Arlington, VA

(Updated at 11:15 a.m.) All lanes of northbound I-395 between Edsall Road and D.C. were shut down this morning for a funeral procession.

The body of fallen United States Capitol Police Officer William Evans was escorted to the U.S. Capitol, where he is set to lie in honor in the Rotunda.

Evans was killed on April 2 when a man intentionally rammed his car into a Capitol security barrier. He is the second officer to lie in honor at the Rotunda this year, after U.S. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick was killed as a result of the Jan. 6 riots at the Capitol.

Arlington County’s emergency management office said this morning that northbound I-395 will be temporarily closed, for a period of time between about 9:45-10:45 a.m. Arlington police are assisting with the escort.

“Please seek alternative routes,” the county said.

Last week another large law enforcement procession escorted Evans’ body from the D.C. medical examiner’s office to a funeral home in Falls Church, via I-66.

File photo

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First Lady Jill Biden is in Clarendon this afternoon, visiting a call center for military members and their families.

The First Lady is visiting the offices of Military OneSource, described as “a Department of Defense resource providing 24/7 support to service members, their families, and survivors.” The visit follows an earlier event at the White House in which Biden spoke of her Joining Forces initiative to support military and veteran families, as well as caregivers and survivors.

Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) is among the local officials expected to be in attendance as Biden tours the call center and speaks with employees. Also greeting the First Lady are Charlene Austin and Hollyanne Milley, the wives of the Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, respectively.

Locals should expect a security presence in the area.

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A large tree fell amid gusty winds at the intersection of N. Old Glebe and Military road Friday afternoon, bringing down power lines and closing the intersection for an extended period of time.

Police and firefighters responded after the tree fell, though there were no initial reports of injuries nor was anyone reported struck. Tree crews are currently on scene and power crews are said to be en route.

The falling tree knocked down power lines and in turn snapped a utility pole. Just over 100 Dominion customers in the area, mostly in the Arlingwood neighborhood at the far northern tip of Arlington County, are without power.

The tree appears to have narrowly missed a stone sign for the Old Glebe neighborhood.

Dominion’s website says power is expected to be restored tonight. An Arlington Alert says the intersection is expected to remain closed overnight and drivers should seek alternate routes.

Also currently closed: a portion of N. Old Glebe Road near the Madison Community Center.

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Several hundred people in Crystal City are without water service after a water main break.

Emergency water main repairs are taking place near the Buchanan House apartments at 320 23rd Street S., according to Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Service.

DES says 23rd Street S. is being closed between Clark Street and Crystal Drive during the repairs, which are expected to wrap up this evening.

Photo via Google Maps

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(Updated at 2:50 p.m.) A portion of the northbound GW Parkway will be closed for most of the day Saturday, as crews remove two vehicles that ran down embankments and crashed near the river.

From a National Park Service press release:

On Saturday, March 20, 2021, the National Park Service (NPS) will close both northbound lanes of the George Washington Memorial Parkway to remove two abandoned vehicles that are below the road near the Potomac River. The NPS expects to close the lanes between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. from Spout Run Parkway to Chain Bridge Road, VA 123.  The southbound lanes will remain open.  The NPS will also temporarily close parts of the Potomac Heritage Trail near the vehicles for up to half an hour at a time while the work is happening.

The first crash happened on June 7, 2020, when a sedan ended up near the banks of the Potomac after running down an embankment north of Windy Run. The driver suffered non-life-threatening injuries; he was able to get out of the smashed car and was transported to an ambulance via D.C. fire boat.

The sedan has remained where it came to rest, along the Potomac Heritage Trail, since then while officials mulled how to remove it.

The second crash, according to NPS, happened on January 25 near the first scenic overlook in Arlington. The driver of that car was also not seriously injured.

“Both accidents were unusual,” the Park Service said, though there have been other recent incidents involving vehicles that ran far off the Parkway.

On Jan. 12 two people were rescued after a crash in which two vehicles careened off the Parkway near I-395 and ended up in the Potomac. Three days later, another car ran off the road and over an embankment near the second scenic overlook in Arlington. Inside, first responders found the body of D.C. police officer Jeffrey Smith, who was hurt while clashing with rioters at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6; he was driving to work on Jan. 15 when he took his own life.

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A walk to bring attention to racial injustice, the first of its kind since last summer, is taking place on Saturday and with it will come a series of road closures.

The Run For Her Life 5K and Yoga Event is scheduled for this Saturday, March 12, from 2-4 p.m.

It’s organized by Arlington Justice and Black Parents of Arlington, in memory of Breonna Taylor on the one-year anniversary her killing in Louisville, Kentucky.

The 5K walk will start in the rear parking lot of Dorothy Hamm Middle School at 4100 Vacation Lane in Cherrydale and will follow a path winding path around the neighborhood. Masks are required at the event. Organizers say participation in the walk and yoga event is limited to women and girls, but men are welcome to volunteer to help out.

The Arlington County Police Department has announced a series of “rolling road closures” associated with the walk, which will be put in place over the course of about two hours.

The event route, per ACPD, includes:

  • START: 4100 Vacation Lane (Hamm Middle School, rear parking lot)
  • RIGHT onto Vacation Lane
  • RIGHT onto Military Road
  • CROSS Old Dominion Road onto N. Quincy Road
  • RIGHT onto Lee Highway
  • LEFT onto N. Taylor Street
  • RIGHT onto N. 17th Street
  • CROSS N. Glebe Road
  • CONTINUE on N. 17th Street
  • RIGHT onto N. Culpeper Street
  • RIGHT onto Lee Highway
  • LEFT onto Lorcom Lane
  • RIGHT onto Vacation Lane
  • FINISH: 4100 Vacation Lane (Hamm Middle School, rear parking lot)

“We come together to stand in solidarity, one year since the murder of Breonna Taylor, to call attention to the racial injustice and violence committed against ALL Black and Brown women,” says the event website. “Together we’ll honor and celebrate the resilience of Black and Brown women during this collective healing event.”

“The event proceeds will go to support the continued advocacy of Arlington For Justice and Black Parents of Arlington, Black women-led organizations, with a portion being donated to the Breonna Taylor Foundation,” the website notes.

While there were plenty of protests in Arlington over the summer, this event may be the first of its kind since then. It is also the first organized, in-person public event in Arlington to prompt an ACPD traffic advisory press release since Mayor Pete came to town prior to the pandemic lockdown.

Photo via ACPD

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An “emergency utility repair” at Arlington’s sewage treatment plant led to a sewage release into Four Mile Run.

The sewage release happened this morning at the plant on S. Glebe Road. County officials are warning people to avoid the stream between S. Arlington Ridge Road and the Potomac.

“The public is advised to stay away from the affected water and to keep pets away until further notice,” Arlington County said in a press release. “Stream water can contain microorganisms that can make people sick, whether the stream is located in an urban area or in the middle of a forest. Even after the discharge is naturally flushed from the streams, the County’s normal precautions for safe use of streams apply.”

Crews are working to repair the unspecified issue at the plant. As a result of the work, a portion of S. Glebe Road is closed at S. Eads Street.

“An estimated completion time for the repair is unknown at this time,” the county said.

Separately, just before 9:15 a.m., a crash also blocked a lane of S. Glebe Road near S. Arlington Ridge Road, after an SUV reportedly careened into a utility pole.

Update at 1:30 p.m. — All lanes of S. Glebe Road have reopened, the county says.

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Morning Notes

Va. Denied Reimbursement for Riot Response — “The Federal Emergency Management Agency has denied requests from Maryland and Virginia for an emergency declaration to cover expenses associated with responding to the Capitol riot and increasing security around President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration. FEMA’s decision — which both states plan to appeal — could mean the states would not receive federal funds for providing law enforcement personnel and other support.” [Washington Post]

Barriers Block Bridge — “Gate being put up at the Memorial Bridge. It’s now completely closed until Thursday morning.” [Twitter]

VP Pence Says Farewell — From outgoing Vice President and former Arlington resident Mike Pence: “Thank you for the privilege of serving as your Vice President these past four years, it has been the greatest honor of my life. On behalf of our Wonderful Second Lady, Karen Pence, and our entire Family, Thank You and God Bless America.” [Twitter]

Beyer Rips Trump One Last Time — From Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.): “At long last, Donald Trump will leave office tomorrow. His presidency and administration will be remembered for unprecedented incompetence and corruption.” [Twitter]

Change of Plan for 3rd-5th Graders — “We have decided to transition 3rd-5th grade students to the ‘concurrent instruction’ model, similar to the model adopted for secondary students… Students will be able to continue in their current class, with their current teacher, regardless of the model they selected.” Meanwhile, APS Superintendent Francisco Durán said in a School Talk email that “we do not have new student return dates to announce yet.” [Arlington Public Schools]

Changes for Annual Homeless Count — “Nicole Harmon, who oversees housing assistance for Arlington County, Va., says her county will make a number of changes when it conducts its count on the night of Jan. 27. ‘Safety is one of our primary concerns,’ she said. ‘We’re no longer able to take vans, where you could load up six to eight volunteers and staff to go out and perform the count.'” [NPR]

Car vs. Tree Crash Near Pentagon City — “A driver crashed into a tree near a condo building at 1515 S. Arlington Ridge Road this morning. We’re told the driver, who was shook up and evaluated by medics, mistook the gas pedal for the brake.” [Twitter]

Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf

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(Updated at 4:25 p.m.) Two women were rescued by firefighters this afternoon in dramatic fashion, after a gas leak was discovered in their home along Columbia Pike.

The rescues happened shortly before 3:30 p.m., after police were called to the house at the intersection of the Pike and S. Rolfe Street for a welfare check.

“Officers were conducting a check on the welfare. When they made entry to the residence they smelled gas, and called for the fire department,” said Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “Two adult females have been transported to local hospitals.”

Initial reports suggest that firefighters searching the house found the victims inside suffering from possible carbon monoxide poisoning. They were pulled outside and treated before being rushed to the hospital.

Eastbound Columbia Pike was blocked near the intersection with S. Rolfe Street during the incident. The Pike has since reopened, though S. Rolfe Street remains closed.

The house has been ventilated and police are now investigating the incident. Washington Gas crews are also on scene, investigating the leak.

So far there’s no word yet on the condition of the two victims.

A neighbor tells ARLnow that “two lovely [older] ladies” live in the home.

“God, I hope they are okay,” said the neighbor, who did not provide her name.

Matt Blitz contributed to this report. Map via Google Maps.

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I-66, Lee Highway and numerous local roads around Rosslyn will be temporarily blocked Sunday morning for the planned implosion of the former Holiday Inn hotel.

The 18-story hotel tower at 1900 N. Fort Myer Drive is set to come down around 8 a.m. Sunday “as safety, crowd control and weather conditions permit.” The implosion will make way for a new mixed-use development featuring a 25-story residential tower and a 38-story hotel tower.

Roads, including Lee Highway, will close around 6:30 a.m. Some will reopen by noon, while others are not expected to reopen until 6 p.m.

I-66 is set to be closed between Spout Run and the Roosevelt Bridge between 7:45-8:30 a.m. WTOP previously reported that crews will inspect the I-66 tunnel in Rosslyn for damage before the highway reopens.

Traffic on the Key Bridge, meanwhile, will be diverted onto the northbound GW Parkway until around 9 a.m., according to a new advisory from the Arlington County Police Department.

Gateway Park will be closed during the implosion, and ACPD says there “are no good viewing areas available to the public” to watch the event. The police department recommends that the public “avoid the area and watch local media coverage of the implosion.”

More from a police press release, including a detailed list of road closures, is below.

Read More

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(Updated on 12/9/20) The former Rosslyn Holiday Inn is set to be demolished via a planned implosion this weekend.

The 18-story hotel tower at 1900 N. Fort Myer Drive is set to come down at 8 a.m. Sunday “as safety, crowd control and weather conditions permit,” an advisory obtained by ARLnow says.

“As part of the demolition project, removal of the Sky Bridge Stairs is scheduled for Saturday, December 12,” the advisory continues. “Access road and adjacent sidewalks will be closed in front of 1911 N. Fort Myer Drive. Flaggers will be set up to assist with traffic.”

Tenants of nearby buildings are being notified that the implosion will necessitate road closures and temporarily turning off building heating systems due to the anticipated dust cloud.

“The implosion… should last about 20 seconds. Avoid any windows facing the Holiday Inn or being in front of windows at time of implosion,” the advisory says. “Dust may drift outside and downward of the Exclusion Zone, depending on weather conditions. Please stay indoors during the demolition and afterwards until the dust has settled.”

Plans for road closures and temporary no parking zones are in place.

“Arlington County is aware of the scheduled demolition on December 13,” Arlington County Police Department spokeswoman Ashley Savage tells ARLnow. “ACPD, [Virginia State Police] and VDOT will be providing traffic control.”

VDOT confirmed a WTOP report Monday afternoon that I-66 would be temporarily closed during the implosion.

The hotel’s former parking garage has already been demolished.

The County Board approved a redevelopment project last year that will replace the aging hotel — built in 1972 — with a new mixed-use project, featuring a 25-story residential tower and a 38-story hotel tower.

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