Two projects in Alexandria will receive $5 million apiece from the Northern Virginia Transportation Authority (NVTA).
The NVTA awarded the amounts as part of its six-year budget adopted on Thursday (July 14). The two projects are: to make S. Van Dorn Street and its bridge more transit and pedestrian-friendly for the West End Transitway, and replacement of a fair-weather crossing on the Holmes Run Trail, just behind William Ramsay Elementary School (5700 Sanger Avenue).
The South Van Dorn Street bridge near the Van Dorn Metro station is a four-lane crossing that connects the Van Dorn neighborhood with Landmark just to the north. The project will design dedicated transit lanes for the future West End Transitway on S. Van Dorn Street and the Van Dorn bridges between Metro Road and McConnell Avenue, a report states.
This project will also improve non-motorized facilities along the bridges for better connections between new developments and the Van Dorn Metrorail station. The existing Van Dorn Street bridge has a narrow sidewalk along the east side and no bicycle facilities.
The Holmes Run Trail crossing will be replaced with a prefabricated pedestrian and bicycle bridge.
“The project will allow trail users continuous, safe and reliable access to the City’s off-street trail facilities, as well as other regional trails, and the future West End Transitway,” according to the report.
Photo via Google Maps
Alexandria and areas nearby are under a Severe Thunderstorm Watch this evening and a Flood Watch.
“Excessive runoff may result in flooding of rivers, creeks, streams, and other low-lying and flood-prone locations,” the Flood Watch reads. “Afternoon to evening showers and thunderstorms may produce very heavy rainfall capable of flash flooding. This could include multiple rounds of storms which would enhance the flood risk. Rainfall rates may reach 1 to 2 inches per hour, locally higher in spots. The D.C. and Baltimore metros will be the most susceptible given recent heavy rainfall the past couple of weeks.”
The National Weather Service advises residents to monitor forecasts and be prepared in case of flash floods.
— NWS Baltimore-Washington (@NWS_BaltWash) July 18, 2022
Happy Friday Alexandria!
This week brought news of the death of former Mayor Kerry Donley Wednesday (July 13), as well as the dedication of the tunnel boring machine for the RiverRenew Tunnel Project, meaning it’s ready to dig.
- Alexandria birthday celebration postponed to Sunday due to rain
- Alexandria Police investigating tracking device found in woman’s car
- Former Alexandria Mayor Kerry Donley dies
- Mother identifies son as suspect in Arlandria burglary
- Former Ft. Belvoir Commander Col. Gregory Gadson has advice for moving on
- Three Dunkin’ locations in Alexandria and Fairfax County were broken into on July 7
- Ted’s Bulletin coming to Carlyle Neighborhood near Wegman’s
- Employee credit cards stolen from backrooms of businesses in Old Town
- Former mayoral candidate Annetta Catchings elected chair of Alexandria Republican Party
- Alexandria Firefighters say equipment failures gamble the safety of residents
Today (Tuesday) is the last chance Alexandrians have to vote in the Democratic primary.
Election Day turnout was at about 1.5%, with 1,534 Alexandria residents voting in person, as of 10 a.m. today, according to the Alexandria Office of Voter Registration and Elections. But about 5,000 absentee ballots have been returned, bringing total turnout to about 6.7% of registered voters.
Virasingh, a daughter of immigrants, was born and raised in Arlington and is active with the Arlington County Democratic Committee. She was previously part of Communities in Schools at Barcroft Elementary School. Her professional resume includes work for Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the IRS Criminal Investigations Unit, and tech company Palantir.
Virasingh’s website lists some campaign priorities as housing for all, equity in education, securing a living wage and Medicare for all.
Beyer has held onto the 8th District, which also includes Arlington, the City of Falls Church and parts of Fairfax County, since he won a crowded primary for former Congressman Jim Moran’s seat in 2014 and the general election later that year.
Among issues Beyer lists on his campaign website are climate change, housing, immigration, gun violence prevention, the federal workforce and others.
The winner will face any non-Democratic candidates in November. The Republican Party nominated Arlington resident Karina Lipsman.
How to vote
Any voter can cast a ballot in the Democratic primary, regardless of party affiliation, because Virginia is an open primary state. The deadline to register to vote, or update an existing registration, was May 31.
Polling locations are open until 7 p.m. Voters must cast their ballots at their assigned location, which can be found on the Virginia elections website. If mailing a ballot, it must be postmarked no later than today or delivered in person today.
Photo via Alexandria Democratic Committee/Facebook
Local Republicans nominated Arlington resident Karina Lipsman on Saturday to seek the U.S. House seat currently held by Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.).
Early voting is underway for the primary to determine whether Lipsman faces Beyer or his primary challenger, Victoria Virasingh, in the November general election. The 8th District encompasses Arlington, Alexandria, the City of Falls Church and parts of Fairfax County.
At the local GOP’s ranked choice convention, Lipsman earned 61.5% of the votes in the first round of vote counting, according to a press release on her campaign website.
Votes for Lipsman came out ahead of other Republican hopefuls as the slate of candidates sought to catch the wave that elected Gov. Glenn Youngkin. Alexandria resident Kezia Tunnell received 19.12% of the vote, and the 2020 nominee Jeff Jordan received 15.92%. Two other candidates, McLean resident Monica Carpio, and Heerak Christian Kim, a registered nurse and former public school teacher, did not break 2.5%, the release stated.
Lipsman was nominated “to take on the progressive establishment” in the 8th District, an email from Arlington GOP read. The seat has been held by a Democrat for decades, including by Beyer who won a crowded primary for former Congressman Jim Moran’s seat in 2014 and the general election later that year.
Lipsman fled Ukraine when it was still under Soviet Union control and came to the United States with her mother and grandparents, according to her campaign website. They didn’t speak English, survived on food stamps and lived in low-income housing in Baltimore. When she was 18, Lipsman became a U.S. citizen.
She received a bachelor’s degree in economics while she was working full-time in the financial industry, and later earned a master’s in engineering from Johns Hopkins, according to the website. She’s worked in the national defense industry for over a decade.
Her website outlines priorities like supporting law enforcement, opposing tax increases, stopping illegal immigration and her stance against abortion.
She says she supports school choice and community colleges, technical schools, and vocational training programs. She also wrote, “We must fight the dangerous voices that call for lowering educational standards in the name of equity.”
Lipsman’s website she mentions extremists and divisive politics. “Let’s be honest — there are loud extremists on both sides, who benefit from dividing our country, and we cannot let that happen,” it reads. “Divisive politics are poisonous and we must work together to overcome the gridlock on the critical issues that are facing our country.”
After living in Arlington for more than 10 years, she says she understands the issues facing the community.
“As your congresswoman, I will engage with you directly and represent your interests and put solutions for our district before partisan politics,” her website reads. “I will advocate for common-sense policies that fight crime, reduce inflation, ease transportation and improve our educational standards.”
Photo via Fairfax County Republican Committee
A project scheduled to begin this summer will tunnel under the Four Mile Run near the Route 1 bridge to move overhead power lines underground.
As part of the project, Dominion Energy will rebuild its Glebe Substation next year, modernizing the facility that was built in the 1970s and is reaching the end of its service life. The substation serves parts of Arlington and Alexandria.
“Everything will look a lot cleaner, a lot of the equipment will be a lot smaller,” said Ann Gordon Mickel, Dominion Energy’s communication and community lead for the project.
When work begins, a 250-foot by 250-foot area will be fenced off in the Potomac Yard shopping center parking lot in Alexandria to allow for a 40- to 50-foot deep pit for tunneling.
In Arlington, a pit will be constructed at the substation and there may be temporary intermittent closures on S. Eads Street, as well as on nearby sidewalks and pedestrian paths. Electric service will not be affected.
The underground line will run between the substation and the Potomac Yard Transition Station, which will be decommissioned at the end of the project. The rebuilt Glebe Substation will incorporate new technology, requiring less maintenance and making it more reliable, the power company said.
“Any time you address aging infrastructure and replace it with new technology the reliability always enhances,” said Greg Mathey, a manager of electric transmission communications for Dominion Energy. “The transmission system feeds the distribution system, so the more reliable and hardened we can make the transmission system, the better the distribution system can perform.”
The construction to convert to underground lines is scheduled to continue through 2024. The whole project should be completed by late 2025.
The entire project is expected to cost about $122.8 million. The State Corporation Commission, which regulates utilities in Virginia, approved the project in 2019. It was originally scheduled to be up and running by this month, but due to the nature of the construction, the timeline was pushed back.
Using a trenchless microtunneling method will increase costs by about $16 million — but it shortens the construction timeline, according to project documents.
This type of tunneling will also reduce construction-related impacts to the Potomac Yard shopping center, as it won’t require as much space for pipes above ground.
The overhead lines that can be seen over Four Mile Run will be removed at the end of the project.
Trash pickup and yard waste collection has been delayed today (Monday) due to staffing shortages and will resume tomorrow, according to the city.
“Trash and yard waste will continue to be collected but collection schedules and efficiency will be impacted,” a city alert states.
The alert says residents should leave their trash and yard waste out if it was not collected on its assigned day so that it can be picked up on the following day. If it still is not collected, residents should submit a ticket online or call Alex 311.
The Landmark Mall Transit Center will be closed for about a week starting tomorrow (Tuesday) for construction as the facility serving DASH and Metrobus is relocated ahead of the mall’s demolition this spring.
DASH sent out a notice that the transit center would close Tuesday, March 29, for about one week, meaning DASH Line 30, 32 and 35 buses will not stop at Landmark Mall. It wasn’t yet known whether the transit center will reopen at the relocated spot in front of the former Macy’s, or if that relocation would happen at a later date.
Landmark Mall will be demolished ahead of Inova’s construction of a new hospital campus. Inova recently filed concept plans with the city, showing the campus will include a new Level 2 trauma hospital, a cancer center and a specialty care center.
The Alexandria Police Department is investigating the city’s first homicide of 2022 in West End.
Officers responded around 6:50 a.m. Wednesday to the 4500 block of Raleigh Avenue for an unresponsive person lying in the bushes, police said. When they arrived, they discovered Alexandria resident Elijah Williams, 25, dead on the sidewalk near one of the residences.
The Medical Examiner ruled his death a homicide due to upper body trauma, according to police.
APD asks anyone with information to contact Detective Ryan Clinch by phone at 703.746.6673 or email [email protected] or call APD’s non-emergency number at 703.746.4444. Tips can be anonymous.
Notification:: There is a heavy police presence in the 4500 block of Raleigh avenue. This is in response to a sudden death. APD is on scene and investigating. No further details at this time. pic.twitter.com/ghzpiZUi7n
— Alexandria Police (@AlexandriaVAPD) March 23, 2022
The week was filled with trees blooming across the city during the peak for cherry blossoms.
Aside from picturesque scenes throughout Alexandria, there were some local stories that interested you all — from new pizza places to court updates in crime cases. And at the City Council’s meeting, Dominion Energy said it will invest millions of dollars in Alexandria to prevent future outages like the one at Art on the Avenue last year.
For anyone looking for something to do this evening or who wants to find a way to help Ukraine, locals organized a fundraiser to help refugees. The event is tonight (Friday) from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the rooftop of 277 South Washington Street.
And, here are the top stories from the week:
- Three men indicted after bystander shot in neck at West End 7-Eleven parking lot
- Two juveniles arrested after shots fired in Arlandria
- Alexandria man indicted on first-degree murder charge in BJ’s killing
- Inova campus concept plans at former Landmark site filed with city
- Frank Pepe’s Pizzeria Napoletana coming to Alexandria Commons Shopping Center
- Alexandria officials push back against ACPS ‘cover up’ story
- Suspect breaks into Lyles-Crouch Traditional Academy through roof
- Alexandria police officer arrested, charged with domestic assault and battery
- West End murder suspect’s case to go before grand jury next month
- Alexandria hotel tailors stay to dogs as industry leans into pet-friendly accommodations
Have a great weekend Alexandria!