The groundwork is being laid for construction to begin next year on the Capital Beltway Express Lanes’ expansion into McLean.
A surveyor told Tysons Reporter yesterday (Tuesday) that a site boring crew has started collecting soil samples for the I-495 Extension (495 NEXT) project, which will add toll lanes on the interstate from the Dulles Toll Road in Tysons to just south of the American Legion Bridge.
The Virginia Department of Transportation confirmed that some preliminary activities have commenced, though the project’s design and construction contract are still in the process of being finalized.
“Early works are approved to proceed and are currently underway along the 495 NEXT project corridor,” VDOT spokesperson Michelle Holland said by email. “These activities include survey work, conducting a tree inventory (which involves marking trees), identifying utility locations, and doing geotechnical borings.”
GW Parkway Rehabilitation Announced
VDOT says it does not expect 495 NEXT to be affected by the National Park Service’s recently unveiled plans to revamp the George Washington Memorial Parkway, even though the projects literally intersect.
The U.S. Department of the Interior, which includes the park service, announced on Dec. 7 that it has awarded a $161 million contract to rehabilitate the parkway’s northern section from Sprout Run in Arlington to the I-495 interchange in McLean.
While the GW Parkway’s southern section has been upgraded in parts over the past three decades, this will be the first major rehabilitation of the eight-mile north section since it opened in 1962. It has been in the works since 1999, per an environmental assessment from March 2008.
After putting the project on hold “due to public and agency concerns,” the NPS restarted the planning process in 2016 and got a revised environmental assessment approved in September 2018, according to project documents. Read More
Local Libraries Get More COVID-19 Tests — Fairfax County Public Library started distributing an additional 10,000 COVID-19 rapid testing kits yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon after its initial batch ran out in an hour on Friday (Dec. 3). The system is now advising people to only take a kit if they need one immediately, since the tests expire at the end of December. [FCPL/Twitter]
First-Ever GW Parkway Overhaul Planned — “The National Park Service announced [Monday] that it had awarded a $161 million contract to rehabilitate the Parkway from Spout Run in Arlington to the Capital Beltway in McLean. After a design process in 2022, construction is expected to take place between 2023 and 2025.” [ARLnow]
Dolley Madison Library Display Criticized — FCPL removed a display from McLean’s Dolley Madison Library that featured the books “Gender Queer” and “Lawn Boy” alongside the Bible after resident Stacy Langton complained. Langton previously got Fairfax County Public Schools to pull the two LGBTQ-focused books from their libraries until they were reinstated last month after a review. [Associated Press/WTOP]
Vienna Approves Surplus Fund Allocations — “The Vienna Town Council on Dec. 6 unanimously approved a budget carry-forward that will allot $280,000 for a fiscal year 2023 real-estate-tax decrease, $270,000 to address employee turnover and retention, and $120,000 to correct pay compression the does not differentiate sufficiently based on employees’ work experience or skill levels.” [Sun Gazette]
Supreme Court Shares Possible Redistricting Map — “One of Virginia’s two battleground congressional districts would become a safe Democratic seat in the midterms under a redistricting proposal released by the state Supreme Court late Wednesday afternoon — but it has been moved completely into another region of the state.” [The Washington Post]
Three people, including one child, ended up in the hospital this morning (Wednesday) after two vehicles crashed on the northbound I-495 exit ramp for the George Washington Memorial Parkway in McLean.
According to Virginia State Police, which responded to the crash at 10:37 a.m., the crash involved a box truck and a Toyota sedan that had stopped on the interstate between the right, northbound travel lane and the shoulder:
At this stage of the crash investigation, it appears a Toyota sedan was stopped partially in the right, northbound travel lane and partially on the right shoulder. A box truck came upon the stopped vehicle and tried to change lanes to avoid the Toyota, but the Toyota suddenly pulled into the truck’s travel lane. The two vehicles collided.
The Toyota was occupied by two adult women and a 6-year-old boy, all of whom were hospitalized. A female passenger is undergoing treatment for injuries considered life-threatening, while the female driver and the boy sustained serious but not life-threatening injuries.
The driver of the box truck, an adult man, was not injured.
“The crash remains under investigation at this time,” state police said in a news release. “The Virginia State Police Crash Reconstruction Team is assisting with the ongoing investigation.”
Updated at 12:15 p.m. — The crash site has been cleared, and all travel lanes on George Washington Memorial Parkway are now open with no delays reported as of noon, according to Metropolitan Area Transportation Operations Coordination.
FINAL: Crash with Injury. George Washington Parkway SB before VA-123. Fairfax County, VA. Incident clear and all travel lanes are reopened. No delays reported at this time.
— MATOC Alerts (@MATOC) October 22, 2021
Earlier: A driver was killed in the crash that shut down southbound George Washington Memorial Parkway in McLean this morning (Friday), the U.S. Park Police says.
Park Police officers responded to the one-car crash on the parkway near the entrance to the CIA headquarters at approximately 5:18 a.m. The driver, who was the vehicle’s sole occupant, was pronounced dead at the scene.
“This incident is currently under investigation,” a U.S. Park Police spokesperson said. “Additional information will be provided as it becomes available.”
Traffic closures remain in effect at the I-495 ramps to southbound George Washington Parkway and Turkey Run, according to police.
Metropolitan Area Transportation Operations Coordination reported at 5:51 a.m. that all southbound lanes on the parkway were blocked between the Capital Beltway and Route 123, slowing traffic to a crawl.
Ramps from the Inner and Outer Beltway Loops to George Washington Parkway were also closed, the Virginia Department of Transportation said.
George Washington Pkwy southbound CLOSED between I-495/Capital Beltway and VA-123/Chain Bridge Rd
GW SB not accessible From I-495.
Extended closure expected. NB Lanes Open.
Listen live to WTOP's latest traffic reports every 10 minutes on the 8s. https://t.co/iHSDUC0yin
— WTOP Traffic (@WTOPtraffic) October 22, 2021