Arlington, VA

(Updated at 4:05 p.m.) Police and firefighters are on scene of a major crash at the intersection of Columbia Pike and S. Glebe Road.

The westbound lanes of Columbia Pike and at least one northbound lane of Glebe are blocked by the crash and the emergency activity. Drivers should expect significant evening rush hour traffic impacts in the area.

Initial reports suggest three vehicles were involved and at least two people were injured, one of whom suffered serious injuries and was rushed to a local trauma center.

Photos (1, 2) courtesy @LAGATAF1NA/Twitter

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(Updated at 4 p.m.) Arlington County will soon be adding a permanent turn restriction at a busy Clarendon intersection.

As part of the changes to the “Clarendon Circle” intersection of Clarendon, Washington and Wilson boulevards, westbound traffic on Washington Blvd will no longer be allowed to turn left onto Wilson Blvd.

The move will eliminate a tricky turn but will mean that some drivers will have to adjust their routes to get to their destinations.

The restriction is set to go into effect a bit later this month, county officials say. Other, temporary restrictions will also be put into place.

More from a press release:

In late March, the left turn from westbound Washington Boulevard to Wilson Boulevard will be permanently removed during construction to improve the Clarendon Circle intersection.

Construction will soon start on sidewalk improvements along Washington Boulevard between Clarendon Boulevard and North Hudson Street. Travel lanes on this section of Washington Boulevard will be reduced from two lanes to one and the left turn to Wilson Boulevard will be removed. Once this work is complete, the road will be restored to two through lanes but left turns to Wilson Boulevard will remain prohibited.

Drivers on westbound Washington Boulevard will have other options for reaching Wilson Boulevard. Before Clarendon Circle, drivers can turn left onto 10th Street North and then make a left to Wilson Boulevard. If they continue through the Clarendon Circle intersection, drivers can turn left onto North Kirkwood Road and then make a right onto Wilson Boulevard.

The County is redesigning the Clarendon Circle intersection and reducing its overall size to improve access and safety for people walking, biking and driving. Wider sidewalks and medians will make it safer and easier for people traveling around the intersection and shorten crossing distances.

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Closures on a number of major commuter routes snarled traffic in parts of Arlington Monday morning.

Most recently — around 9:15 a.m. — a two-vehicle crash with three reported injuries happened on N. Glebe Road at Cathedral Lane, blocking northbound traffic at Route 50.

Northbound Route 110, meanwhile, was closed between Memorial Circle and Marshall Drive due to a crash involving a vehicle that reportedly ran off the road.

Just north of Ballston, downed trees blocked several roads, including the southbound lanes of N. Glebe Road near 16th Street. Nearly 200 Dominion customers are without power in the area, according to the utility’s outage map, below.

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Workers are installing a new and improved pedestrian bridge over Wilson Blvd in Ballston this weekend, but that will mean some major road closures.

The new bridge is designed to connect the newly revamped Ballston Quarter with the neighborhood’s Metro station, with a link through the Ballston Exchange development at 4201 Wilson Blvd.

Ballston Quarter’s developer, Forest City, originally hoped to have the bridge ready in time for stores at the former Ballston Common mall to start opening up late last year. But the project ran into a few logistical delays, before ramping up in earnest in December.

Workers have been busily been assembling the bridge in Mosaic Park for the last few months, and they’ll now use a series of cranes to transport the 94-ton bridge to its permanent home over Wilson with road closures starting today (Friday).

County police say they’ll start by closing N. Quincy Street, between Wilson Boulevard and 5th Road N., in both directions at 2 p.m. today.

Then, starting at 7 p.m. tonight and running through noon Saturday, they’ll close the following:

  • Wilson Boulevard, between N. Oakland Street and N. Stuart Street
  • N. Randolph Street, between 9th Street N. and 5th Road N.
  • N. Quincy Street, between 9th Street N. and 5th Road N.
  • N. Pollard Street, between 9th Street N. and 6th Street N.
  • N. Piedmont Street, between Wilson Boulevard and 7th Street N.

Police say that people living along those roads will be able to enter and exit, but only at the direction of officers.

But the bulk of the work will happen from noon Saturday through 6 p.m. Sunday while the bridge is actually installed. That means Wilson Boulevard will be entirely closed between N. Randolph Street and N. Stuart Street.

Police are also encouraging drivers to use N. Glebe Road and Fairfax Drive as alternate routes to avoid Wilson Boulevard this weekend. Street parking in the area will also be restricted and drivers should be on the lookout for temporary “No Parking” signs.

Photo 1 via @btj, photo 4 via @ArlingtonDES

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Construction work around some of the Pentagon’s parking lots is prompting a new round of traffic changes and detours in the area.

Work focused on the new I-395 express lanes previously prompted the closure of the west side of S. Eads Street from Army Navy Drive to where it nears the Pentagon’s south parking lot at S. Rotary Road. Starting yesterday (Tuesday), workers are now moving to the east side of S. Eads instead, allowing traffic to use both sides of the street once more in the area.

Drivers will now be able to access the 395 HOV lanes as normal once more, but there are still some detours planned for the area, according to a press release.

During the morning rush hour, from 6-9 a.m., drivers will be able to use S. Rotary Road to access I-395’s southbound HOV lanes, but won’t be able to access a section of the western side of S. Eads Street. Anyone on 395 will be able to turn left to reach the Pentagon’s south parking lot, or turn right onto S. Eads.

During the afternoon rush hour, from 3-8 p.m., both sides of S. Eads Street will be fully accessible.

Signs will be posted to guide drivers about all these changes, and construction is expected to continue through the spring.

A full 395 HOV shutdown is also scheduled for this weekend, starting at Friday (Jan. 25) at 11 p.m and concluding Monday (Jan. 28) at 4 a.m.

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Arlington National Cemetery is preparing to welcome thousands of volunteers tomorrow (Saturday) for its annual wreath removal event, and officials are urging participants to prepare for the big crowds.

Starting at 8 a.m., cemetery officials are expecting “traffic congestion and delays on nearby streets and at the cemetery’s entrances” for the “Wreaths Out” event, according to a news release.

Volunteers will be charged with disposing of the more than 245,000 wreaths distributed at headstones for the “Wreaths Across America” event last month.

“This is a special day where the wreaths placed at these hallowed grounds during the holiday season in remembrance and honor of our nation’s fallen service members and their families will be respectfully removed by volunteers,” Arlington National Cemetery Operations Director Micheal Migliara wrote in a statement. “We encourage volunteers to use all four entrances to access the cemetery which include Memorial Avenue, Ord and Weitzel gate, South gate and for DoD cardholders, the Old Post Chapel gate.”

Much like the wreath-laying event, the cemetery will block off all vehicle access to the grounds until 3 p.m. Saturday.

Family pass holders and volunteers with handicapped passes will be allowed to park in the ANC’s parking garage starting at 7 a.m., on a first-come, first-served basis. Anyone arriving by car should stay in their vehicle until the cemetery opens at 8 a.m.

People arriving via rideshare or taxi should plan on exiting somewhere adjacent to the Arlington Cemetery Metro stop. Officials also highly encourage people taking Metro to reach the event.

The cemetery also issued the following tips for volunteers:

  • Give vehicles and heavy equipment the right of way and let them pass in roadways.
  • Remove only WAA wreaths. Leave all other wreaths or decorations in place.
  • Place wreaths in dumpsters positioned throughout the cemetery and pack them tightly.
  • When dumpsters are filled, do not pile wreaths next to them. Carry wreaths to unfilled dumpsters.
  • Refrain from jumping or climbing on wreaths in dumpsters to compress them.

Flickr photos via Arlington National Cemetery

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(Updated at 11:35 a.m.) All lanes of the HOV span of the 14th Street Bridge are blocked by a serious crash.

Four vehicles are involved, one person is trapped in their vehicle and four people are injured, D.C. Fire and EMS said via Twitter. Of the four injuries, one is considered serious while the other three are considered minor.

Firefighters are currently working to free the person trapped in a vehicle.

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The eastbound lanes of Columbia Pike are currently blocked by a crash near the intersection with S. Four Mile Run Drive.

Airbags were deployed in the crash and medics are responding for report of non-life-threatening injuries.

Eastbound traffic is being diverted and is backing up before the crash scene. Drivers should avoid the area.

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A reported four-vehicle crash has completely blocked the HOV lanes of I-395 near Shirlington.

Police and firefighters are on scene, evaluating four people for possible injuries, according to scanner traffic.

Traffic cameras show northbound HOV traffic at a standstill past King Street.

Update at 12:20 p.m. — All lanes have reopened.

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The Arlington Memorial Bridge is now set for a second full shutdown next weekend, as the lengthy rehab work on the aging structure inches forward.

The National Park Service announced today (Tuesday) that the bridge will be completely closed to drivers, cyclists and pedestrians starting at 9 p.m. next Friday (Dec. 7) through 5 a.m. the following Monday (Dec. 10). The NPS commissioned a similar shutdown in late September, and says another could be on the way in January.

Workers recently reduced the bridge down to three traffic lanes from its original six to allow for construction work as part of a $227 million effort to shore up the Potomac River crossing. Planners believe the work is necessary to avoid a complete shutdown of the Memorial Bridge in the coming years, and they expect work to continue through 2021.

“We’re closing the bridge to keep everyone safe,” Acting NPS Superintendent Blanca Alvarez Stransky wrote in a statement. “We need your cooperation in observing these closures. If anyone enters the work area during the closure, it will increase the amount of time we need to complete the work.”

The NPS is advising anyone who normally relies on the bridge to seek alternate routes next weekend, and even suggesting that boaters “approach the bridge with caution and avoid the area near its center span.” According to a release, workers plan to use the shutdown as a chance to “install a temporary support structure under the middle arch of the bridge” and “begin to remove steel from the center span of the bridge.”

Once the closure is over, the NPS says the bridge will return to its current, three-lane traffic pattern, with one eastbound lane, one westbound lane and a reversible third lane to match the direction of rush hour traffic.

The park service expects that traffic pattern will last until construction is over, and is also warning of an additional “limited number of full bridge closures on weekends and occasional, short full closures of the bridge at night.”

Photo via @NPSjennyas

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