Tysons, VA

Commuters can expect delays today at the I-495 and I-66 interchange following a tractor-trailer crash early this morning.

The tractor-trailer overturned on I-66, spilling metal debris onto the ramp from northbound I-495 to I-66, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation. The debris punctured another truck, causing a hazmat situation and closures around 4 a.m., VDOT said.

While the ramp from northbound I-495 to I-66 has reopened, VDOT said that commuters this morning will be impacted.

As of 9:10 a.m., drivers can expect delays eastbound on I-66 and two-mile-long backups near I-495, according to VDOT.

“The ramp from I-66 East to I-495 North is partially blocked,” VDOT said. “The ramp from I-495 North to I-66 West is partially blocked.”

Meanwhile, drivers heading north on I-495 can expect traffic congestion and backups stretching about two miles.

Map via Google Maps

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Commuters can expect delays today on I-495 south of Leesburg Pike (Route 7) while truck fire clean-up is underway.

As of 9:43 a.m., the south right outside lane and right shoulder are closed, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

VDOT said that drivers can expect delays. As of 10 a.m., traffic is heavy on I-495 between Leesburg Pike and I-66.

Lauren DeMarco, a Fox 5 reporter, tweeted a video of the traffic back-up and firefighters and medics on the scene around 10:30 p.m. on Monday.

The video captured firefighters working to extinguish the truck fire.

WTOP reported this morning that clean-up is underway.

https://twitter.com/WTOPtraffic/status/1237369269752680448?s=20

Map via Google Maps

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The annual Tour de Tysons has been put on hold indefinitely, the event’s organizers told Tysons Reporter.

Typically, the race is held in early March, but organizers never announced dates for 2020 — leaving fans and past participants confused.

Tysons Reporter reached out to the National Capital Velo Club, who is in charge of planning the race, to find out what happened and was told that the race will be suspended indefinitely due to safety concerns for participants.

A spokesperson noted the rapid development in Tysons and the recent increase in traffic.

“As weekend traffic in that part of Tysons has increased, we decided that seeking road closures for a full day wasn’t a tenable solution,” the spokesperson told Tysons Reporter.

At last year’s fifth annual competition, cyclists raced down Westpark Drive before turning onto Jones Branch Drive and then Westbranch Drive.

Several days ago, a Tour de Tysons Facebook page admin posted a short message about the news:

Unfortunately, due to safety concerns, NCVC will not be able to host the Tour de Tysons at its most recent location and will not promote it in 2020. Should a nearby venue become available in the future, we will consider reinstating it on the MABRA road calendar.

Going forward, the NCVC spokesperson said that they’d be interested in hosting the event again, given the right conditions.

“We’re looking for new locations in the region for future editions of the race that will have less of an impact on neighbors and ensure participant safety,” the group said.

Photo via Tour de Tysons/Facebook

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Traffic is already starting to back up as commuters head home early to avoid slick roads from today’s snow.

Traffic is heavy on the Beltway and along I-66 in the Tysons area as of 3:30 p.m., according to Google Maps. Leesburg Pike (Route 7) west of Tysons and the Dulles Access Road (Route 267) west of I-495 appear less congested.

A Winter Weather Advisory is currently in effect. Forecasters are warning commuters to be aware of slick areas on the roads and to allow extra time getting back in the evening.

On social media, people are sharing photos of the first snow of 2020:

Image via Virginia 511, map via Google Maps

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The Fairfax County supervisors representing Tysons and McLean voiced support for a proposed change that would allow residents to access roads with restricted turns during peak-hours.

Currently, a joint program from the transportation departments for Virginia and Fairfax County restricts access to neighborhood roads during peak-hour traffic — including the residents.

Fairfax County has three cut-thru restrictions in place. Four additional ones are at various stages, including:

  • Dead Run Drive/Carper Street in McLean
  • Electric Avenue/Williams Avenue/Overlook Street in the Tysons area
  • Allen Avenue in the Falls Church area

Earlier this year, Virginia General Assembly passed a law allowing local jurisdictions to create a program to issue permits or stickers to residents to make turns into or out of a designated area during certain times of the day when those turns are not allowed.

Now, Fairfax County is considering creating the program with permits.

“Permits would not be available for visitors, caregivers, service providers, non-resident owners, relatives, or other non-residents,” according to a presentation to the Board of Supervisors today (Tuesday).

The Fairfax County Department of Transportation has submitted a budget request for fiscal year 2021 to pay for the change.

“We have not received any funding to pay for this,” Henri Stein McCartney, a transportation planner for FCDOT, told the board.

While the supervisors mostly agreed that cut-thru traffic is — as Lee District Supervisor Jeff McKay called it — a “bad problem” made worse by navigation software like Waze, they disagreed on whether or not to pursue the proposed change.

Chairman Sharon Bulova said that she is worried about not allowing people who need to get to the homes in the cut-thru area but aren’t residents.

Mason District Supervisor Penny Gross echoed Bulova’s concerns, saying that the program would create an “equity problem.”

“I don’t see anything that is broken here that needs to be fixed,” Gross said.

Gross also said that she does not support the “enormous” cost of the $230,000 software needed for the change.

Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust argued that residents should have access to the cut-thru areas, saying that the proposed change would allow more people in instead of keep more people out of the areas.

“Not being able to turn into your own neighborhood is what keeps neighborhoods from doing [the cut-thru program],” Providence District Supervisor Linda Smyth said. “We need to have some sort of selectivity here.”

Other supervisors, like McKay, voiced indecision on the proposal.

FCDOT now plans to work on a draft ordinance for a Board of Supervisors public hearing.

Photo via Facebook

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Westbound Georgetown Pike by the Scott’s Run Nature Preserve is closed after a brush fire broke out.

All of the westbound lanes are closed on Georgetown Pike near Swinks Mill Road, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Fairfax County sent out an alert about the lane closures at 3:15 p.m.

Traffic has already backed up severely along Georgetown Pike as of 3:30 p.m., according to Google Maps.

Map via Google Maps

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Drivers heading on Chain Bridge Road (Route 123) could face significant delays in the Vienna area due to a crash.

Chain Bridge Road by Flint Hill Road just outside of the Town of Vienna is currently closed.

Fairfax County police tweeted about the closure at 4:43 p.m. “Crews will be on scene repairing a utility pole for an extended period,” the tweet said. “Please avoid the area and use an alternate route.”

“The north left lane, center lane, and right lane are closed,” according to Virginia 511. “The south left lane, center lane, and right lane are closed.”

Google Maps shows traffic severely backed up along Chain Bridge Road and surrounding roads.

Map via Google Maps 

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Botched Bolts Behind Metro Mishap — “A Metro train pulled apart on the tracks last year because the agency was using the wrong parts, installing parts that were used incorrectly, and not checking to ensure things were done right… The 51-page report approved Thursday by the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission details a litany of failures that led up to an eight-car Silver Line train bound for D.C. coming apart outside the McLean Station on Aug. 25.” [WTOP]

New School Rules — “The new Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook, which was approved by the board on Thursday, includes more than two dozen changes meant to standardize the way discipline is handed down in the school system.” The changes go into effect this fall. [WTOP]

County Seeking Tysons Traffic Solutions — “A number of options to relieve traffic congestion around McLean and Tysons were presented at a previous community meeting. Fairfax County’s transportation department is seeking feedback on those options, and the deadline for comments has been extended to July 31.” [Patch]

Large Music Library in Falls Church Home — “A long-time local resident who is once again kicking off the Creative Cauldron’s summer cabaret series also happens to curate one of the most interesting home collections of the Tin Pan Alley era of music.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Virginia Nabs Top Spot on CNBC List — CNBC ranked Virginia #1 on its recently released “America’s Top States for Business” list. [CNBC]

Firework Sparklers Behind McLean House Fire — “The garage of a McLean home caught fire on [July 3] due to firework sparklers that were improperly disposed of.” [ABC7]

Egyptian Art Coming to Falls Church — “Falls Church Arts (FCA) is excited to be the first gallery to exhibit this unique collection of Egyptian Contemporary art by these wonderful artists from the Luxor, Alexandria, and Cairo regions of Egypt. These artworks were created over the last several weeks on papyrus especially for this exhibition, the first of its kind in the U.S.” [Falls Church News-Press]

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It’s no secret that traffic is a problem for major roadways around Tysons.

Northern Virginia Transportation Commission (NVTC) is pushing sluglines as one solution.

Earlier this month, the NVTC unveiled that a campaign to encourage slugging along I-66 is one of its approved projects for the fiscal year 2020. One of the four commuter lots that NVTC wants to highlight in its campaign is the Park and Ride at the Vienna/Fairfax-GMU Metro Station.

Sluglines — also known as “casual carpooling” — allow a driver to pick up non-paying passengers at designated spots in order to use an HOV lane or get a toll reduction.

Let us know if slugging is something you would do.

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Updated at 2:30 p.m. — The crash was cleared at 2:26 p.m., 511 Northern Virginia tweeted. 

Earlier: A crash on I-495 in McLean is causing travel delays for drivers headed toward the American Legion Bridge.

The crash is located just south of the Georgetown Pike. Around 2:05 p.m., a nearby traffic camera showed a car on a tow truck.

The north left lane is currently closed, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Drivers can expect delays, according to VDOT. As of 2:10 p.m., northbound traffic is slowly moving from Route 738 to the bridge.

Image via Google Maps

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