Those crossing between Virginia and Maryland tomorrow night may want to avoid the Woodrow Wilson Bridge.
According to a traffic advisory, the bridge will be opening for maintenance multiple times tomorrow night (Thursday), starting at 11 p.m.
The openings are scheduled to conclude around 5 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 18, so with any luck the morning rush hour won’t be affected.
“Please use caution in the area and expect delays,” the advisory said.
Good Monday morning, Alexandria!
☔ Today’s weather: Passing showers. Overcast. Mild. High of 66 and low of 53.
☔ Tomorrow: Rain. Cloudy. Mild. High of 71 and low of 57. Sunrise at 6:01 am and sunset at 8:07 pm.
🚨 You need to know
After eight months, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority reopened it’s yellow line on Sunday. The line has been out of service since September to allow work on the Potomac River tunnel and bridge.
“The work included replacing over 1,000 individual steel plates held together by more than 12,000 bolts in the tunnel and replacing 88 bearings on the bridge,” according to WMATA. “The project also upgraded the fire suppression system on the 3,000-foot bridge and removed and replaced miles of critical communications cables used by multiple regional partners.”
📈 Friday’s most read
The following are the most-read ALXnow articles for May 5, 2023.
- Giant Food on Duke Street adapts to shoplifting increase by locking one of its front doors (858 views)
- Notes: APD ‘determined’ to reduce crime near Braddock Road Metro after more shots fired (829 views)
- ALXnow’s top stories this week in Alexandria (798 views)
- Just Listed in Alexandria | ALXnow (129 views)
🗞 Other local coverage
- Yellow Line Roars Back into Alexandria Sunday Morning, May 7, after an Eight-Month Closure
Zebra (Sunday @ 1:21 pm)
- Diapers Needed: Start a Drive in Alexandria To Help HomeAid National Capital Region
Zebra (Saturday @ 12:54 pm)
- New Old Town Location for Alexandria’s Zen Press — Same Hospitality, Delicious, Nutritious Food and Juice Options
Zebra (Saturday @ 9:07 am)
- Theogony Editor Staff at Alexandria City Public High School has Been Announced!
Zebra (Friday @ 7:59 pm)
- Sewer Overflow Affects Stream In Alexandria
Patch (Friday @ 3:49 pm)
- DASH Bus Lines To Serve New Potomac Yard Metro Station
Patch (Friday @ 3:22 pm)
- “Happy to Learn This Was a Drill” Says A Lady in Alexandria about the Dummy Hanging Off Woodrow Wilson Bridge on Monday, May 1
Zebra (Friday @ 1:49 pm)
- Lily’s Chocolate and Coffee to Open Soon
Alexandria Living (Friday @ 11:42 am)
- Free Concerts Start June 4 at Fort Hunt Park
Alexandria Living (Friday @ 10:55 am)
- Melanie Kay-Wyatt Named Permanent Alexandria Schools Superintendent
Patch (Friday @ 10:39 am)
- Charlene’s Kitchen: Alexandrians’ ‘Go To’ for Catering, Events
Alexandria Living (Friday @ 10:20 am)
- Old Town Alexandria Home Dating Back To 1830 Has Patio With Brick Wall
Patch (Friday @ 9:59 am)
- How Blackwall Hitch Is Leading Alexandria Waterfront’s Culinary Resurgence
Alexandria Living (Friday @ 9:45 am)
- Mount Vernon: Revolutionary War Weekend May 6, 7
Alexandria Living (Friday @ 9:29 am)
- Samy Seeks Home with a Friend
Alexandria Living (Friday @ 7:41 am)
- About Alexandria with Mark Eaton: Staggering forward
Alexandria Times (Friday @ 7:41 am)
- Your View: We needed a Metro bond referrendum
Alexandria Times (Friday @ 7:34 am)
- Your View: Decongest Duke Street sensibly
Alexandria Times (Friday @ 7:30 am)
- Our View: Not ‘Poetry in Motion’
Alexandria Times (Friday @ 7:27 am)
📅 Upcoming events
Here is what’s going on today in Alexandria, from our event calendar.
- No events today. Have one to promote? Submit it to the calendar.
Virginia State Police did not pursue a vehicle into Maryland after an early morning high-speed chase through Alexandria.
No one was injured or vehicles struck in the chase, which began at around 1:30 a.m. near exit 173 (Van Dorn Street) on westbound Interstate 495, according to VSP.
The suspect drove a four-door black Mercedes and was being pursued for speeding. The Mercedes turned off the Glebe Road exit 7 on I-95, then drove up S. Glebe Road toward Potomac Yard, and went south on Richmond Highway (Route 1) through Old Town.
The Mercedes, which drove with a flat front left tire, drove between 115 and 130 miles per hour on Glebe Road and Richmond Highway, VSP and Alexandria Police Department dispatchers reported. APD did not assist in the pursuit.
The chase ended after the suspect got back onto the highway and crossed the Woodrow Wilson Bridge into Maryland.
“The trooper terminated the pursuit once the vehicle left Virginia,” VSP spokeswoman Corinne Geller told ALXnow. “Maryland and Washington, DC authorities were alerted of the suspect vehicle. There were no crashes resulting from the pursuit.”
Work to expand the I-495 Express Lanes to the north is only just warming up, but the Virginia Department of Transportation is now turning its attention to the southern end of the Capital Beltway.
The I-495 Southside Express Lanes environmental study is evaluating possible express lane additions on an 11-mile stretch of the corridor east of the I-395 interchange in Springfield to Maryland Route 210 in Prince George’s County.
Crossing over the Potomac River, the corridor currently has two to five lanes typically, though a divided highway splits local and pass-thru routes. There is also a portion with six lanes, but the corridor overall has no express lanes presently.
In-person meetings will take place tonight in Maryland, Monday (May 23) at John R. Lewis High School in Springfield, and the Nannie J. Lee Memorial Recreation Center in Alexandria on May 25.
The study is seeking to reduce congestion, address safety concerns and provide other improvements.
“In the morning, there is significant congestion going in the westbound direction, or from Maryland towards Virginia,” Abi Lerner, a VDOT engineer for megaprojects, said during the virtual meeting.
According to VDOT’s weekday data for the interstate, there’s approximately two hours of congestion in the morning from around 6:30 to 9, Lerner said. In 2019, average travel speeds could be as low as 30 mph during peak commuting times.
In Virginia, there’s significant congestion for an even longer time frame from approximately 3 to 7 p.m. for traffic going eastbound to the Woodrow Wilson Memorial Bridge.
Expressing several concerns, resident Poul Hertel asked for the public comment deadline to be extended to June 18. VDOT said that would be considered and updated, if possible, on its project page.
The study is also evaluating whether express lane exit and entry connections could be added, an idea that drew mixed reactions.
“It’s very distressing to see that you have exit points into Old Town Alexandria,” Hertel said. “I would strongly urge you to remove that from your list.”
Meanwhile, multiple Maryland residents weighed in, with Prince George’s County Councilmember Jolene Ivey noting the area’s opposition to toll lanes there.
Lerner responded that whatever VDOT ultimately recommends “is going to require buy-in…from the Maryland side” of the Beltway.
Oxon Hill resident Howard Herrnstadt said it seems that a small number of affluent and time-stressed motorists use existing express lanes, questioning how the infrastructure expense would be justified.
Lerner said VDOT has seen significant usage of the express lanes for carpooling, which enables drivers to use them for free, but he was unable to provide data. Herrnstadt challenged that narrative.
According to VDOT, the proposed changes wouldn’t interfere with the possibility of light rail in the future, which the Woodrow Wilson bridge was designed to accommodate.
The study will inform any recommendations, including no changes, or potential projects in the future. VDOT plans to present options this fall or winter and finish its review in the fall of 2023 or winter of 2024.
Photo via Google Maps
It’s been a busy week in Alexandria with City Council coming back into session for the first time in 2022.
With a majority of the Council being new, there are fresh names and perspectives stories about city decision-making. Highlights from this week’s City Council meeting included a first look at plans for the city to — kind of — invest in a luxury hotel and bids to develop broadband internet access citywide.
- Woman shot during suspected shootout near South Reynolds Street 7-Eleven
- With hotel market in freefall, Alexandria considers financing luxury hotel in Old Town
- Man with hammer attacks several victims in The Shops at Mark Center
- JUST IN: Three arrested after bystander shot outside West End 7-Eleven
- JUST IN: Alexandria man charged with December murder of woman in West End
- Traffic Alert: Woodrow Wilson Bridge openings planned Tuesday night and Wednesday morning
- Amid declining enrollment, ACPS proposes employee raises in new budget proposal
- The Institute for Defense Analysis to open new Potomac Yard headquarters later this month
- Redevelopment plans announced for Community and Human Services office in Del Ray
- JUST IN: Juvenile arrested for alleged hit-and-run that injured Alexandria firefighters
Late night/early morning drivers planning to cross the Woodrow Wilson Bridge tonight might want to plan an alternate route.
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) said on Twitter that bridge openings are planned for 11 p.m.-4 a.m. tonight (Tuesday) through Wednesday morning.
While the bridge can sometimes open for interesting ship traffic, tonight’s opening is for routine testing.
Alexandria: The Woodrow Wilson Bridge is scheduled to have test openings and traffic gate testings tonight between 11PM-4AM. Expect delays and consider alternate routes. @MDSHA
— VDOT Northern VA (@VaDOTNOVA) January 11, 2022
Metro to keep reduced service through Dec. 31 — “Metro will continue offering reduced rail service through the end of the year, WMATA announced Monday.” [NBC4]
Bun Papa opens third location in Bradlee Shopping Center — “The newest Bun Papa location operates out of the future BeeLiner Diner which will open in Bradlee Shopping Center early next year.” [Alexandria Living Magazine]
Nominations sought for Alexandria Living Legends — “Once selected, each new Living Legend of Alexandria will be celebrated with a museum-quality photographic portrait, an interview with a professional print journalist and will have a segment in a lasting video produced by an award-winning film company.” [Zebra]
Virginia police stop teen suspect from jumping off bridge — “Virginia State Police stopped a teenager who was linked to several burglaries from jumping off the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, a report says.” [Patch]
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.
Late night motorists are going to have to take the long way around if they want to get from Alexandria to Maryland tonight.
Bridge openings aren’t unusual but can be an unexpected hassle for drivers. VDOT said drivers should expect delays and consider alternate routes.
Alexandria: The Woodrow Wilson Bridge is scheduled to have maintenance openings and testing tonight beginning at 11:30PM. Expect delays and consider alternate routes. @MDSHA
— VDOT Northern VA (@VaDOTNOVA) March 23, 2021
Fairfax Police Injured in Chase on Woodrow Wilson Bridge — “Three Fairfax County police officers were injured during a car chase involving a homicide suspect that ended with the person’s capture on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge on Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.” [Washington Post]
Power Outage in Carlyle — “We have about 2K @DominionEnergy customers experiencing outages in the vicinity of Carlyle. If you are out please report the outage online or by phone at 866-366-4357.” [Twitter]
Alexandria Man Sentenced in Kidnapping and Witness Tampering Case — “U.S. District Judge George J. Hazel today sentenced Henry Lee Kenner II, age 43, of Alexandria, Virginia, to 150 months in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for kidnapping and witness tampering.” [Shore News Network]
Winter Village at Cameron Run Makes Coronavirus Adjustments — “The Winter Village will be open on weekends, holidays, and prime visitation nights from Nov. 20 to Jan. 3, and ice skating only will be offered on select days from Jan. 9 to Feb. 28.” [Patch]
Alexandria Law Enforcement Honored for Heroism — “Deputy Jason Bebow and Deputy Julio Ocasio were honored for their rescue of an inmate who had attempted suicide at the Alexandria City Jail. Deputy Devon Neckles and Officer Shakita Warren were honored for their successful intervention with a suicidal resident.” [Zebra]
Staff photo by James Cullum