soak the ground at the park that the tree eventually tipped over. She says workers will be removing it “first thing” tomorrow morning (Thursday).
“After they have finished, parks crew will clean up any mess and refasten a section of fence that has been removed,” Kalish wrote in an email. “None of the play equipment has been damaged. One section of the perimeter timber has been dislodged by the tree’s roots and will have to be repaired once the tree is removed.”
Kalish said the county hopes to reopen the playground by “close of business tomorrow,” or Friday morning at the latest.
Parks and recreation workers plan to announce exactly when it will re-open on the department’s Twitter account.
Photo via @arlparksrec
The County Manager’s fiscal year 2019 proposed budget includes service eliminations to Arlington Transit bus routes 92 and 54.
The reductions would save the county $356,771 in 2019, according to the proposed budget. Public hearings on the budget and tax rate are scheduled for Tuesday, April 3 and Thursday, April 5, respectively.
The routes “are not meeting minimum service standards,” according to the budget document, and “service delivery can potentially be met by other transit or other modes such as Capital BikeShare.”
ART Route 92 runs weekdays from the Crystal City Metro station to the Pentagon Metro station via Long Bridge Park. Several WMATA routes also run through that area.
According to the ART Route 92 web page, “the route also serves as a shuttle for those working at Boeing and the U.S. Marshals Service.”
ART Route 54 operates weekdays during the morning and afternoon rush hours from Dominion Hills to the East Falls Church Metro station via Madison Manor neighborhood.
Both routes have “experienced low ridership (3 passengers per hour) and [have] performed below the established minimum service standards of 15 passengers per hour and a 20 percent cost recovery ratio,” according to budget documents.
The County Board is expected to adopt its final budget on April 21.
The incident happened around 9 p.m. last night, two blocks from McKinley Elementary School.
More from an Arlington County Police Department crime report:
PEEPING, 2017-10040316, 900 block of McKinley Road. At approximately 9:08 p.m. on October 4, police responded to the report of a peeping. Upon arrival, it was determined that a witness observed an unknown male suspect peering into a residential window. When confronted by the witness, the suspect fled the area on foot. A canvas of the area by the responding officer was negative. The suspect is described as a white male between the ages of 18-25 with a thin build. He was wearing red shorts, a black tank top and a black baseball hat the time of the incident. The investigation is ongoing.
Photo via Google Maps
A car caught fire on N. Quintana Street in Madison Manor just after noon Wednesday (August 2).
The fire began under the hood of a black Honda parked on the street around 12:15 p.m. According to scanner traffic, flames were visible for a short time. Firefighters from Fairfax County Fire & Rescue quickly handled the blaze, a job perhaps made easier by a fire hydrant being located just feet away from the car.
A firefighter on scene had no information about why the fire started, and said it was “just one of those things.” There were no injuries, and the firefighters left the scene around 12:45 p.m. The car’s owner stood nearby talking on his telephone once the flames were doused.
Madison Manor Park is getting a face-lift.
Renovations at the park at 6225 12th Road N. in the Madison Manor neighborhood will include redesigning the playground, basketball court, picnic shelter, multi-use field, water fountain, park furniture, irrigation walkways, fences and landscaping. The park will also be brought up to current standards, including the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The county has been soliciting input from users of the park on its future with a chalkboard where people can write suggestions for what they would like to see and what they would not like to see.
The “information gathering” process for the upgrades is happening summer. The design process is set to begin in September and last until November.
Under a timeline proposed by staff, the Arlington County Board is projected to approve a contract for construction by fall 2018 so work can get underway soon after. The county hopes to have the renovation completed by summer 2019.
The county’s Capital Maintenance Fund will pay for this project. The fund is used for projects that bring existing parks up to current standards.
Despite a pair of arrests earlier this week, car break-ins are continuing in Arlington.
Someone broke into at least 16 cars — most of them unlocked — between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning in the Madison Manor neighborhood. Items of value were stolen.
Arlington County Police have repeatedly advised residents to lock their cars and remove valuables.
More from an ACPD crime report:
LARCENY FROM AUTO (Series), 2017-06210061, 800 block of N. Nottingham Street. At approximately 7:20 a.m. on June 21, officers responded to the report of a larceny from auto. Upon arrival, it was determined between 10:00 p.m. on June 20 and 7:10 a.m. on June 21, an unknown(s) suspect entered at least 16 mostly unlocked vehicles and stole items of value. A resident in the area called to report suspicious activity after witnessing an unknown suspect enter several vehicles. The suspect fled the scene on foot prior to police arrival. The suspect is described as a black male in his early twenties, approximately 5’9″ tall and weighed 150-160 lbs. He was wearing dark clothing. The investigation is ongoing.
That’s according to this week’s Arlington County Police Department crime report.
Police set up a perimeter and used a K-9 to try to track the suspects but they remain at large. More from ACPD:
ARMED ROBBERY, 2017-06200273, 1400 block of S. Queen Street. At approximately 9:14 p.m. on June 20, officers responded to the report of an armed robbery. Upon arrival, it was determined that the victim and the two unknown male suspects were connected through an online classified and had arranged to meet for a cash transaction. During the transaction, one suspect brandished a firearm and stole the victim’s cash. The suspects then fled the scene on foot. The first suspect is described as a black male, wearing a white tank top and shorts. The second suspect is described as a black male. The investigation is ongoing.
Also on Tuesday, police arrested two Falls Church men for a series of car break-ins in the Madison Manor neighborhood, near the East Falls Church Metro station.
LARCENY FROM AUTO(Series), 2017-06200005, 1100 block of N. Powhatan Street. At approximately 12:25 a.m. on June 20, officers responded to the report of a tampering. Upon arrival, it was determined two suspects entered at least four vehicles and stole items of value. Officers located and apprehended both suspects in the area shortly after. Louis Earl Blount Jr., 18, of Falls Church VA, and David Evans-Herring, 20, of Falls Church VA, were arrested and charged with petit larceny and tampering with auto. Both suspects are being held without bond.
The rest of the past week’s crime report highlights, including some that we’ve already reported, after the jump.
The suspect in this morning’s incident was wearing a gray sweatshirt and a clown “skull” mask, according to a police lookout. It was initially reported that the suspect was wielding an axe; later it was reported that it was actually a skateboard.
Multiple kids reported seeing the “clown.” Police are now searching for the suspect around the park and up and down the trail.
Most elementary and middle school students in Arlington do not have school today due to parent-teacher conferences.
Update at 11:40 a.m. — Another witness told officers that the suspect was a teenager with red hair, whom she saw take off the mask and run off with two other teen boys, according to police radio traffic.