Arlington, VA

(Updated at 11:15 p.m.) Hundreds — perhaps more than a thousand — braved 90 degree weather to march from Courthouse to Clarendon and back Thursday evening.

Police closed portions of Wilson and Clarendon boulevards at the marchers held signs and chanted slogans like “no justice, no peace.”

The demonstration started at 5 p.m. and was organized “in solidarity with those across the nation asking for justice for George Floyd and those who have been directed affected by systemic racism,” according to a social media post.

“This will be a peaceful march. If you feel as if you can’t express yourself in a peaceful manner, please just stay home,” organizers wrote. “We encourage all to make signs to express their feelings towards the injustices that have been going on throughout our country.”

Another large rally and march is scheduled to take place Courthouse on Saturday.

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Update at 3:15 p.m. — The road has reopened, Arlington County says.

Earlier: Washington Blvd is closed at N. Quantico Street due to a reported gas leak.

Firefighters and police are on scene of the leak, which was large enough to prompt first responders to block traffic in both directions. The location of the closure is east of East Falls Church and west of Westover.

Drivers are being detoured onto local streets, though traffic volume remains relatively light in Arlington due to the pandemic.

A Washington Gas crew is said to be en route. No word yet on when the road will reopen.

Map via Google Maps

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(Updated at 11:55 a.m.) Chain Bridge was temporarily closed Friday morning due to a search and rescue operation.

Firefighters from D.C. and Arlington, along with U.S. Park Police, were searching for a fisherman who reportedly fell into the Potomac River and did not resurface.

Numerous emergency responders arrived on scene, looking for the man from the shoreline, the bridge and by boat. (The photo above shows a previous rescue operation in the same general area, in March.)

Inbound traffic on Glebe Road was being diverted onto Chain Bridge Road. As of 9 a.m. the incident was moving from being a rescue operation to a recovery operation, with the reported missing person presumed dead, and as of 9:45 a.m. Chain Bridge was being reopened.

The Washington Post reported late Friday morning that a 67-year-old man had died after falling into the river around 7:40 a.m.

More via social media:

File photo

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(Updated at 11:20 a.m.) A fight in the Penrose Square Giant led to a series of events that closed portions of two major roads and prompted a massive police response.

Police were dispatched to the grocery store around 2:30 p.m. for a report of a disturbance in the store, potentially involving a weapon. After arriving, an officer was nearly struck by a fleeing vehicle.

“A dispute between known individuals occurred inside a business in the 2500 block of 9th Road S.,” said Arlington County Police spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “A responding officer, who was on foot, attempted to stop the vehicle in the parking lot. The driver refused to comply, drove through a parking gate and fled the scene.”

More from Wednesday’s ACPD crime report:

A lookout was broadcast and officers located the vehicle at Arlington Boulevard and 10th Street N. A traffic stop was initiated and the subjects were detained without incident. Victoria Lawson, 26, of Washington D.C. was arrested and charged with Felony Eluding, Felony Destruction of Property, Assault and Battery, Felony Child Abuse and Neglect (x4) and Possession of Marijuana.

The eastbound lanes of Route 50 near Courthouse were blocked by the vehicle stop, which involved nearly a dozen police cars.

“Looks like they arrested someone from a car… then it looked like there were some kids pulled out from the car as well,” a tipster told ARLnow.

While responding to the fight at the grocery store, one officer in a marked police SUV was involved in a crash on S. Walter Reed Drive, which closed a portion of the street for a period of time.

“While responding to the incident, an officer was involved in a crash at S. Walter Reed Drive and 16th Street S.,” Savage said. “The officer was evaluated on scene by medics. The driver of the other vehicle was transported to an area hospital with minor injuries. The crash remains under investigation.”

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Old Dominion Drive is closed in both directions because of a crash at a particularly dangerous intersection in the Rock Spring neighborhood.

The North Arlington arterial street is closed between Williamsburg Blvd and Rock Spring Road, following a crash that happened around 1:30 p.m. Police are on scene directing traffic.

A Mercedes SUV collided with a Honda SUV at Old Dominion and Little Falls Road, a crash-prone intersection that recently added rush hour turn restrictions in an attempt to cut down on wrecks. The force of the crash sent the Mercedes careening into the front yard of a home, knocking down a county light pole in the process.

No serious injuries were reported. There’s no word on how soon Old Dominion Drive might reopen.

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(Updated at 3 p.m.) A portion of Old Dominion Drive is closed after a large free fell and landed on a passing car.

The incident happened around 1:30 p.m. just east of the intersection of Old Dominion Drive and N. Thomas Street, near Dorothy Hamm Middle School and The Horizons Apartments.

The tree fell on a car heading eastbound on Old Dominion Drive, crushing most of the frontend. The driver, who suffered minor cuts and some chest pain, told ARLnow that he did not notice the tree falling until it was too late.

“It was very shocking,” said the driver, Michael. “If I did not have my seatbelt on, we would not be talking right now.”

As of 2 p.m. the road was still closed in both directions, as VDOT crews with chainsaws, a front loader and dump trucks were working to clear the large tree from the roadway. Police are also on scene, helping to direct traffic.

Elsewhere in Arlington, there have been numerous reports of downed trees, branches and wires amid today’s gusty winds.

A tree that fell this morning near the intersection of 23rd Street S. and S. Dinwiddie Street, near Wakefield High School, closed the road and knocked out power to the neighborhood. As of 2 p.m. Dominion’s website reported 124 customers in the area were still without power, with no estimated restoration time.

A Wind Advisory remains in effect until 6 p.m.

Map via Google Maps

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The main lanes of I-395 may be a bit busier on weekends for the next couple of months.

VDOT is planning to shut down the I-395 Express Lanes from Edsall Road to the D.C. line, starting this weekend, for a construction project. The shutdown will start around 11 p.m. on Fridays until early Monday morning, and is set to take place over the course of at least 10 consecutive weekends.

The closures will help with road work at Shirlington Circle, in Arlington, and the ramps to and from Seminary Road in Alexandria.

More from a VDOT press release:

The I-395 Express Lanes from near Edsall Road to the D.C. line are scheduled to close for at least ten consecutive weekends, beginning this weekend, March 6-8. These weekend closures are planned to begin at 11 p.m. Friday nights until 4 a.m. Monday mornings, and are needed for crews to complete hydro-demolition and bridge deck overlay placement at Express Lanes entrances and exits at Shirlington Circle and Seminary Road, as well as drainage, utility work and other construction activities. Closures will not occur over Easter weekend, April 10-12.

Travelers should plan ahead and allow extra travel time or take alternate routes. Work is weather dependent and may be rescheduled in the event of inclement weather.

File photo

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A driver in a landscaping truck smashed a bus stop and several cars on N. Barton Street in Lyon Park Monday afternoon.

As of 4:45 p.m., Barton Street was closed between N. Pershing Drive and 9th Street N. as a result of the incident.

Witnesses tell ARLnow that the truck was being driven erratically and began to crash into cars and through the bus stop. A video shows it slowly backing onto the sidewalk, at a 45 degree angle to the street.

“It’s scary,” a crying child can be heard saying as the truck backs up and then pulls forward again.

“Hey stop, stop,” a woman yells. Finally, witnesses said, the driver stopped and police arrived.

In all, some 4-5 vehicles appear to have been damaged, including one pressed partially into the side of a house. The glass bus stop was completely demolished, and a public trash can smashed.

Police could be seen conducting a sobriety test on the driver as of around 4:30 p.m.

The truck is branded as belonging to Greenlink, a regional landscape design, maintenance and tree care company.

Vernon Miles contributed to this report. Bus stop photo via Google Maps.

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Update at 8:50 a.m. — Traffic has resumed flowing in both directions as firefighters were able to secure the line. At least one lane remains blocked.

Earlier: A quick-moving line of storms that packed gusty winds pushed through Arlington during the morning rush hour, downing some trees and utility lines.

The biggest impact thus far is on Columbia Pike, which is blocked at S. Taylor Street by a low-hanging wire.

Drivers should expect significant delays and detours between Four Mile Run Drive and S. George Mason Drive.

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Roads are closed near the Pentagon City mall due to a suspicious package investigation.

The investigation is taking place at the intersection of S. Hayes Street and 12th Street S., which is also close to the Metro station entrance and the headquarters of the Transportation Security Administration.

Portions of Hayes Street and 12th Street are closed while the bomb squad investigates the suspicious object, according to scanner traffic, though as of 9:55 a.m. the “all clear” had been given and the package deemed non-hazardous. Roads are expected to reopen shortly.

The investigation comes amid heightened security at Arlington National Cemetery and elsewhere in the wake of the U.S. drone strike that killed an Iranian general.

Map via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

Labor Rule Violations Alleged at Temporary HQ2 Projects — “A union is charging that employers at six construction projects that will house Amazon employees or operations in Northern Virginia have evaded federal and state taxes by misclassifying workers, failing to carry workers’ compensation coverage and avoiding overtime pay.” [Washington Post]

Beyer Voting Yes on Impeachment — “The facts allow for no other interpretation: President Trump violated his oath of office to faithfully execute the laws. In order to cover up his offenses, he engaged in unprecedented obstruction of Congress’s oversight power and role as an equal branch of government.” [Press Release]

Voting Precinct Changes Planned — “Voters in two Arlington precincts will see their polling locations changed in 2020. Those in Overlee Knolls (Precinct 017) will move from the Reed School at 1644 North McKinley Road… Those in Rosslyn (Precinct 019) will move from 1911 Fort Myer Drive to the new H-B Woodlawn Secondary Program building.” [InsideNova]

How Arlington’s Streets Got Renamed — “If you harbor gripes that our county government gets too ambitious, consider an episode from the 1930s. In what probably ranks as the most disruptive Arlington project ever, our entire street grid was renamed.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Road Closures for Wreaths Across America — “The annual Wreaths Across America escort of handmade, balsam wreaths destined for Arlington National Cemetery will begin arriving in Arlington County on Friday… On Saturday, December 14th, several thousand volunteers will descend upon the Cemetery and help lay wreaths on every gravesite throughout the property beginning at 8 AM. The public can anticipate large crowds and heavy pedestrian traffic related to the event.” [Arlington County, YouTube]

Holiday Arts and Crafts Show in Crystal City This Weekend — “GRUMP is back for its 9th year, returning to The Shops at Crystal City at 2100 Crystal Drive. GRUMP Crystal City is where you can shop local from 50 exciting artists and makers and stop for a photo op with one of our many Yetis.” [Event Calendar]

Nearby: Police Warn of Abduction Attempt — “City of Falls Church Police are seeking a suspect in an attempted abduction… The suspect is wanted for questioning after he approached a juvenile outside of a grocery store and told the juvenile to leave with him. The suspect left when the juvenile’s mother returned.” [City of Falls Church]

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