Press Club
Girls on the Run 5k road closures (via ACPD)

It’s going to be a scorcher this weekend, but that’s not likely to stop a series of outdoor events planned in Arlington.

Four events in particular will prompt road closures, Arlington County police said, including two in Green Valley, one in nearby Shirlington, and one that will close roads in Clarendon, Virginia Square and Ballston.

The Girls on the Run 5K is taking place Saturday in the Dulles area and Sunday morning in Ballston. The organization, which provides a “transformational physical activity based positive youth development program for girls in 3rd-8th grade,” has held the races in Arlington since at least 2014, usually on the same weekend as the Taste of Arlington festival, now the Ballston Quarterfest Crawl.

The last two spring 5Ks were nixed due to the pandemic.

Sunday’s race will kick off at 8:30 a.m. in Ballston and wind its way through some of Arlington’s Metro corridor neighborhood.

Among the planned closures is a long stretch of Fairfax Drive. More from ACPD:

The 2022 Girls on the Run 5k Race will take place in the Ballston neighborhood on Sunday, May 22, and will begin at 8:30 a.m. The following roadways will be closed in order to accommodate the event:

From approximately 3:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

  • N. Taylor Street will be closed in both directions from Wilson Boulevard to Fairfax Drive

From approximately 7:15 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

  • Fairfax Drive, from N. Utah Street to Kirkwood Road
  • 10th Street N., from Fairfax Drive to Washington Boulevard
  • N. Irving Street, from 10th Street N. to 7th Street N.
  • 9th Street N., from N. Irving Street to N. Garfield Street
  • 7th Street N., from N Irving Street to Washington Boulevard
  • N. Highland Street, from 7th Street N. to 10th Street N.
  • N. Garfield Street, from 10th Street N. to 7th Street N.
  • Washington Boulevard (eastbound lanes only), from 10th Street N. to Pershing Drive
  • Wilson Boulevard will be closed in both directions at 10th Street N. Westbound traffic will be diverted onto Fairfax Drive, while eastbound traffic will be turned south prior to Jackson Street, where drivers can access Pershing Drive and maneuver around the race course.

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Bus routes will be detoured but remain operational during the event.

The police department also released the following information on road closures for the other three events.

2022 Drew Dragon Dash

The 2022 Drew Dragon Dash will take place in the Green Valley neighborhood on Saturday, May 21, and will begin at approximately 9:00 a.m. The following roadway will be closed in order to accommodate the event:

From approximately 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

S. Kenmore Street, between 22nd Street S. and the Shelton parking garage (3215 24th Street S.)

Jennie Dean Opening Celebration

The Jennie Dean Opening Celebration will take place in the Green Valley neighborhood on Saturday, May 21, and will begin at approximately 12:00 p.m. The following roadway will be closed in order to accommodate the event:

From approximately 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

  • 2700 block of S. Oakland Street (Shirlington Dog Park parking lot)

The Shirlington Dog Park will remain open and will be accessible through the 2600 block of S. Nelson Street.

Shirlington Spring Fling: A Village Block Party

The Shirlington Spring Fling: A Village Block Party will take place in the Village at Shirlington on Saturday, May 21, and will begin at approximately 11:00 a.m. The following roadways will be closed in order to accommodate the event:

From approximately 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

  • Campbell Avenue, from S. Quincy Street to the Hilton Garden Inn
  • S. Randolph Street, from Dudley’s to the alleyway behind CVS

“Street parking near the events may be restricted,” ACPD noted in the press release. “Motorists should be on the lookout for temporary “No Parking” signs. Illegally parked vehicles may be ticketed or towed. If your vehicle is towed from a public street, call the Emergency Communications Center at 703-558-2222.”

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N. Glebe Road blocked near Chain Bridge (via Google Maps)

Update at 9:40 p.m. — All lanes have reopened, Arlington County says.

Update at 6:40 p.m. — The southbound lanes have reopened but the northbound lanes are expected to remain closed for several hours.

Earlier: All lanes of N. Glebe Road near Chain Bridge are reported to be blocked during this evening’s commute, due to a combination of a disabled vehicle and a large pothole.

The large pothole is in the northbound lanes, on a steep portion of the road between Military Road and Chain Bridge Road, according to initial reports. A VDOT crew is now on scene assessing possible repairs to the roadway.

“Traffic is being diverted to Military Road,” the county said in an Arlington Alert message. “Seek alternate routes.”

Drivers should also expect heavy traffic on Chain Bridge as a result of the closure.

The closure is not far from where an SUV overturned earlier today.

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N. Old Glebe Road, near the Madison Community Center and Chain Bridge, is blocked after an SUV rolled onto its side.

The crash happened at a sharp bend in the road near the intersection with N. Richmond Street. The circumstances that led to the crash are unclear.

A man could be seen being evaluated by medics near the crash. No serious injuries were reported.

Arlington County police and firefighters from Arlington and Fairfax County are on the scene. The road is expected to remain blocked until the overturned vehicle can be uprighted and towed away.

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(Updated at 12:35 p.m.) The West Glebe Road bridge over Four Mile Run will be completely closed to vehicles in two weeks, and will remain closed for nearly a year.

The circa-1956 bridge, which connects Arlington and Alexandria near the I-395/S. Glebe Road interchange, has been deemed “structurally deficient” since 2018. A $10 million project to replace its deck and beams was approved by the Arlington County Board last April and was slated to start this year, but in the meantime engineers have found “continued degradation of the bridge beams.”

As a result, the bridge is closing to drivers on Monday, May 9, the county announced today. That’s after southbound bridge traffic was detoured for the same reason in March.

New detours will be put into place that will divert vehicular traffic either over the Mount Vernon Avenue bridge to the east or Shirlington Circle to the west. Both of those bridges, coincidentally, are also aging and set for repairs over the next couple of years; the former received funding from the recent federal infrastructure bill.

The county expects two vehicle lanes on the West Glebe Road bridge to reopen in early 2023, while it’s still under construction. Work is expected to start shortly after the May closure and last until the summer of 2023.

Pedestrians and cyclists will still be able to use the bridge for a few more months. A temporary pedestrian path across Four Mile Run is expected to open in July. Four Mile Run Trail users, meanwhile, will re-routed to a parallel path, as the portion of trail under the bridge will be closed.

More from a county press release, below.

Because of continued degradation of the bridge beams, engineers will close the West Glebe Road Bridge to all motor vehicle traffic beginning on Monday, May 9, 2022, for construction of a planned replacement superstructure (road deck and beams). Two motor vehicle lanes on the renovated bridge are expected to reopen in early 2023 along with one of two widened sidewalks.

The current structure connecting Arlington and Alexandria over Four Mile Run was built in 1956. Elements have experienced noted deterioration in recent years.

In 2018, a 5-ton weight restriction was placed on all user vehicles. In March 2022, all southbound traffic was detoured away from the bridge amid signs of continued structural beam degradation.

Allowing continued motor vehicle traffic with the additional stress of construction has now been ruled out. Pedestrians and bicyclists will be able to use the bridge through June, after which they will be directed to a temporary crossing, independent of the superstructure, to be built along the bridge, expected to open in July.

The Mount Vernon Avenue Bridge further east over Four Mile Run will continue to handle vehicular traffic detouring from the West Glebe bridge.

The bridge’s original piers are stable and will be used to support the new superstructure, reducing project costs, construction time, and impact on the watershed.

The project is set for completion by summer 2023.

Arlington County and the City of Alexandria continue continue to coordinate closely on the bridge replacement project. Crews will mobilize for the job later this month.

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Arlington Festival Of The Arts crowd shot from 2016 (Courtesy Howard Alan Events)

If you like the arts, 5Ks or family- and earth-friendly events, Arlington is the place to be this weekend.

Three separate events in the county will make it bit harder to get around by car.

The Arlington Festival of the Arts will take pace on Saturday and Sunday (April 23-24), shutting down several roads in the Clarendon area. The outdoor event offers art for display and sale over several blocks, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

The Arlington County Police Department announced the following road closures for the event.

The following roads will be closed from approximately 3:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 23 through 9:00 p.m. on Sunday, April 24:

  • N. Highland Street will be closed from Wilson Boulevard to 13th Street N. Local traffic will be allowed to access the public parking garage to 3033 Wilson Blvd.
  • N. Hartford Street will be closed from N. Highland Street to 13th Street N. Local traffic will be able to access the parking garage for 1210 N. Highland Street.
  • The alleyway between N. Herndon Street and N. Hartford Street will be closed at N. Hartford Street

Meanwhile, starting at 6 a.m. Saturday morning, the Bunny Hop 5k Race will close streets in the Ashton Heights and Lyon Park neighborhoods. The race kicks off at 8 a.m. and involves the following road closures, according to ACPD.

The following roadways will be closed in order to accommodate the event:

From approximately 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

  • N. Irving Street, between 7th Street N. and 5th Street N.

From approximately 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

  • N. Irving Street, between 2nd Road N. and 5th Street N.
  • N. Pershing Drive, between N. Piedmont Street and N. Edgewood Street
  • N. Fillmore Street, between 3rd Street N. and Pershing Drive
  • N. Garfield Street, between Pershing Drive and 3rd Street N.
  • 4th Street N., between N. Fillmore Street and N. Garfield Street
  • 2nd Road N., between N. Irving Street and the Columbia Gardens Cemetery

A portion of the course winds through the Columbia Gardens Cemetery.  The Cemetery will be closed to vehicular traffic and have a delayed opening at 10:00 a.m.

Finally, on Sunday, the 2022 Earth Day Every Day Festival will be held off Langston Blvd in front of the Lee Heights Shops. The event will include various family activities, live music, sidewalk sales, food and drink specials, and its own art market.

“Let’s come together as a community to celebrate the beauty and promise of our local environment and the planet,” says the website for the Earth Day event. “Every year, communities worldwide uplift Earth Day to mark the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. It reminds us all to do what we can, in ways small and significant, restore, conserve and protect our environment.”

From ACPD:

The 2022 Earth Day Every Day Festival will take place on Sunday, April 24, 2022 and will be held from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The following roadways will be closed from approximately 8:00 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. in order to accommodate the festival:

  • Cherry Hill Road, between N. Woodstock Street and N. Woodrow Street
  • Northbound N. Woodrow Street, between 20th Road N. and Cherry Hill Road will be restricted to local traffic only

Additional Information

Community members should expect to see an increased police presence in the area around these events, and motorists are urged to follow law enforcement direction, be mindful of closures, and remain alert for increased pedestrian traffic. Additional closures not mentioned above may be implemented at police discretion in the interest of public safety.

Residents of the affected neighborhood areas will be escorted through the road closures to minimize the impacts on the community, only when safe to do so. Motorists should be on the lookout for temporary “No parking” signs, as street parking in the area around these events will be limited. Illegally parked vehicles may be ticketed or towed. If your vehicle is towed from a public street, call the Emergency Communications Center at 703-558-2222.

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(Updated at 10:45 a.m.) Several people are injured and one is reported to be trapped in their vehicle after a two-car crash in Ballston.

The crash happened shortly after 10 a.m. at the intersection of N. Glebe Road, N. Quincy Street and N. Henderson Road. An SUV flipped on its side and a car was badly damaged as a result of the crash.

Initial reports suggest that four people are hurt, including three who are likely to be transported via ambulance to the hospital. The nature of the injuries is not currently known, though there is no indication so far that any are life-threatening.

The person who was trapped has since been extricated by firefighters.

Glebe Road is closed in both direction at the crash site, which includes a large amount of debris scattered across the roadway.

The crash happened one block away from another crash that left an SUV on its roof Friday afternoon. It also comes less than 12 hours after a serious two-vehicle crash that closed Columbia Pike in front of Penrose Square last night.

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Response to car fire in Courthouse on Sunday afternoon (staff photo by Matt Blitz)

A car fire behind a row of restaurants in Courthouse prompted evacuations and road closures, but was quickly extinguished.

The fire broke out behind TNR Cafe, on the 2000 block of Wilson Blvd, around 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. The carbeque sent smoke into the air and into nearby buildings — and reportedly prompted the evacuation of Ireland’s Four Courts.

Arlington County firefighters made quick work of the blaze, however, allowing the mid-afternoon bar-going crowds to continue their revelry and traffic to continue flowing on Wilson Blvd.

No injuries were reported.

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Updated at 10:30 p.m. — The person who was barricaded inside an Arlington Heights home has been taken into custody, police say.

Earlier: Two streets north of Columbia Pike, in the Arlington Heights neighborhood, are blocked due to a reported barricade situation.

A person reportedly suffering from a mental health issue is inside a house on the 300 block of S. Fillmore Street and refusing to come out. Fillmore, an arterial street between the Pike and Route 50, is blocked by police south of 2nd Street S. as a result, while parts of 2nd Street are also blocked.

Arlington County police have established a command post on 7th Street S., near the Montessori Public School of Arlington. That street is blocked as well, west of S. Walter Reed Drive.

The incident started before noon and as of 3 p.m. is still ongoing. Both police and fire personnel are on scene, as negotiators try to coax the person out peacefully.

Police, meanwhile, are assisting students in the neighborhood as schools — including Thomas Jefferson Middle School and Fleet Elementary — are let out for the day.

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A portion of Columbia Pike near Pentagon City is set to be closed and re-routed to side streets early next year due to work to expand Arlington National Cemetery.

The work, which will add 60,000 burial sites and space for the 9/11 Pentagon Memorial Visitor Education Center, will also involve moving Columbia Pike closer to I-395, so that gravesites can be placed where it currently curves around the Air Force Memorial.

Grading work along the new planned path of the Pike has already started, as have some occasional lane closures.

“Crews have implemented various, intermittent lane closures on the project to begin work,” Amber Vincent, Public Affairs Specialist at Arlington National Cemetery, told ARLnow. “In the next six months, longterm lanes closures/shifts will be implemented to access work areas within the project.”

Lane closures are planned on Southgate Road, which runs alongside the Pike next to the current cemetery border, the spokeswoman said. That will be followed by the construction of a new road connecting the Pike and Southgate, west of the Air Force Memorial, and then the closure of the Pike itself.

“Long term lane closures are roughly 1-2 months out and will take place on Southgate Road and Joyce Street in order to begin preparations for what will ultimately be a full closure of Columbia Pike,” said Vincent. “While these closures are in place, a new roadway (South Nash Street) will be constructed between Columbia Pike and Southgate Road one block east of Oak Street.”

“We anticipate South Nash Street to be complete and open late 2022 or early 2023,” she continued. “At that time, Columbia Pike will be closed and traffic will utilize the newly constructed South Nash Street and Southgate Road to bypass the closed section of Columbia Pike to Joyce Street.”

Known as the Arlington National Cemetery Defense Access Roads (DAR) Project, the work is being funded by the federal government and managed by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) as is part of the 70-acre southern expansion of the cemetery.

The detours will maintain pedestrian access, we’re told, while the project will add a new sidewalk and a shared-use trail, add street lighting, and put utility lines underground.

“Access to existing facilities, as well as pedestrian and vehicle will be maintained throughout construction,” Vincent said. “Arlington National Cemetery and our partners… recognize that pedestrian infrastructure is important to those living in the D.C.-Maryland-Northern Virginia area and we have made appropriate plans to incorporate adequate pedestrian access to and around the Southern Expansion area.”

In the fall, parking was permanently prohibited on Southgate Road between S. Oak Street and Columbia Pike. After its use as a detour, that portion of Southgate Road will eventually become part of the cemetery.

Officials are still eyeing a late 2025 opening for the new burial ground, Vincent said.

Arlington National Cemetery expansion and Columbia Pike realignment, set to be completed in 2025 (image via FHWA)
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2014 Four Courts Four Miler road race (photo courtesy of Brian W. Knight/Swim Bike Run Photography)

The Four Courts Four Miler is back and is set to close a stretch of Wilson Blvd in Courthouse and Rosslyn for several hours on Saturday morning.

The annual St. Patrick’s Day-themed race, sponsored by Ireland’s Four Courts and organized by Pacers, will shut down Wilson Blvd between N. Courthouse Road to N. Rhodes Street starting at 6 a.m. and, then, the rest of Wilson Blvd to Route 110 starting at 8:30 a.m.

Northbound Route 110 will also be closed from I-395 to I-66 starting at 8:30 a.m. Southbound Route 110 will remain open through the duration of the race. Metro buses will continue to operate, though detoured.

All the roads will reopen at 11 a.m.

Arlington County Police Department recommends using Route 50 to get to Courthouse Road and Langston Blvd to get through Rosslyn. Street parking will be limited in the area, so be on the lookout for “no parking” signs.

Runners and spectators are encouraged to use Metro or other forms of “multimodal transportation.”

Planned Four Courts Four Miler road closures (via ACPD)

The Four Courts Four Miler is one of a number of St. Patrick’s Day festivities in Arlington. The race was canceled in 2020 due to the emerging pandemic and was virtual last year. This year, it’s back to being in-person, though there remains a virtual option.

The race starts at 9 a.m. The first half of the course is downhill while the second half is uphill, notes the race information page.

After the run, the nearly-three-decade old Irish pub in Courthouse will host live music and Irish dancers all day, until last call at 1:30 a.m., per the pub’s website.

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(Updated at 3:40 p.m.) A large fire department response is on scene at the Ballston Quarter mall for a fire on the third floor of the building.

Initial reports suggest that the fire was in a sauna inside the men’s locker room of the Onelife Fitness gym. Light smoke could be seen coming from the roof of the gym near the Ballston pedestrian bridge.

A larger response was dispatched to the mall after the first firefighters on scene confirmed a “working fire” inside the sauna. The flames have since been brought under control, according to scanner traffic.

So far no injuries have been reported. Wilson Blvd is currently blocked in front of the mall.

The gym was evacuated due to the fire. Patrons in their exercise gear could be seen standing around in other parts of the mall.

Firefighters are now starting to set up fans to remove the thick smoke that has filled the gym.

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