Stations for the Crystal City Potomac Yard Transitway are taking shape now that officials have overcome the unforeseen construction challenges.
“We had complications during construction that caused delays and threatened to push the project over budget,” Acting County Manager Mark Schwartz said in a statement. “But we have made changes, including scope modifications, to ensure that we finish this project within budget and get it done by next spring.”
In a presentation to the County Board earlier this week, construction managers outlined changes to the project scope and design to compensate for these issues.
The station roofs will now be made of a less expensive material that’s also easier to produce than what was originally proposed. County crews will also assume the fabrication and installation of signage and pavement markings at all the stations to cut costs.
However, the stations will all still have higher curbs for easier boarding, lighting and real-time arrival information.
The transitway is a joint project between Arlington and Alexandria to complement the Metrorail system. Arlington’s portion of the project includes seven stations, 0.75 miles of new, transit-only roadway, and 1.5 miles of dedicated transit lanes on existing streets.
The transitway runs in a loop around Crystal City, running from Crystal Drive to S. Clark Street and back to Crystal Drive.
Once open, vehicles and other traffic will be restricted from the dedicated transit lanes between 6-9 a.m. and 3:30-7 p.m., three and a half total hours less than first proposed. During these hours, vehicles cannot use the lanes to bypass traffic or to travel through an intersection and cannot obstruct the transitway buses.
Weekly construction updates will be published online throughout the winter. Transitway project managers will also work with Metro representatives to select the initial opening date.
More nighttime road work is coming to portions of South Arlington, starting Sunday.
The county will be milling and paving part of Columbia Pike, between Washington Blvd and S. Walter Reed Drive, and S. Four Mile Run Drive, between S. George Mason Drive and Columbia Pike. Both roads were on the county’s paving schedule this year.
For the most part, paving on Columbia Pike will take place between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. in order to minimize traffic disruptions, according to the county’s notice. Road work is expected to start Sunday, Oct. 25 and is planned to last about a week, depending on the weather, said county spokeswoman Jessica Baxter.
The paving on S. Four Mile Run will take place during the day depending on the weather. Milling on the road started yesterday, and work is expected to last a week, Baxter said.
Drivers will not be allowed to park their cars on the street while the roads are being milled and paved, mostly affecting residents living in the apartment complexes on S. Four Mile Run Drive.
Some Crystal City apartment dwellers complained of loud noises from road work in the area earlier this month, saying the ruckus made it hard to sleep.
Some Crystal City residents say they’re fed up with nighttime paving on Crystal Drive that they claim has kept them from sleeping.
Roadwork on Crystal Drive should end tonight, which is ahead of schedule, said county spokeswoman Jessica Baxter, adding that the original timeframe had paving and milling continuing for several weeks.
“We apologize for the inconvenience, but this is important work that needs to get done. The end result will be a smooth, durable pavement that all roadway users will enjoy,” Baxter said.
Crystal Drive was on the county’s schedule for paving this year, and it needed to be completed so the county could finish the Crystal City-Potomac Yard Transitway. Milling began last Friday, Oct. 9 at 9 a.m., but the majority of the paving was done at night in order to reduce traffic disruptions during the work day, she said.
“Milling tends to be noisier, which is why we scheduled it during the day to reduce the impacts in residential areas,” Baxter said. “The majority of paving, however, is taking place at night between 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. to minimize traffic impacts, maximize pedestrian safety and to expedite the work.”
Some Crystal City residents claimed that the paving noise was loud enough to keep them awake throughout the night, taking to Twitter to voice their frustrations.
— lindsaykat (@lindsaykat) October 14, 2015
— i fly dca ✈ (@flyidca) October 12, 2015
The noise was loud enough to be heard through earbuds, said Ryan Kaltenbaugh.
“Why would the County approve night time road work along a road with residential buildings with hundreds of residents? Even with ear plugs, it was extremely difficult to sleep, and I’m sure other residents along Crystal Drive had a difficult time as well,” Kaltenbaugh said.
While the county tried to minimize the disruptions to the flow of traffic, Kaltenbaugh said in an email that the road conditions were hazardous to drivers and pedestrians due to “an unmarked work zone (no cones, no police, no barriers, nadda).”
“On Saturday, with no Arlington County police officers present and no workers directing traffic, pedestrians and vehicles engaged in a game of Frogger – dodging workers, raised manhole covers and work vehicles and equipment on the unmarked road,” he said. “Throughout the day, there were a few near misses as work vehicles moved about and backed up in and around passing cars and crossing pedestrians.”
Arlington warned people living in Crystal Drive residences that there would be nighttime roadwork, Baxter said.
“We sent out notifications through the Crystal City-Pentagon City e-newsletter, the Crystal City Civic Association and BID, as well as to contacts at residential and office buildings,” she said. “In all of our communication, we shared that nighttime work should be expected.”
(Updated at 11:30 a.m.) N. Nash Street in Rosslyn was closed to traffic in both directions today due to road construction crews paving the road.
Signs have been placed at entrances to N. Nash Street, indicating cars should take a detour. Key Blvd, which intersects with N. Nash Street, has also been milled and crews were beginning to pave the road as of 3:30 p.m.
The road closure came as a surprise to many.
Workers parked in parking garages on N. Nash Street this morning — including a garage used by ARLnow.com employees — only to find that they were unable to leave. A spokeswoman with the Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services said that paving on N. Nash Street will be finished tonight. (Update at 4:05 p.m.: Those parked in the garage are now being allowed to exit.)
Arlington’s police and fire departments were not told that the street would be closed, according to the fire department’s public information officer. The county typically tells emergency services which roads are closed or being worked on to allow them to adjust their response routes, he said.
The road should not have been closed to traffic in both directions, county spokeswoman Jessica Baxter said
“‘No Parking’ signs were posted along the block a few days before the operation began, and the roadway was not entirely shut down,” Baxter said. “Residents and workers should continue to have access to the garages.”
Road construction crews will start paving Key Blvd, between N. Nash Street and N. Quinn Street, once they have finished N. Nash. Paving is expected to be done by the end of the week, she said.
N. Nash Street is being repaved in response to complaints from residents, while Key Blvd was scheduled for paving this year, Baxter said.
“This street [N. Nash Street] was added to the paving list recently due to its deteriorating condition, pothole history (from the previous winter/spring) and amount of complaints we received through the Arlington, Va. App,” she said in an email.
Construction on the Crystal City Potomac Yard Transitway will continue through the fall after being delayed by construction conflicts.
“Unforeseen utility conflicts, poor soil conditions and underground obstructions slowed work at several station locations,” the county said on the project’s website.
Arlington County is currently working with contractors to set a new completion date for the project, said county spokesman Eric Balliet, adding that the county will update the community once a schedule has been set.
The county is also holding a public meeting next week to give an update on transitway. The meeting on Oct. 8 will be held at the Residence Inn (2800 S. Potomac Avenue) from 6:30-7:30 p.m.
Currently, the county is working on new transitway lanes and on three of the new stations, Balliet said. Crystal Drive, S. Clark Street and S. Bell Street are affected by the road construction, he added.
“New dedicated transit lanes in Potomac Yard are nearing completion,” Balliet said. “Traffic signs and station signage are being installed, and we’ve started testing LED signs and other technologies that will support the transitway. Our contractor recently resumed construction at several station locations where utility conflicts, poor soils and underground obstructions had slowed work.”
Once completed, the Crystal City Potomac Yard transitway will provide better bus service along the Route 1 corridor, especially during rush hour, the county said.
“The new 4.5-mile Transitway between the Crystal City and Braddock Road Metrorail stations will provide faster, more reliable bus service along the congested Route 1 corridor, with amenities designed to attract new riders,” the county said.
The transitway project broke ground in July 2014 and was originally slated to take 10 months.
Photo via Arlington County
Starting tonight, commuters on westbound I-66 can expect delays from nighttime lane closures.
The Virginia Department of Transportation will pave westbound 1-66 between Lee Highway and the Dulles Airport Access Road in Fairfax County overnight, causing some lanes to be closed.
Crews will start paving the road tonight at 10 p.m., and will continue for the next three weeks. Paving is scheduled to occur between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., Sunday through Friday.
During the construction, commuters should expect delays and are advised to take alternate routes.
“While VDOT fully understands the impact of night work on the residents, the traffic volumes on I-66 do not allow us to do this work during the day,” the department said on its website. “VDOT has held several meetings with the contractor to come up with ways to minimize the impact of noise stemming from night operations. VDOT staff will work closely with the contractor to reduce the impact of delivery trucks and construction equipment during each operation.”
The paving is part of a $33 million project to improve westbound 1-66 by connecting the on-ramp at Washington Blvd to the off ramp at Dulles Airport Access Road. Once completed, there will be a one-mile auxiliary lane and a new 12-foot shoulder.
VDOT will hold a public meeting on Oct. 7 about “Transform 66,” a project to turn 1-66 into a toll road during morning and evening rush hour and increase the HOV requirement to three people. The meeting will be from 7-9 p.m. at Washington-Lee High School (1301 N. Stafford Street).
Arlington Woman Sues Restaurant — Laura Donahue, a 36-year-old Arlington resident, is suing the new D.C. restaurant Fig & Olive, saying she became ill with salmonella after eating there.The restaurant was shut down by the health department for several days after numerous reports of diners afflicted with salmonella. [Washington Post]
County Board Approves Street Projects — At its meeting on Saturday, the Arlington County Board approved $2.9 million in neighborhood street improvement projects. The projects, in Ashton Heights, Lyon Village, Arlington Ridge and Leeway, will be paid for with neighborhood conservation bond funds. [Arlington County]
Refinancing to Save County Millions — Arlington County expects to save $2.2 million over 14 years via a refinancing of wastewater and water system bonds that was approved unanimously by the County Board on Saturday. [Arlington County]
Water Main Rehab Contract Approved — The Arlington County Board has approved a $2.4 million contract to rehabilitate some of the county’s aging water mains. Some of the mains set for a cleaning and a cement mortar lining are more than 60 years old. [Arlington County]
Flickr pool photo by Kevin Wolf
Traffic delays are expected on Williamsburg Blvd as the county builds a new water main under the road.
“The County is building new water mains and modifying pipes to the Minor Hill Reservoir site and its four underground storage tanks. The projects will improve the water system’s reliability and redundancy at our most critical and largest water storage area,” said county spokeswoman Jessica Baxter.
Construction is scheduled to start today on southbound Williamsburg Blvd. at N. Sycamore Street, Baxter said.
There are potential traffic delays, as the county will be narrowing the existing travel lane to allow for the water main installation. Southbound traffic will be affected for eight to 12 weeks, according to a press release.
The county will also be closing a gap in the water main that runs under westbound Williamsburg Blvd between N. Frederick and N. Harrison Streets.
The westbound lane will be closed to traffic until summer of 2016 while crews work on the water main, according to the county. Cars will be routed around the construction using a part of the eastbound lane on Williamsburg Blvd.
There is no set date for when the county will start working on the main line under the westbound lane, Baxter said.
“Earliest anticipated start date would be Sept. 21, but we’ll update the community when a date is confirmed,” she said.
The water main project will cost $4.1 million and will come from the county’s utility fund, according to the press release. Once the water main line construction is completed, water will be able to flow through storage tanks easier, resulting in fresher water from the tap, the county said.
“The projects will boost the water system’s reliability and redundancy by providing a backup main to our most critical and largest water storage area,” said the press release.
Photos via Google Maps
Starting tomorrow, drivers should prepare for possible delays when traveling to Reagan National Airport from Crystal City or the southbound GW Parkway.
The National Park Service and the Federal Highway Administration are planning to begin maintenance on the Route 233 bridge, which connects Jefferson Davis Highway in the Crystal City area to the airport. An off-ramp from the southbound lanes of the GW Parkway also connects to the bridge.
Single lane closures on the bridge are planned from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in both directions, according to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority. At least one lane will be open on the bridge and on the GW Parkway ramp will remain open during the nine month project, which will replace the bridge’s median, among other improvements.
“In addition to directional signage, Airports Authority Police and Park Service Police will be present to assist in directing drivers through the area and to minimize the traffic impact in the construction zone,” the Airports Authority said in a statement.
Drivers should expect delays and detours when using the bridge to access the airport.
“The Park Service and Federal Highway Administration bridge construction project will allow for better access to and from the airport and add safety improvements to sidewalks and trails for pedestrians,” the Airports Authority said.
Starting Monday morning, commuters will have to find an alternate route to get from the GW Parkway to the Key Bridge.
National Park Service will close the ramp from southbound GW Parkway to Key Bridge starting before rush hour Monday morning and running through Friday, Aug. 28. The ramp will reopen Saturday morning, said NPS spokesman Aaron LaRocca.
NPS will be replacing the entire surface of the ramp while it is closed. The repairs include milling the road, replacing gravel and overlaying with asphalt.
There will be no detours. NPS advises commuters to find alternate routes and to expect delays.
Arlington Ridge Road will be closed Friday while crews connect new properties to a main water line.
The road will be closed between 19th Road S. and 23rd Street S. from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. for water service installation.
This is not an emergency repair, as an Arlington Alert erroneously indicated, said Jessica Baxter, a spokeswoman with Arlington’s Dept. of Environmental Services.
“These installations are done for new properties that require a service line to be built and connected to the public main for water service,” she said.
During the construction, drivers will be directed to take detours. Drivers coming from southbound I-395 can take Army Navy Drive to 23rd Street S. to get onto Arlington Ridge Road. Drivers going northbound can take Army Navy Drive instead of Arlington Ridge Road, Baxter said.
Arlington Ridge Road has previously been closed for emergency repairs due to water main issues. The county is currently in a design phase for replacing the main water line on Arlington Ridge Road between 23rd Street S. and S. Lynn Street.
Image via Google Maps
(Updated at 2:30 p.m.) Cyclists will have to use detours around parts of Custis Trail while crews work to resurface and repair the pavement.
The county started repairing parts of the trail between N. Harrison and N. Frederick Streets and 11th Street N. and N. Glebe Road on Tuesday. Construction is expected to last until next Friday, Aug. 21.
During the trail work, crews will be milling the surface, removing root heaves and overlaying the trail with asphalt, according to the Bike Arlington forum.
The planned construction will cost $150,000, said Susan Kalish, spokeswoman for the Arlington Dept. of Parks and Recreation.
During construction cyclists and pedestrians are encouraged to use marked detours, which primarily run along low-traffic residential streets.
The intersection, located near the Cherrydale Volunteer Fire Department at the confluence of Lee Highway, Old Dominion Drive, N. Quincy Street, Military Road and N. Quebec Street, has long been a source of ire for pedestrians and drivers alike because it can create dangerously complicated traffic patterns.
This frustration increased in 2013 when the county chose to move forward with proposed changes to the intersection as part of the Cherrydale Lee Highway Revitalization Program, over the objections of neighborhood residents. While the changes were intended to improve the intersection for pedestrians in keeping with the program’s goal of a more walkable Cherrydale, residents claimed they made the intersection even worse.
According to a 2014 neighborhood update on the project, some alterations that irked residents, such as guides directing cars to turn left in front of oncoming traffic (known as “puppy paw guides”), have since been removed.
As of now, the county is still moving forward with many of their proposed modifications. According to project manager Elizabeth Diggs, the project design is 90 percent complete and changes will include the installation of wider sidewalks, the addition of bike lanes, reflective crosswalks and handicap ramps, and upgrades to traffic signals, timing and street lights.
Diggs said recommendations from the Virginia Department of Transportation, county staff and an outside consultant were taken into account when finalizing the design. The project webpage says that recommendations from the Cherrydale Listserv and public meetings were also incorporated.
“The intersection improvements are being designed to improve vehicle turning movements and create a safer environment for pedestrian, bicycle and transit users,” said Diggs.
Construction on the project, originally planned for this spring and summer, is now slated to begin this winter.
The two-month project will result in lane closures and rush hour delays between the GW Parkway and Lorcom Lane.
From an NPS press release:
George Washington Memorial Parkway (GWMP) will begin a roadway project on July 27, 2015, which is expected to last through late September, along Spout Run Parkway in both directions between GWMP and Lorcom Lane. The project will also include work on the southbound GWMP ramp to Key Bridge, and Rosslyn Circle Ramp onto northbound GWMP.
Throughout the 50-day project, motorists should expect single lane closures for a period of up to 10 days per lane in order to mill and overlay the road and replace the guard-rails. No detours will be in place, so please plan accordingly for delays, especially during rush hour. Every effort is being made to complete the work in a timely manner and minimize traffic delays.
Photo via Google Maps
Arlington residents will have a chance to ask questions and weigh in on upcoming repairs to the interchange of I-395 and Glebe Road.
Virginia Department of Transportation will hold an open house tonight (Tuesday) from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Gunston Middle School (2700 S. Lang Street). Attendees will hear from VDOT staff and have an opportunity to ask questions about the anticipated construction.
The roadwork on the three bridges at the interchange is anticipated to begin in April or May 2016, said Brian Morrison, a senior structural engineer with VDOT.
Construction is anticipated to last about four to six months, so the project is predicted to be finished in October or November of next year, Morrison said.
Roadwork on the bridges is expected to include repaving the bridge decks, guardrail improvements, reconstruction of bridge joints, painting bridge beams and fixing the sidewalks and curbs on Glebe Road. The total cost for the project is projected to be $4.7 million, according to VDOT.
The project is currently in its design phase. Once construction begins, there will likely be single-lane and shoulder closures during the night and day, according to VDOT’s website for the project.