Bun Papa in Belle View expands into D.C. — “Its with gratitude and great excitement that I get to share that therealbunpapa is taking a giant step forward tonight… with the launch of our new (and second) location inside of Capital One Arena in Washington, DC!” [Facebook]
Alexandria Ranks Among Top Cities for Office-to-Residential Conversions — “Alexandria is a leader nationwide in converting under-used office space to residences, according to a new study from RentCafe.com.” [Alexandria Living Magazine]
Alexandria Restaurant Partners hands-off planned Del Ray restaurant site to another operator — “Alexandria Restaurant Partners has backed away from plans to open a new restaurant in Alexandria’s Del Ray neighborhood, but it’s not abandoning the site entirely.” [Washington Business Journal]
Metro 7000-Series Safety Problems Could Have Led To ‘Catastrophic Event,’ Service Limited This Week — “Metro says reduced train service will continue at least throughout the week as its newest 7000-series trains remained sidelined because of safety issues.” [DCist]
Metro running at 40% today — “As part of the investigation into the Blue Line derailment, Metro is holding out of service all of its 7000-series railcars, which is about 60% of its rail fleet. Without these rail cars, Metro will operate about 40 trains tomorrow.” [Metro]
Alexandria’s Communications Director Appointed To New Position With Governor’s Office — “The city’s longtime Director of Communications and Public Information, Craig Fifer, has been appointed to a new position. He has been selected by Gov. Northam to serve as Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for the Commonwealth of Virginia, effective Oct. 25.” [Zebra]
3rd Annual Taste of Ethiopia Festival celebrated in Old Town — “After hitting the doors, here enjoying the 3rd Annual Taste of Ethiopia Festival at Oronoco Bay Park.” [Twitter]
Bennett-Parker and Maddox face off in race to House of Delegates — “With the Nov. 2 general election only a few weeks away, the race for the 45th District seat in the Virginia House of Delegates is heating up between Democrat Elizabeth Bennett-Parker and Republican Justin David Maddox.” [Alexandria Times]
Metro’s Yellow Line, which runs through Arlington and Alexandria, could see some closures next year as the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) works to repair the Yellow Line Bridge between Virginia and D.C. and bring the Potomac Yard Metro station online.
Yellow Line Bridge and tunnel rehabilitation project will include repairs to the bridge and fix water-caused erosion in the tunnels.
The bridge was built in the 1970s and WMATA’s project website said it’s now showing “excessive wear and corrosion” while the tunnel has been subject to “decades of water infiltration and underground moisture [which] have eroded the steel-lined tunnels.” WMATA warned that long-term repairs are necessary to avoid structural failure.
The project will also upgrade the fire suppression system on the bridge, which is currently past its useful life according to WMATa, and remediation work in the tunnel to repair cracks.
The exact timeline for the project is still unclear. Andrew Off, Vice President of Project Implementation and Construction, said a shutdown is expected sometime in fall 2022. The shutdown would close the bridge between the Pentagon and L’Enfant stations.
“We expect to start sometime at the end of the next calendar year,” Off said. “We’re still working through with our general contractor on the specific construction duration for the Yellow Line Bridge closure.”
Meanwhile, further south on the Yellow Line, Off said a two-week closure is likely as WMATA connects the new Potomac Yard Metro station to the network.
“We’ll have a scheduled two-week or 16-day shutdown in late summer or early fall in support of connecting the new Potomac Yard infill station to our existing system,” Off said.
The station had been scheduled to open next spring but was pushed back to September 2022 after an error was found in the project’s design. Alexandria leaders are still hopeful the project could be moved up to earlier in the year.
After the previously announced delay for the Potomac Yard Metro station, Mayor Justin Wilson said at a meeting last night that the cause of the September 2022 date is still vague and the city is hoping the project can be completed sooner.
At the City Council meeting, Wilson said the delay to September could, in part, be the result of internal issues at the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.
“The most concerning part of the conversation is at this point there’s a belief that perhaps the station could be ready as soon as June, but some concerns whether Metro will be ready to have the station open,” said Wilson. “This could have nothing to do with the Metro station, but with other projects Metro is working on. We’ll continue that dialogue to make sure we get the station open as soon as possible. If that means delaying other Metro projects, so be it, but that’s where I stand on that.
The station was originally scheduled to open in April, but WMATA said in a statement that some of the original designs did not meet current safety requirements.
“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. “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.”
But Wilson said in a meeting of the Potomac Yard Metro Implementation Group last month that the timeline is flexible, and September was chosen as the latest the project will be completed rather than an estimated window for completion.
“The purpose of the work that our staff is doing with WMATA is to try to ensure that it goes no later than September but ideally comes in sooner,” Wilson said. “That date was an estimate based on what we knew the minute we found out that information. There’s work going on right now to define that. We’re exploring every alternative to reduce that timeline.”
Credit Union cuts ribbon on HQ in Alexandria — “United States Senate Federal Credit Union celebrated the opening of its flagship HQ branch in Alexandria with a ribbon-cutting Wednesday.” [Alexandria Living]
Weekend single tracking to impact Metro travelers in Alexandria — “Single tracking between the Braddock Road and National Airport (stations) will happen this weekend due to Potomac Yard Metro construction.” [Patch]
Shop and stroll with the Old Town Boutique District — “Pick up a passport at an Old Town Boutique District (OTBD) shop, then visit six stores to be entered to win a $500 gift card to an OTBD store of your choice, or visit twelve stores to be entered to win $1,000 gift card to an OTBD store of your choice. Stop by Hummingbird and Fontaine for a signature cocktail or mocktail during the stroll. Turn in your passport to the last store you visit. Winners will be selected on Monday, September 27. No purchase necessary to participate.” [Visit Alexandria]
Today’s weather — “A mainly sunny sky. High 74F. Winds NW at 5 to 10 mph… Clear skies. Low 54F. Winds light and variable.” [Weather.com]
New job: Entry-level personal fitness trainer — “We are looking for coachable, enthusiastic, and dependable people who want to enter the field of personal training. No prior fitness experience or fitness education is required! We will hire and teach you everything you need to know to become a Certified Personal Trainer with The Perfect Workout!” [Indeed]
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority is eyeing a new Blue Line route that could be realigned to run from the Huntington Metro station in Fairfax across the Woodrow Wilson Bridge over to National Harbor.
The project was cited as one of the higher performing projects in a list of options aimed at boosting ridership. A cost-benefits analysis put the new Blue Line route, which would also go up to Georgetown, above alternatives like a Silver Line Express tunnel.
The revised Blue Line would cost $20-25 billion to build and $175-200 million to operate, the most expensive of the options presented, but it is also estimated bring in significantly higher revenue — $154.2 million — than any of the other options. The new National Harbor Blue Line route would bring in an estimated 180,000 new weekday trips.
It’s unclear how the proposed Blue Line crossing at the Woodrow Wilson bridge would work — as a reallocation of space on the existing bridge, as part of an expansion, or as a separate crossing.
While Metro Board members expressed cautious enthusiasm for the project at a meeting last week, Metro leadership has been quick to point out that no plans for a new Blue Line have been finalized or approved.
What an absorbing week in Alexandria.
Just as the ball gets rolling with reopening and loosened restrictions, the pandemic rears its ugly head. With coronavirus transmission levels climbing, Alexandria is once again recommending that residents go back to wearing face masks indoors.
Our weekly poll found that 37% of respondents (337 votes) don’t plan to wear masks indoors again unless required, 32% (291 votes) never stopped wearing masks and plan to continue, and 30% (275 votes) stopped wearing masks indoors and plan to start again.
In the meantime, Three Dog Night, Tanya Tucker, and more are scheduled to play at the Birchmere next month, and the Little Theatre of Alexandria has gone back to in-person performances with its latest farce, Neil Simon’s Rumors. The city’s annual sidewalk sale is also on track to be largest ever, with participation from more than 70 local boutiques on the pedestrian-only blocks between 700 and 1100 King Street.
Turning toward the Olympics, Alexandria boxer Troy Isley won his first contest earlier this week, but lost his second match in a close split decision on Thursday night. Next week, Alexandria City High School will host a watch party for alumnus star sprinter Noah Lyles, who is the favorite to win the gold medal in the 200 meter race.
- Woman killed walking on Interstate 495 in Alexandria on Sunday morning
- ACPS to decide next week whether to require face masks when school restarts
- Newcomer Founders Bank eyes expansion to Alexandria
- Torpedo Factory Art Center goes back to requiring masks indoors
- Carjacking suspect suffers medical emergency while getting booked into Alexandria jail
- Rep. Beyer: Calls to defund police ‘one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard’
- GoFundMe launched for Will Nichols, retiring manager of St. Elmo’s Coffee Pub in Del Ray
- Report details life of Black Alexandrians post-Civil War in home slated for redevelopment
- Soul food brings flavor to multi-sensory African American walking tour in Old Town
- Alexandria exhibition for vintage and bizarre cars returns this fall
- Alexandria car dealership receptionist busted for alleged credit card fraud
- One year of lane closures in Potomac Yard starts today
- Man arrested after armed carjacking in West End
- BREAKING: Potomac Yard Metro opening pushed back to September 2022
- New Potomac Yard luxury condo community sells 30% of properties before construction starts
- Residents protest against conditions at West End apartment complex
- Local Democrat challenges Rep. Don Beyer in 8th District Primary
- Cigar and vape shop to open on Mount Vernon Avenue in Del Ray
- EXCLUSIVE: Halal slaughterhouse opens, gives away free chickens for first two days in business
- Without School Resource Officers, Superintendent wants more private security inside and police patrolling outside
- Poll: Do you plan on wearing a mask indoors again?
Have a safe weekend!
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.
A new luxury condominium community in Potomac Yard has reportedly sold 30% of its properties — without any of its 138 units yet built.
The FORTIS Companies of Washington, D.C. owns the Dylan property, and is selling one-to-three bedroom condos for between $600,000 and $1.2 million. The condos have been designed by Lessard Design International of Vienna and Akseizer Design Group in Alexandria, and will be built next year. In the meantime, interested buyers can see a fully-sized model at their sales gallery at 2316 Richmond Highway.
Over the next several years, Potomac Yard will completely transform into a bustling commercial district home to a new Metro station, the massive Virginia Tech Innovation Campus, and a revamped shopping center — all next door to Amazon’s HQ2 development in Crystal City.
The new Dylan development will be located adjacent to Potomac Yard Park.
“As we anticipated, the excitement around Amazon’s HQ2 and Virginia Tech is generating strong interest in Dylan,” said FORTIS Vice President Matt Bunch. “Dylan’s convenient, walkable location is a big draw. It is just a five-minute walk to the new Potomac Yard Metro Station opening early next year, which will connect residents to Regan National Airport just one stop away. Residents also will have walkable access to a variety of new shops, restaurants, employment centers, and recreational options within Potomac Yard and on Virginia Tech’s Innovation Campus.”
Bunch continued, “We recognize that many residents will appreciate the option of working from home, so we ensured that 80 percent of Dylan’s plans include generously sized dens or home offices. Dylan also will feature an onsite business center for those residents who want to meet clients, take calls privately, or just get some work done outside of their homes.”
Courtesy The FORTIS Companies
The Twig donates $150K to Inova Alexandria Hospital — “During their annual luncheon Tuesday morning, The Twig (Together We Ignite Giving), the junior auxiliary unit for Inova Alexandria Hospital, presented a $150,000 check to the institution as part of its $1 million pledge to renovate the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit.” [Zebra]
Amazon and Metro announce $125M plan to make 1,000 affordable housing units near Metro stations — “This represents another return on the region’s extraordinary investment in mass transit, as the partnership with Amazon will accelerate transit-oriented development, grow ridership, and keep our region competitive with other global economic centers,” said Metro Board Chair Paul Smedberg. “Amazon is stepping up to the plate with an unprecedented commitment to affordable housing in the National Capital Region.” [WMATA]
Sheriff’s deputies and police officers graduate from Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Training Academy — “The new law enforcement officers successfully completed 20 weeks of training, including emergency vehicle operations, firearms training, defensive and control tactics, crash investigation, basic legal training, and other important areas. Some Alexandria members of this class distinguished themselves, with Officer Stephen Weidman earning top honors in the Emergency Vehicle Operations Course and Officer Yadiel Nuñez having the second highest score in Firearms.” [Zebra]
Today’s weather — “Sunny skies. High near 80F. Winds NNW at 5 to 10 mph… Some clouds early will give way to generally clear conditions overnight. Low 58F. Winds light and variable.” [Weather.com]
New job: Bartender/Server/Runner — “The Old Dominion Boat Club is looking to hire servers, bartenders, and food runners. We have competitive pay and participate in a very healthy and robust tip share.” [Indeed]