(Updated 7:50 a.m.) Northbound lanes on Route 1 were closed earlier today after a vehicle crashed into a Jersey barrier at the Potomac Avenue and Route 1 intersection.
Police said the driver was taken to the hospital with life threatening injuries. The incident had earlier been reported by police as having been a crash into a building.
UPDATE:: Vehicle did not crash into a building, rather it struck a Jersey barrier at the intersection of Route 1 & Potomac Ave. Driver transported to hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Media staging area is on the east side of the intersection. pic.twitter.com/3TjuoPsZDT
— Alexandria Police (@AlexandriaVAPD) July 27, 2021
Via Google Maps
The Potomac Yard Metro station opening has been pushed back from spring to September next year .
After months of insisting that production was on schedule, WMATA announced today that the Potomac Yard Metro station’s opening will be pushed back five months.
“Metro engineers determined that the original design of the Automatic Train Control (ATC) systems, which was based upon specifications written by WMATA, did not meet all of the important safety requirements to ensure the safe operation of trains,” WMATA said in a statement. “The ATC system prevents trains from getting too close to one another and ensures trains always maintain a safe distance. The need to redesign the ATC system is the result of project management decisions for which WMATA is accountable.”
WMATA said it is working with the contractor to reduce delays in the project schedule, and that construction at the station will continue on the earlier timeline, but that track-related construction work will be delayed by the ATC design issue.
“The station, originally expected to open in April 2022, is now anticipated to open in or around Fall 2022 in order to complete the design and implementation of this safety critical system,” WMATA said. “Metro will work with its contractor to seek ways to prioritize completion of the ATC elements of this project.”
Mayor Justin Wilson called the delay resulting from an error in contract language “inexcusable”.
“Due to a contract language decision related to Automatic Train Control specifications, Metro and its contractor have indicated to the City that a delay in the station opening until the Fall will likely occur,” Mayor Justin Wilson said in a press release. “While we appreciate Metro’s acceptance of accountability and recent diligence in addressing this issue, the contract language mistake is inexcusable.”
Wilson continued, “With the large investment of $370 million being made by the City and other governmental and private partners to fund the station construction, internal systems should have caught the error. The City intends to have its own expert construction consultant review the schedule to determine if there is a way to safely open this station earlier than September of 2022.”
The revised timeline does account, in part, for why an earlier announcement of reduced travel lanes on Potomac Avenue until September 2022.
The city’s annual sidewalk sale is scheduled for August 14 and 15, and according to Visit Alexandria, the program is on track to be the largest one so far.
According to Visit Alexandria, over 70 local boutiques have signed up for the seasonal sale. The sale is located along several city sidewalks in Old Town and Del Ray, with a focus this year on the pedestrian-only blocks at 700-1100 King Street. The stores will be featured in outdoor exhibits with deeply discounted merchandise.
Activities are also planned along King Street and throughout Del Ray, including jazz music on the 1000 block of King Street on Saturday, from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 1:30-2:30 p.m. On Sunday, local singer-songwriter Dan Barry will perform from noon to 3 p.m.
“Explore local items ranging from fashion and jewelry to home decor, culinary goods and environmentally friendly products for your everyday needs,” Visit Alexandria said in the press release. “Check out new Sidewalk Sale participants, including Goldfinch, Harambee Books & Artworks, Kate & Lo (pop-up boutique), Lilly Pulitzer, Mason & Greens, Mint Collective and RocketFizz Alexandria.”
During the event, parking will be free at four of the city’s garages on Saturday and Sunday.
- Courthouse Square Parking Garage – 111 S Pitt Street
- Market Square Parking Garage- 108 N Fairfax Street
- USP Parking Garage – 220 N Union Street
- Thompson’s Alley Parking Garage – 10 Thompsons Alley
The event is a partnership between Visit Alexandria, the city, the Old Town Boutique District, the Old Town Business Association, Old Town North and the Del Ray Business Association.
(Updated 10:20 a.m.) Starting today, much of Potomac Avenue where it runs through the Potomac Yard neighborhood will be cut down from four lanes to two for over a year as construction continues on the Potomac Yard Metro Station.
The closures will run from E. Glebe Road, near the National Industries for the Blind, up to the city border with Arlington County.
“The reduction in travel lanes will assist and allow for a safe separation for the public from the active construction activities that will be within the roadway as associated with the North Potomac Yards Project,” the city said in a press release.
The lanes closures are scheduled to run from today to Sept. 2, 2022, several months after the station itself is scheduled to open.
The release notes that construction will begin in the northbound travel lanes, then construction activities will be relocated to the southbound travel lanes. Throughout construction, bus stops will remain open and accessible, and the closures will not affect the Potomac Yard Trail.
Via Google Maps
A special insert to the Washington Post print edition today features a comic book adaptation of Alexandria track star Noah Lyles’ life.
The twenty-page comic book is accompanied by a special section in the print edition commemorating the Tokyo Olympics, with coverage on the athletes, game schedules and more.
“In today’s paper, readers will also be able to find a twenty-page comic book insert entitled, ‘Chasing Gold,'” Washington Post Communications Manager Naseem Amini said in a press release, “which tells the story of track star Noah Lyles who is a favorite for the medals podium, having posted the year’s fastest 200-meter time at the U.S. Olympic trials.”
Lyles, a former T.C. Williams High School student, won the 200 meter race in the June Olympic Trials and is representing the United States at the Tokyo Olympics.
The comic book was written by Washington Post sports reporters Rick Maese and Adam Kilgore, art directed by Washington Post designer Joe Moore and illustrated by comic book artist Andy Belanger.
In today’s paper, readers will also be able to find a twenty-page comic book insert, “Chasing Gold,” which tells the story of track star Noah Lyles who is a favorite for the medals podium, having posted the year’s fastest 200-meter time at the U.S. Olympic trials. pic.twitter.com/yyfbTPeTCk
— Washington Post PR (@WashPostPR) July 23, 2021
— Jean (@DigiDaunted) July 23, 2021
One of the biggest points of contention in the stream restoration debate was that models, and not actual testing of the streams in question, were being considered in policy discussions. Next week, the city is moving to rectify that.
The city announced in a press release that a consultant will be performing soil collection, sampling, and analysis tests at Taylor Run, Strawberry Run and Lucky Run — three streams being considered for restoration work.
“The field work for all three steams is anticipated to take place the week of July 25, 2021,” the city said in the release. “Additionally, a consultant will be inspecting the previous stream project completed on the downstream portion of Strawberry Run during the Taft Avenue development to document issues that have occurred.”
The city’s plans to reshape the three streams were derailed in April when criticism from civic groups and some environmental experts compelled the City Council to take the plans back to the drawing board and do more testing to get a better idea of pollutant levels in the streams. The outcry centered primarily on Taylor Run, where some like Natural Resources Manager Rod Simmons said preliminary testing of the stream indicated that the phosphate levels in the water were likely significantly lower than models based on out-of-state data.
“The work that will be performed is consistent with direction received from City Council at the April 27, 2021 legislative meeting for staff to perform soil sampling and analysis and collaborate with the Environmental Policy Commission (EPC) on alternatives to natural channel design,” the city said. ”Council instructed staff to pause the planned stream restoration projects at Taylor Run and Strawberry Run for further evaluation, but proceed with Lucky Run while the soil sampling and analysis occurs. This process includes collection and analysis of soil samples to determine soil nutrient concentrations (total nitrogen and total phosphorus) and the bulk density and development of a report describing the effort and potentially recalculating the nutrient reductions using these data.”
The tests are slated to be completed between October and December. Once the information is finalized as a report, the city said that will be available on the city website.
Parts of the trail in Dora Kelley Park have been inaccessible since flooding in 2018, but much of the rest of the trail has been in a state of disrepair since floods in 2019 undermined the structural integrity of two of the bridges and three stretches of trail.
A community meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, July 28, at 6:30 p.m. at the Patrick Henry Recreation Center (4653 Taney Avenue). The city said meeting will include a restoration schedule and planned restoration activities, as well as an opportunity for the public to ask questions.
:As part of the design phase of the restoration project the City will study how the flood impacted Holmes Run and determine how the trail, bridges, and slopes should be modified/stabilized to minimize potential damage from future flood events,” the city said in a press release.
Three sites along the trail, including the two bridges, are listed on the city website as Tier 1 repairs — repairs that are most essential and should be prioritized.
“Tier 1 repairs are the most complex and costly to complete due to the structural damage caused by recent floods,” the website notes. “Unfortunately, these are not quick fixes, and substantial civil and structural engineering is required to ensure these repairs are sustainable and not subject to damage by future flood events.”
These repairs are funded with the design phase scheduled to start in September 2021.
Over a dozen local residents and supporters rallied yesterday (Tuesday) to protest what they described as unsanitary conditions Morgan Properties locations in Alexandria’s West End.
Residents, ranging from children to seniors, held up photos they said were taken in the homes — including nests of rats, filthy water flowing into a bathtub, mold and holes in the wall.
Carlos, a resident at one of the local Morgan Properties locations, is living there through Section 8 housing and said exponentially increasing utility costs have put that in jeopardy, and that Morgan Properties staff have been inaccessible to ask about unexplained increases in utility costs.
“This is my first time living in a place and I don’t want to leave,” Carlos said. “They haven’t done anything about the mice, and I’ve only been here six months. Others have been dealing with this for years.”
Jessica has been living in Morgan Properties for three years and said residents have become used to being belittled by management.
“We had a water pipe burst on the third floor,” said Jessica. “All the bed, the furniture, the clothing, shoes, they all got wet. We went to management and they said they couldn’t help and then they were laughing.”
Another resident, Ashley, was with a group of supporters from a group called FTP DC. Ashley had also been a tenant at one of the Morgan Properties residences for two years.
“I was at Brookdale for over a year and I had a hole in the ceiling that they didn’t fix until I was moving out,” Ashley said. “People have to go to court over things, like they’d double charge rent.”
Ashley said her apartment was rife with rats, a recurring concern from many local residents.
Ingris Moran, lead organizer with regional organization Tenants and Workers United, said that the protestors are demanding a change in administration overseeing the properties. ALXnow reached out to a public relations firm listed as the media contact on the Morgan Properties website, but received no answer at time of writing.
In emails between Tenants and Workers United and Morgan Properties, property management said they were willing to meet with Tenants and Workers United and the City of Alexandria, but Moran said that her organization would not agree to discussions with Morgan Properties that didn’t include representatives from local residents.
Photo via Tenants and Workers United/Facebook
In the heart of the West End, nestled between I-395 and an apartment complex, is a 44-acre park described by NOVA Parks as an “oasis of nature and beauty” — but it’s also a spot Alexandrians may not know exists, let alone have visited.
The Winkler Botanical Preserve (5400 Roanoke Avenue) was created in 1981 to preserve a section of green open space in the middle of the Mark Center development. The park features multiple trails, streams, a private lodge and a waterfall.
With sections of the Mark Center undergoing some redevelopment that aims to make them more publicly accessible, Maya Contreras, principal planner for Alexandria, said in a recent meeting of the Beauregard Design Advisory Committee that one of the aims of redevelopment is to make the park more accessible to the public.
Photo via NOVA Parks/Facebook
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is looking at making some improvements to Little River Turnpike, one of the main arterial roads between Alexandria and Fairfax County.
Little River Turnpike (Route 236) runs through the Lincolnia neighborhood of Fairfax County, turning into Duke Street when it crosses into the West End. A study of crashes on the street from 2015-2019 showed that many of the crashes were clustered around the border between Fairfax County and Alexandria, where Little River Turnpike crosses I-395.
A similar study of congestion on the street found that most of the congestion was centered on the western end of the study area, around the Annandale neighborhood.
Part of the project could involve pedestrian and cyclist improvements to the street and improve overall safety.
A survey to gather public input is available online until next Wednesday, July 28. A second outreach and survey is planned for this fall once solutions are outlined for the road.
Photo via Google Maps