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Work has begun on repairs to the George Washington Memorial Parkway’s bridge over Pimmit Run in McLean.

Construction crews are repairing façades of the structures that support the Pimmit Run Bridge as part of the ongoing project to rehabilitate the parkway’s northern section from the Capital Beltway (I-495) to Sprout Run Parkway in Arlington, according to the National Park Service.

Started around the beginning of the month, the bridge repairs are expected to continue “throughout the next couple of months,” the agency said in an update on Friday (Feb. 3).

The bridge’s lanes have been narrowed to provide more staging room for construction equipment, which is separated from the main road by a recently erected temporary barrier.

“Crews may not be visible to the traveling public as most of the work is under the bridge,” the NPS said.

Crews are also still working to install a temporary lane widening the parkway between I-495 and Route 123 (Chain Bridge Road). The added 10-f0ot-wide lane is necessary to give crews space to work and stage equipment, according to NPS.

The GW Parkway is being temporarily widened for a project to rehabilitate its northern section (courtesy NPS)

Here’s more on what to expect during this stage of construction from NPS:

Activities include removing select trees in the median and at the outfalls, installing temporary drainage, and activities related to installing temporary pavement. Motorists may see crews remove select trees at the outfalls over the next couple of months. Additionally, once crews begin select tree removal at the outfalls near Route 123, activities may be visible from the surrounding neighborhoods. The rehabilitation project includes tree replacement, which will occur at the completion of the project.

Weekday lane closures

  • Northbound lane closures from 6:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.
  • Southbound lane closures from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Saturday lane closures

  • Northbound left lane from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Southbound left lane from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Nighttime work is possible depending on weather temperatures.

Nighttime lane closure hours

  • Northbound lane closures from 7:15 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.
  • Southbound lane closures from 7 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.

“These lane closures are necessary to stage equipment and keep crews safe,” the park service said. “Lane closures may occur in the left or right lane with varying lengths; however, at least one lane of traffic in each direction will always remain open.”

Announced in December 2021, the $161 million project is the first major upgrade for the GW Parkway’s 7.6-mile northern stretch since it opened in 1962. Work is projected to finish in late 2025.

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A tractor-trailer overturned on a I-395 South ramp in Springfield, spilling sewage (via VDOT)

A tractor-trailer carrying sewage flipped over on I-395 in Springfield earlier today (Thursday), resulting in a tough morning commute for drivers headed away from D.C.

The Virginia Department of Transportation reported at 7:35 a.m. that the vehicle had overturned and spilled its contents on the southbound I-395 ramp to southbound I-95. All lanes were blocked.

Drivers already on the highway were directed to detour to the Capital Beltway (I-495) or Old Keene Mill Road, while VDOT advised those not yet caught up in the jam to seek alternate routes.

By 8 a.m., vehicles were able to get by on the left shoulder, and VDOT said that there had been no injuries. However, the department revealed that the truck’s contents turned out to be sewage.

“Pls check 511Virginia before you go bc things can get backed up,” the department tweeted.

Per 511Virginia, VDOT’s live traffic camera site, the southbound right shoulder remains closed, and traffic backups extend approximately 1.5 miles, as of 9:38 a.m.

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Fairfax County police car lights (file photo)

A motorcyclist has been taken to the hospital with serious injuries after crashing on Route 7 in Seven Corners.

The westbound lanes of Route 7 (Leesburg Pike) at Patrick Henry Drive have been closed, as Crash Reconstruction Unit detectives investigate the crash, the Fairfax County Police Department said.

The biker’s injuries are considered life-threatening, according to police. The crash appears to have only involved the one vehicle, FCPD spokesperson Tara Gerhardt told FFXnow.

Drivers are advised to find an alternate route.

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Several northbound lanes on I-495 are closed near the Dulles Access Road following a multi-vehicle crash (via VDOT)

(Updated at 3:40 p.m.) One person was killed this morning in a multi-vehicle crash on the Capital Beltway (I-495) in Tysons.

The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department had reported that one person had sustained injuries considered life-threatening, but the fatality wasn’t confirmed until just after 10 a.m. by the Virginia State Police.

VSP said it responded to the crash in the northbound lanes of I-495 near the exit for Route 267 at 6:52 a.m.

According to VSP, the driver of a 2019 Ford F-150 pickup — identified as Robert A. Blakely, 71, from D.C. — was “ejected from his vehicle” and died at the scene. A passenger in another vehicle received treatment for minor injuries.

The crash shut down the northbound Express Lanes and multiple general lanes on I-495 at the Dulles Access Road for hours during this morning’s rush hour, prompting vehicles in the toll lanes to be diverted at Route 7.

By 9 a.m., traffic backups extended approximately 9.8 miles to the end of the Express Lanes in North Springfield, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation’s traffic cameras.

This is the second major crash on the Beltway in as many days. During yesterday’s evening rush hour, a man died after being struck by an SUV near the Braddock Road exit. He had gotten out of the tractor-trailer he was driving following a collision with a sedan.

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The current end of the I-495 North Express Lanes in Tysons (staff photo by Jay Westcott)

Starting next week, all drivers traveling north on the Capital Beltway through Tysons will share the same exit to get to the westbound Dulles Toll Road.

The existing Exit 45 will be closed around Wednesday, Nov. 16, so construction can begin on a new bridge for the Beltway (I-495) over the toll road ramps, the Virginia Department of Transportation announced Thursday (Nov. 3).

Both general-purpose and express traffic looking to get onto the toll road’s westbound lanes will instead be directed onto a 495 Express Lanes ramp, located about one-third of a mile south of the old exit.

“To facilitate this new travel pattern, I-495 will be reduced from four to three lanes for a stretch of approximately one-half mile near the I-495 and Dulles Corridor interchange,” VDOT said. “…Due to this change, drivers traveling on southbound Route 123 will not be able to access westbound Dulles Toll Road from northbound I-495.”

I-495 North drivers will soon use an earlier exit to access Dulles Toll Road West (via VDOT)

The new configuration will be in place through early 2025, as work continues on the 495 Express Lanes Northern Extension (495 NEXT) project, which is extending the lanes 2.5 miles from Tysons to the George Washington Memorial Parkway interchange in McLean.

The redesigned Dulles Toll Road interchange will include two new ramps from I-495 North, one going east and one going west. Three stormwater ponds are also being constructed inside the ramp from the westbound toll road to the Beltway.

Active construction began on 495 NEXT in late May and is expected to continue into 2026.

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The George Washington Memorial Parkway in McLean (via Google Maps)

The rehabilitation of the George Washington Memorial Parkway will bring new traffic impacts to the McLean area, starting Monday (Sept. 26).

Drivers should prepare for increased construction activities and potential delays along the parkway’s northern section between I-495 and Dolley Madison Boulevard, the National Park Service announced yesterday (Tuesday).

Advising caution in work areas, the NPS says it will “temporarily” widen the road by removing the median, creating three northbound travel lanes.

“This temporary widening will maintain a three-lane configuration during construction, allowing the contractor greater access to the roadway and reducing the time needed to complete the project,” the park service said.

The parkway’s northbound lanes may be closed between 7 a.m. and 2:45 p.m., while the southbound lanes may close between 9:30 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Per the news release:

Closing some northbound and southbound lanes at the same time will shorten the project duration. At least one lane of traffic in each direction will always be open.

To allow for the temporary road widening, the NPS will remove select trees and plants. Tree locations and topography were considered in the construction planning, and every effort was made to minimize the number of trees that must be removed. The NPS will replace the trees when the project is completed.

Some lane closures are also planned on the bridges over Pimmit Run and Glebe Road in Arlington, where crews are set to start working next week.

“To avoid traffic delays on the northern section of the parkway during this time, drivers should consider alternate routes,” the NPS said.

Announced in December, the $161 million rehabilitation project broke ground in July. It’s the first major upgrade for the GW Parkway’s 7.6-mile northern stretch since it opened in 1962, promising asphalt repavings, a redesign of the Route 123 interchange, and other improvements.

As if one major road project isn’t enough, drivers in McLean have also been contending with shifting traffic patterns while the Virginia Department of Transportation widens I-495.

The NPS says it expects the parkway rehab to be completed in late 2025.

Photo via Google Maps

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Fairfax County police car lights flashing (file photo)

(Updated at 10:15 a.m. on 9/2/2022) Fairfax County police have arrested four people after chasing a vehicle on Route 1 that was allegedly stolen.

The north left shoulder, left lane, and center lane of Route 1 (also known as Richmond Highway) were closed today (Thursday) at the Fort Hunt Road intersection in Belle Haven, just south of the Capital Beltway, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation’s traffic information site.

According to the county police department, an officer spotted a vehicle going north on Route 1 that had been reported stolen in a Prince George’s County carjacking. When the officer attempted a traffic stop near Fort Hunt Road, the “car did not stop and continued to drive away,” a spokesperson said.

The resulting pursuit ended in the Huntington Avenue area when the officer deployed a Precision Immobilization Technique, a manuever for stopping high-speed vehicles that the FCPD pioneered but has been criticized as risky.

The move prompted the car to roll over into southbound Route 1 traffic, police told FFXnow.

Four occupants of the vehicle were taken into custody and transported to a hospital with injuries not considered life-threatening, according to police. No officers were injured.

The FCPD is advising community members to avoid the area.

The department will identify those arrested — all of them adults — and announce charges tomorrow (Friday).

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The ramp from northbound Hunter Mill Road to Dulles Toll Road East (via Google Maps)

Updated at 7 p.m. — Hunter Mill Road has fully reopened after this afternoon’s crash, per Fairfax Alerts.

Earlier: Northbound Hunter Mill Road has been closed at the Dulles Toll Road in the Reston/Wolf Trap area after two vehicles collided this afternoon (Wednesday).

A driver told FFXnow shortly after 3 p.m. that there had been an “accident” on the eastbound ramp to the toll road, and they saw fire trucks and ambulances in the area.

The Fairfax County Police Department confirmed that it has officers on the scene of a two-vehicle crash “involving a dump truck that flipped over” near Hunter Mill the toll road, also known as Route 267.

“No injuries were reported,” the FCPD said. “…Drivers are asked to use an alternative route as they work to clear the road.”

As of 4:09 p.m., all northbound lanes remain closed, with congestion building around the toll road, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation’s traffic information map.

Police said they currently don’t have an estimate for how long the closure will last.

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Morning Notes

Looking up at Tysons Tower outside Tysons Corner Center (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

Route 7 Traffic Shift Starts Today — “During the daytime hours on Aug. 11 and the overnight hours on Aug. 15, lane closures and temporary detours will be in place along Route 7 while crews continue paving operations at Carpers Farm Way and Colvin Run Road (east) and shift westbound Route 7 traffic to the new Difficult Run bridge.” [VDOT]

Pro-Nazi Social Media Posts Excluded from Reston Murder Trial — “A Virginia judge has ruled that prosecutors cannot tell the jury in an upcoming double-murder trial about the defendant’s social media posts containing praise for Adolf Hitler and support for Nazi book burnings and the neo-Nazi Atomwaffen Division, according to newly unsealed court records.” [The Washington Post]

Foust on Upcoming Retirement — “Deciding to step down in 2023 was not easy, but Supervisor John Foust (D-Dranesville) is ready to try some new challenges…He plans to stay involved on issues he cares about – such as affordable housing, economic development and climate change — and seek part-time consulting opportunities that ‘take advantage of the expertise that I’ve developed over the years.'” [Sun Gazette]

Salt Water Levels Rising in Region — “Once algae-pocked emblems of water pollution during the early 1970s, the Potomac River and the Occoquan Reservoir — the two sources of drinking water used by Fairfax Water to serve more than 2 million customers in Northern Virginia — are now trending in the wrong direction on salt, while the other contaminants have largely been cleaned up.” [The Washington Post]

Lorton Plant Gets Tech to Reduce Emissions — “Covanta, the company that runs the facilities, announced the installation of the pollution-fighting technology in a news release earlier this week, saying it has helped cut nitrogen oxide emissions by nearly 50%…The Fairfax County facility is located at its I-95 waste management complex in Lorton, and is one of the largest waste-to-energy facilities in the nation, according to the county.” [WTOP]

Report Grades Stream From Lake Barcroft — “Holmes Run, which flows through the Annandale area, is not in great condition, according to a report released Aug. 10 by the Audubon Naturalist Society…The report gives Holmes Run a grade of ‘moderately poor’ for climate, a rating of ‘good’ for access to nature, and ‘fair’ ratings for water quality and for biodiversity and habitat.” [Annandale Today]

California Firm Buys Local Defense Office Buildings — “The properties include six buildings at five locations in Fairfax County, Fairfax City and Loudoun County. They’re 96% leased to the likes of Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE: LMT), General Dynamics Corp. (NYSE: GD), The Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) and Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE: NOC).” [Washington Business Journal]

Reston Turns Out for Trucks — “Thank you to all the families that came out for this year’s Totally Trucks event! For the past 22 years, Totally Trucks has delighted kids and adults alike, and this year was no different with more than 1000 people in attendance.” [Reston Association/Twitter]

Local Breweries Win Awards — “Vienna and Merrifield’s Caboose Brewing Company and Sweetwater Tavern scored several awards in the 2022 Virginia Craft Beer Cup, announced by the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild Monday. The Virginia Craft Beer Cup is the largest state competition of its kind in the U.S.” [Patch]

It’s Thursday — Possible drizzle in the morning. High of 85 and low of 73. Sunrise at 6:20 am and sunset at 8:10 pm. [Weather.gov]

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(Updated at 5 p.m.) A tractor-trailer caught fire on I-495 this afternoon (Wednesday), shutting down all southbound lanes at the Route 50 interchange in Merrifield.

The fire appears to have sparked right as the afternoon rush hour was getting underway. The Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department reported at 4:16 p.m. that it has units on the scene working to extinguish the fire.

“Currently no clue as to how long the entire roadway will be closed,” a fire department spokesperson told FFXnow.

There have been no reported injuries resulting from the fire, according to FCFRD, which notes that the express lanes are open.

The Virginia Department of Transportation advises that drivers find an alternate route. VDOT traffic cameras suggest vehicles backups on the Beltway extend past Tysons to the Lewinsville Road bridge.

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