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County Board Set to Approve Manhole Rehabilitation

The County Board is set to vote to approve a contract that would rehabilitate Arlington’s manholes and large commercial meter water vaults.

County staff is recommending that the $709,315 contract with Capitol Heights, Md.-based Midas Utilities LLC be approved.

AM-Liner East Inc., which was contracted out for similar work in previous years in a different Arlington neighborhood, was outbid by Midas Utilities by just under $260,000.

The county’s Capital Improvement Program funds the infiltration and inflow program that rehabilitates manholes and sanitary sewer main lining.

Rehabilitating means coating “the inside of manholes to prevent groundwater from infiltrating into the sewer system.” The county rehabs about 200 manholes each year under this program, and will also be “rehabilitating and sealing water vaults.”

File photo

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UPDATED: A Manhole Cover ‘Blew Up’ in Rosslyn Thursday Afternoon

Update on Friday, Aug. 14 — Washington Gas crews were on scene digging up the roadway near the manhole this afternoon. (Photos above.)

A manhole cover “blew up” in Rosslyn Thursday afternoon, and Dominion Power is trying to figure out what exactly happened.

The incident happened at the intersection of Wilson Blvd and N. Oak Street around 12:45 p.m. A witness said there was some sort of blast that sent the manhole cover airborne with “flames and everything.”

“[The] cover launched into the air and the flames that shot out were higher than the SUV next to it,” said Elizabeth Denton.

Despite the scary scene, no injuries, damage or power outages were reported.

A Dominion spokesman said the company is investigating but isn’t yet sure what exactly happened to “dislodge” the manhole cover. A fire department spokesman could only confirm that there was a “haze of smoke” in the manhole after the incident.

“We are looking into it,” said Dominion’s Chuck Penn. “We don’t know what the cause was.”

As of around 3:00 Thursday afternoon, four Dominion trucks were parked near the intersection and workers were peering into the hole. One lane of traffic on westbound Wilson Blvd was blocked.

This was the second time in a couple of days that something happened to dislodge the manhole cover, the fire department spokesman said. The first incident this week involved a faulty electrical line, we’re told.

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Morning Notes

Arlington County's courthouse and police headquarters

Police Launch Juvenile Crime Initiative — With prom around the corner, the Arlington County Police Department’s School Resource Officers are launching a spring initiative to prevent and reduce juvenile crime. Offers will focus on preventing crimes like drug and alcohol-related offenses among middle and high school students. [Arlington County]

Woman Falls into Manhole — A woman says she fell into a manhole near Columbia Pike Thursday afternoon. It reportedly happened while crews were working on manholes in the area. The victim says she was hurt and and is considering legal action. [WJLA]

Venture Capitalist Moving to Crystal City — Venture capitalist George Kellerman is leaving Silicon Valley and coming to Crystal City. Kellerman has joined the new Crystal Tech Fund as a partner. [TechCrunch, MyFoxDC]

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County Sewer System, Manholes to be Renovated

Arlington’s aging sewer lines will be getting some updating in the coming months.

The County Board has awarded a $1.92 million contract to AM-Liner East, Inc., to reline sewer pipes throughout the county. That contract includes work to a main line that runs along Four Mile Run Drive, from Columbia Pike to Walter Reed Drive.

A second contract, worth $360,000, was awarded to AM-Liner East, Inc., to rehabilitate sewer manholes. The work prevents water from seeping into the system and overwhelming the treatment plant, which could force a release of partially treated sewage into Four Mile Run.

The county has 13,000 manholes, and the ones receiving first attention are located in Crystal City. Evaluations and repairs on others will follow.

Arlington’s sewer system is made up of 465 miles of mains. Each year, the county’s Capital Improvement Program funds rehabilitation on about 1.5 percent of the system, which typically covers seven miles of pipe.

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