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More than 3,000 customers in McLean are without power after a bucket truck hit a power line on Georgetown Pike (via Dominion Energy)

(Updated at 2:50 p.m.) A bucket truck operator has died after the vehicle hit a power line on Georgetown Pike in McLean, the Fairfax County Police Department says.

The collision near Langley Fork Lane was reported to police just before 1 p.m. NBC4 reported that a police helicopter was called in to evacuate an injured person, but the FCPD says the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

Georgetown Pike has been closed between Langley Fork and Colonial Farm Road, as police detectives respond to investigate.

Over 3,000 Dominion Energy customers in the area are currently without electricity, according to the utility’s outage map.

The site attributes two outages affecting a combined 3,166 customers to emergency work. As of 2:20 p.m., the estimated time of restoration is between 4 and 7 p.m.

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Drivers coming onto I-495 South from the GW Parkway will be detoured while the north side of Georgetown Pike bridge is demolished (via VDOT)

Nights are about to get noisier in McLean, as work begins in earnest this week on the demolition of the Georgetown Pike bridge over the Capital Beltway.

As early as Wednesday (July 27), construction crews working on the I-495 Northern Extension (495 NEXT) project will start demolishing the northern side of the bridge, which is being replaced and widened to fit six lanes and a new 6-foot-wide sidewalk.

During the demolition, traffic on Georgetown Pike will shift to the south side of the bridge. Crews have been laying the groundwork for the shift since late June, eliminating an existing concrete median and installing temporary traffic lights.

Demolition of the bridge’s north side is expected to take about three weeks, with work generally taking place between 9:30 p.m. and 5 a.m. on Sunday through Friday nights. Work may be needed on Saturdays from 9:30 p.m. to 7 a.m., depending on the weather and other factors, the Virginia Department of Transportation says.

“Specialized equipment will be used to demolish the bridge, including excavators fitted with hammers, saws and hydraulic jaws,” VDOT said in a news release published Friday (July 22). “While every effort will be made to control noise, certain demolition activities are unavoidably noisy and must be performed during nighttime hours when Beltway traffic below the bridge is lightest and necessary lane closures can occur.”

In the coming weeks, drivers should prepare for regular lane closures and traffic stoppages during overnight hours, according to VDOT:

To keep workers and motorists safe during the demolition, overnight triple- and double-lane closures on I-495 (Capital Beltway) and periodic stoppages of I-495 lanes for up to 30-minute intervals will be necessary. Virginia State Police will be on site to assist with implementation of the closures. Lane closures may also occur on Georgetown Pike approaching and over the bridge.

During certain multi-lane closures of the left side of southbound I-495, motorists coming from the George Washington Memorial Parkway heading for southbound I-495 will follow a minor detour accompanied by advance signage. Instead of accessing the Beltway from the left lane of the exit ramp, drivers will be directed to stay right and take the ramp up to Georgetown Pike, proceed straight through the traffic light, and take the ramp back down where traffic will then be able to merge onto the Beltway.

The Georgetown Pike bridge overhaul is part of the 495 NEXT project to extend the Beltway’s express lanes from the Dulles Toll Road in Tysons to the George Washington Memorial Parkway in McLean.

The bridge’s south side is scheduled to be demolished in spring 2024, according to VDOT. The overall project is currently slated for completion in 2026, with the new express lanes potentially opening in late 2025.

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The existing Georgetown Pike Bridge over I-495 (via Google Maps)

Construction on the I-495 Express Lanes expansion in McLean is about to get a little more intense.

Work to demolish the existing Georgetown Pike Bridge over I-495 — also known as the Capital Beltway — will begin this week, potentially even today (Tuesday), the Virginia Department of Transportation announced Friday (June 17).

Contracted for the 495 NEXT project to extend the Beltway’s toll lanes from Tysons to the George Washington Memorial Parkway, workers will start by demolishing the median in the center of the Georgetown Pike bridge and installing a temporary traffic barrier on the westbound shoulder, according to the news release.

“Temporary traffic signals will be installed to enable the removal of the existing signals,” VDOT said. “East- and westbound traffic on Georgetown Pike will then be shifted south on the existing bridge.”

The changes are necessary for crews to take down the northern part of the bridge, a process expected to start in mid-July and take approximately three weeks to complete, depending on the weather and other factors.

The Georgetown Pike bridge’s center median will be demolished, prompting changes to the lane configuration (via VDOT)

Here is more from VDOT on what to expect:

Specialized equipment will be used to demolish the bridge, including excavators fitted with hammers, saws and hydraulic jaws. While every effort will be made to control noise, some demolition is unavoidably noisy and must be performed during nighttime hours when Beltway traffic below the bridge is lightest and necessary lane closures can occur.

Overnight triple- and double-lane closures on the Beltway and periodic stoppages of all lanes for brief intervals will be necessary to ensure the work is performed safely. Virginia State Police will implement periodic shutdowns of all lanes for up to 30 minutes. Traffic will be cleared before subsequent shutdowns take place.

Periodic lane closures will occur throughout construction during midday and overnight hours.

“Travelers approaching the Georgetown Pike Bridge should use caution, pay attention to roadway signs approaching and in the work zone, and anticipate delays and plan their trips accordingly,” VDOT said.

The bridge will be replaced by a longer, six-lane-wide span to accommodate the Beltway, which is getting two new lanes in each direction. The revamped bridge will also have a six-foot-wide sidewalk and a trail link to Scotts Run Nature Preserve, according to updated plans shared earlier this month.

VDOT has spent months slowly ramping up work on 495 NEXT, starting preliminary activities late last year before breaking ground in March. Construction in the corridor began in earnest at the beginning of June with the permanent closure of the interstate’s northbound left-shoulder lane between Old Dominion Drive and the GW Parkway.

While VDOT says the project will provide much-needed congestion relief, it has faced resistance from some residents and elected officials, most recently over plans to task Maryland with some construction work tying the new toll lanes into the new American Legion Bridge that it’s supposed to build.

Maryland transportation officials released a final environmental study for proposed express lanes on their side of the Beltway on Friday, reporting that changes to the design will reduce the project’s anticipated impact on land, streams, and trees.

Photo via Google Maps

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Difficult Run Stream Valley Park sign (via Google Maps)

Updated at 2:30 p.m. on 6/21/2022Sterling resident German Salinas, 29, died today (Tuesday) after drowning in Difficult Run Stream, police announced. 

“The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine cause and manner of death,” the Fairfax County Police Department said.

Earlier: A 29-year-old man remains in the hospital after a possible drowning in McLean yesterday (Sunday) evening, the Fairfax County Police Department tweeted.

Police said they responded around 6 p.m. to 8800 block of Georgetown Pike near Difficult Run River. Fairfax County Fire and Rescue personnel found the man a quarter mile off the roadway on a nearby trail, police said.

His injuries were life threatening, police said. The department said today (Monday) that the man remains hospitalized and that they don’t suspect foul play.

“Detectives determined the man was swimming in the stream that connects to the Potomac River,” police said in a news release. “While swimming, he became submerged underwater and did not resurface. Friends pulled him out of the water and attempted life-saving measures.”

Photo via Google Maps

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Morning Notes

Ferris wheel at Viva Vienna 2022 (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Governor Attends Vienna Memorial Day Ceremony — “Vienna residents joined Gov. Glen Youngkin and other dignitaries at the Town Green today to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our nation. In his remarks, Rear Admiral Fred Kacher noted that for Gold Star families, every day is Memorial Day.” [Town of Vienna/Twitter]

West Falls Church Apartment Fire Displaces Residents — Assisted by Arlington and Fairfax City, Fairfax Count fire investigators are looking into a two-alarm apartment fire that damaged 12 units in the 2900 block of Dover Lane on Sunday (May 29). There were no reported injuries, but an “unknown number” of residents were displaced, including a dog. [FCFRD/Facebook, Twitter]

Transgender Woman Sues Fairfax County Jail — A former inmate at Fairfax County Adult Detention Center alleges in a lawsuit that she was housed with men and experienced harassment after officials learned she was transgender. The case is currently being reviewed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit. [The Washington Post]

Lack of Defibrillators Keeps Reston Pools Closed — “Due to supply chain delays, the following five RA pools did not receive new Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) in time for Memorial Day weekend: Autumnwood, Ridge Heights, Hunters Woods, Golf Course Island, and Tall Oaks, according to an RA announcement.” [Patch]

Great Falls Pipeline Project Halted — “The Virginia Department of Transportation on May 24 issued a stop-work order for a Washington Gas pipeline-installation project on Georgetown Pike after receiving complaints from the Great Falls Citizens Association (GFCA).” [Sun Gazette]

Woman Killed in Annandale Crash Was Community Advocate — “[Eileen] Garnett, 83, was a longtime advocate for revitalizing Annandale. On the day of the crash, she was with a group of county and state officials on an inspection tour of Annandale hosted by the Annandale Central Business District Planning Committee.” [Annandale Today]

“Above-Average” Hurricane Season Forecast — “NOAA is forecasting a likely range of 14 to 21 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which six to 10 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including three to six major hurricanes (category 3, 4 or 5; with winds of 111 mph or higher).” [Fairfax County Emergency Information]

Centreville Park Gets Lighting Upgrades — “The Fairfax County Park Authority will begin a basketball lighting upgrade project this week at Chalet Woods Park, located at 14912 Cranoke St., Centreville, in the Sully District. The project scope includes removal of the existing poles and fixtures, followed by installation of new poles, fixtures and a push button for basketball court lights.” [FCPA]

It’s Tuesday — Humid throughout the day. High of 90 and low of 72. Sunrise at 5:47 am and sunset at 8:29 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Fairfax County police badge (via FCPD/Facebook)

A teenager faces a charge of involuntary manslaughter after a woman died in a three-vehicle crash on Georgetown Pike in McLean last month.

While alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the crash, detectives have determined that the 16-year-old, male driver was going more than 80 mph in a section of the roadway with a 35-mile-per-hour speed limit, the Fairfax County Police Department reported today (Wednesday).

Karla Boggess, 62, of Berryville died in a hospital on March 13, four days after a 2020 Audi A5 hit her vehicle, a 2005 Nissan Sentra, while the cars were driving in opposite directions on Georgetown Pike.

According to police, the Audi driver was traveling west when he lost control of the car, crossed the double yellow line, and collided head-on with the eastbound Nissan in the 8800 block of Georgetown Pike. The Audi then spun into the path of an eastbound Toyota.

Boggess and the Toyota driver were both taken to the hospital, though the latter’s injuries were not life-threatening. The crash closed Georgetown Pike between Old Dominion Drive and Towlston Road for more than three hours.

Boggess represented Fairfax County’s first non-pedestrian fatality of 2022. A second came on March 30, when a man died after hitting a tree in Oakton.

Police obtained and served a petition for involuntary manslaughter for the teen Audi driver yesterday (Tuesday), according to the report.

The teen, who, as a minor, has not been publicly identified, is currently being held at the Fairfax County Juvenile Detention Center.

“Victim advocates from our Major Crimes Bureau’s Victim Services Division have been assigned to this case to ensure the victim’s family is receiving appropriate resources and assistance,” the FCPD said.

Photo via FCPD/Facebook

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Morning Notes

With March 20 as the first official day of spring, cherry blossom season has arrived (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Fairfax Station Doctor Sentenced for Fraud — Physician Leonard Rosen was sentenced on Friday (March 18) to two years of probation, with six months of at-home confinement for his involvement in an $8 million fraud scheme where doctors prescribed expensive drugs to patients in exchange for bribes from pharmacists. [The Washington Post]

Connolly Announces Reelection Bid — “On Thursday, March 17, during his 28th annual St. Patrick’s Day Fete, held online, [Rep. Gerry] Connolly announced he would seek reelection to represent Virginia’s 11th Congressional District…The newly-drawn 11th District lies within the boundaries of Fairfax County…and includes Tysons, Fairfax City, Chantilly, and Reston.” [Potomac Local News]

Georgetown Pike Lane Closure Starts Today — “Great Falls: On Mon 3/21-Fri 3/25 for several hours beginning at 9AM daily, Georgetown Pike (Rt 193) will be down to one lane on the Difficult Run bridge for ongoing pedestrian crossing work. Crews will continue to stage in the @fairfaxparks lot.” [VDOT Northern Virginia/Twitter]

McLean Neighborhood Installs License Plate Readers — “Due to the fact that some high-profile people live in the area, FOX 5 is not disclosing the location to respect their privacy. Residents like Phil Horvitz, who is also an HOA board member, have been rattled after seeing an increase in crime, so they installed three high-tech license plate reader cameras.” [FOX5]

Person Assaulted with Pipe in Lincolnia —  A person waiting for a rideshare vehicle in the 6200 block of Little River Turnpike on March 14 was assaulted with a metal pipe by a man who got out of an unknown vehicle. The victim was transported to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, and police say it doesn’t appear to have been a random act. [FCPD]

Fairfax County Firefighter Develops Behavioral Health Program — “A daily routine immersed in life-or-death situations can take a mental toll on first responders, and ‘The Mental Mayday’ program teaches members of the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department in Virginia how to ask for help. It was developed by 10-year veteran of the department Lt. Adam Bartman.” [WTOP]

Fairfax Station Park to Get New Playground — “The Fairfax County Park Authority will soon begin the Popes Head Park playground replacement project, which will require closure of the playground during the construction period. Contractors will be mobilizing on site shortly, with active construction activities beginning at the end of March 2022.” [FCPA]

McLean Citizens Association Changes Presidents — “Scott Spitzer, who has served as MCA First Vice President, was elected President to replace Rob Jackson.  He said, ‘Rob Jackson’s deep knowledge of community issues, his wisdom and guidance, and his repeatedly answering the call to serve MCA and our community will be missed by all of us.  We thank him for his exceptional public service.'” [MCA]

It’s Monday — Clear throughout the day. High of 65 and low of 40. Sunrise at 7:12 am and sunset at 7:23 pm. [Weather.gov]

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Georgetown Pike is closed between Old Dominion Drive and Towlston Road in McLean due to a car crash (via Google Maps)

Updated at 7:30 p.m. — Georgetown Pike has reopened, and the driver’s injuries are no longer considered life-threatening, though they remain in the hospital, police say

Earlier: Georgetown Pike has shut down in McLean after a vehicle crash that sent two people to the hospital.

The Fairfax County Police Department said at 4:16 p.m. that officers are currently on the scene of the three-vehicle crash. A 1-mile stretch of Georgetown Pike is closed between Old Dominion Drive and Towlston Road.

According to police, one driver has been transported to a hospital with potentially life-threatening injuries, while another driver was taken to a hospital with injuries not considered life-threatening.

This is one of several disruptive vehicle crashes reported in Fairfax County today (Wednesday).

A separate three-vehicle crash in Reston this morning sent one person to the hospital and shut down the Wiehle Avenue and Baron Cameron Avenue intersection. Crashes on Fairfax County Parkway and Old Keene Mill Road also resulted in injuries, and there was a crash on Stonecroft Boulevard in Chantilly.

Photo via Google Maps

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