A senior couple who lives in Arlington’s Glencarlyn neighborhood received free home repairs today thanks to a group of volunteers.
More than 30 volunteers from the local Rebuilding Together organization and Lowe’s worked throughout the day today to fix up the couple’s home inside and out. The couple was for the volunteer work based on need.
“We bring volunteers to people’s homes to make repairs,” said Patti Klein, executive director of Rebuilding Together Arlington/Fairfax/Falls Church. “They tend to be lower income homeowners that are seniors, people with disabilities, veterans and families with children.”
The couple was having a very hard time getting up and down their front stairs, according to Klein. The husband also had heart surgery a few months ago.
The repairs included the installation of railings for both sides of the front steps, the installation of 16 storm windows, replacement of an A/C unit, and the installation of a carbon monoxide detector, among many others.
Rebuilding Together Arlington/Fairfax/Falls Church is one of 150 affiliates across the nation. Nationally, the organization does 10,000 projects a year. The local affiliate does 70 projects a year. Lowe’s has been a national partner since 2007 and donated $15,000 for today’s repairs.
“We got a great group of people here and we are going to do a lot of great stuff,” said Tony Reyna, manager of a Lowe‘s store in Fairfax.
Arlington County plans to make permanent repairs to a sinkhole on Williamsburg Blvd in the coming weeks.
The sinkhole first appeared in February due to a water main break which created a small geyser near the corner of Williamsburg Blvd and Sycamore Street.
The temporary repairs, now several months old, allowed the road to reopen but are not a permanent solution. A large indentation in the road is “still there and getting worse,” with some cars having to swerve onto the median to avoid the hazard, according to resident Joe Keeley.
Permanent patching is scheduled for the “trouble spot” sometime within the next two weeks, according to Department of Environmental Services spokeswoman Jessica Baxter.
Baxter said that the repairs in February were indeed temporary, and that final repairs had not taken place yet partially because hot mix asphalt — the material needed for permanent repairs — is not typically available in the winter months.
Instead, Baxter said that road crews used cold mix asphalt to perform temporary repairs and planned to return for final repairs when the weather warmed up.
In this case, Baxter said the road requires a full-depth repair, which involves installing a new sub-base layer of gravel and replacing both the base and top base layers of the road. Repairs are expected to cost approximately $3,500.
The exact site for the stand has yet to be announced, but BikeArlington expects it to be near the Pentagon City Metro station.
The County installed two other stands — one near the Clarendon Metro station and one near the Ballston Metro station — in the spring. Crystal City BID installed a similar stand near the Crystal City Water Park last year.
The stands house tools allowing cyclists to make quick fixes or adjustments, like filling tires with air or tightening loose bolts. BikeArlington program manager Chris Eatough noted the stands are designed to be durable for weathering the outdoors as well as being fairly theft-proof.
“The Fixit Stands have been well received and we see lots of people using them,” said Eatough.
Although Eatough doesn’t yet have a date for the installation of the new stand in Pentagon City, he said it should be soon. The stand already has been purchased and BikeArlington just has to finish working out the installation details.
Arlington Ridge Road will be closed from 9:00 p.m.-3:00 a.m. Southbound traffic coming from I-395 will be re-routed east and west to 20th Street S. in both directions, and around to 23rd Street. Northbound traffic coming from Glebe Road will be re-routed east and west to 23rd Street S., and around to 20th Street.
The emergency water repair is necessary because an irrigation contractor working in the 2100 block of Arlington Ridge Road accidentally caused a leak. Water service needs to be replaced at that location, from the water main in the street to the meter box in the sidewalk.
Water Change Underway — The annual, temporary switch from chloramine to chlorine as the tap water disinfectant is beginning, as part of a flush of the water system. During this time, Arlington residents may notice a change in the taste and smell of their drinking water. The water system’s “spring cleaning” is scheduled to run through April 29. [Arlington County]
Ballston Garage to Get $3.5 Million in Repairs — The Arlington County Board on Saturday awarded a contract of up to $3.5 million for structural repairs to the eighth level of the Ballston Public Parking Garage. The eighth level of the garage was added in 2006, but the concrete was found to be deficient for long-term use — prompting claims that resulted in the county settling with the original contractor for an undisclosed sum. Kettler Capitals Iceplex, which is located on the top level of the garage, will remain open during the construction, which is expected to take 5-6 months. [Sun Gazette]
Spring Yard Waste Collection Begins — Updated at 12:20 p.m. — Arlington’s annual spring yard waste collection began Monday. During the collection, which runs through April 26, residents can get paper bags full of yard waste picked up the next business day after their regular trash collection day. [Arlington County]
Pentagon Row Ice Rink Closes — Yesterday (Monday) was the last day of the season for ice skating at Pentagon Row. The Pentagon Row ice rink is now being dismantled. Skating is expected to resume in November. [Pentagon Row]
Repairs are planned for Fire Station No. 2 (4805 Wilson Blvd) in the Bluemont neighborhood, some of them stemming from last year’s earthquake. At its meeting on Saturday, July 21, the County Board will vote on awarding the work contract to the Avon Corporation.
The contract will cover stabilization of the entire building’s foundation, in addition to repairing cracks in the bunk rooms. Some of the bunk rooms in the 15-year-old building already had cracks due to shifting of loose foundation soil under the building. But the earthquake last August 23 caused damage to spread to another two rooms, and to the entrance of the truck bay. In addition to repairing the existing damage, the work is designed to prevent future wall cracking.
Some of the work includes demolishing and replacing walls, repairing cracks and slab jacking to raise and stabilize the foundation. New structural steel columns, metal panels and windows will be installed. There will also be some utility relocation and the roof drain will be moved.
County staff concluded that although the shifting and cracking of the building does not pose an immediate safety threat, the continuous movement will eventually cause the structure to collapse.
Staff recommends the County Board approves the contract, worth $247,000, on Saturday.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is planning to make some additional repairs to the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery, ARLnow.com has learned.
The repair work comes just over a year after engineers completed an initial series of repairs on the marble Tomb Monument, which has been cracking due to age. The repairs — which utilized “high-tech grout” to fill the crevices — were completed in April 2010 at a contract cost of $70,000. However, cracks are still visible across much of the nearly 80-year-old monument.
The cemetery’s public affairs office was unable to tell us when the latest round of repairs would take place.
In 2009, Arlington National Cemetery officials accepted a donation of a large marble block that can be used to create a replica monument, should the existing monument eventually need to be replaced.
Update on 8/20 — The water main repair work has been completed, but crews are now working on a gas main leak in the same area. One lane is blocked in each direction.
Expect a slowdown on South Glebe Road between Columbia Pike and the Route 50 tonight, as crews work to repair a water main.
The work will begin around 8:00 near 8th Street South, the county says. One lane of South Glebe Road will be blocked in each direction.
The work is expected to wrap up tomorrow morning.
You might have noticed them around town: brick sidewalks torn up by utility work or some other sort of construction project. You’ll see a small pile of bricks (or “pavers”) by a street lamp and patches of asphalt where the bricks were removed.
We were recently asked whose repsonsibility it is to put the bricks back by a reader who was unhappy with the fact that the brick sidewalk in front of the Hyde Park Harris Teeter had been torn up more more than a month (it has since been fixed).
Here’s the response we got from county spokesperson Karen Acar:
Maintenance responsibilities for sidewalks throughout the County can be a complicated issue.
In residential areas it’s pretty simple. In nearly all instances the County owns and maintains the sidewalks – except for driveway aprons, which are the responsibility of the property owner.
Commercial areas are more complex. Many of the commercial roadways, including Glebe Road, Lee Hwy, Columbia Pike, Fairfax Drive, and most of Washington Blvd, are owned by VDOT. In most cases, VDOT would be responsible for maintaining the sidewalks, but not always.
In many areas along VDOT roadways that have been improved beyond standard concrete sidewalks (for example, pavers or more complex paving or streetscape patterns), VDOT has transferred maintenance responsibility to a third party – oftentimes the County – as a condition of approving the non-standard treatment.
Another factor (whether on VDOT or county roads) is the presence of county-issued site plans or other site development approvals. Many commercial developments throughout the County include conditions which require the associated developer or building owner to maintain the sidewalk adjacent to and in front of their site. Many of the sidewalks in commercial areas are not on public right-of-way, but are instead on private land which has been encumbered with an easement to allow public sidewalks and utilities as part of the site development.
In nearly all cases where sidewalk disruption is the result of some utility maintenance or other work, the party that conducted the maintenance or work would be held responsible for restoring the area. The County should be able to track who is responsible for the work by checking various permit systems (building, right-of-way, etc.).
Permanent repairs are often completed the same day as the work, but in other instances, repairs could require two weeks or longer – particularly if the sidewalk disruption is related to a large-scale repair or maintenance program.
Currently, fiber optics are being installed around Arlington County, including Columbia Pike, under a permit from Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT). Once the contractor has completed installation, it is responsible for repairing the sidewalk.
To reports problems with a sidewalk, follow this link or call 703-228-6570.
Hyde Park photo courtesy Marsh Lucas.
Dominion has brought in a crane to fix a transformer at Wilson Boulevard and North Randolph Street, across the street from Ballston Common Mall.
During the repairs, one lane of westbound Wilson Boulevard will be closed. The work is expected to wrap up between 5:00 and 5:30 tonight.
Meanwhile, the blown transformer has knocked out power to a building in the area.
The cracks, which developed over the winter, were causing safety concerns on three of the six tennis courts and on the basketball courts. The work is expected to wrap up by the end of the month, a Parks Department spokesperson says.