Tysons Corner, VA

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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Updated at 11:35 a.m. — All travel lanes on I-495 reopened around 10:30 a.m. 

Earlier: A multi-car crash on I-495 is causing substantial delays in Tysons.

Shortly after 9:30 a.m., the north right outside lane and right shoulder closed, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Drivers can expect delays, according to VDOT. As of 9:50 a.m., traffic is crawling along northbound I-495 up to Route 123.

First image via VDOT, second image via Google Maps

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(Updated at 10:20 a.m.) The driver of a tractor-trailer died today (Thursday) in a crash and fire on I-495.

Right before 2 a.m., Virginia State Police responded to a crash in the southbound lanes of I-495 at Exit 49, which heads onto westbound I-66, Corinne Geller, a spokesperson for the Virginia State Police, said.

The tractor-trailer ran off the right side of the interstate and struck the cement barrier, which ruptured the truck’s fuel tank, police said.

“This caused the vehicle to catch fire and become engulfed in flames,” Geller said. “The impact with the barrier wall also dislodged the vehicle’s axles, which ended up blocking several travel lanes.”

The driver of the vehicle died at the scene, and the Office of the Medical Examiner in Manassas will conduct an autopsy, examination and identification, Geller said.

The crash is currently under investigation, Geller said.

Map via Google Maps

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As work continues on the Jones Branch Connector project, drivers can expect nightly closures on and around the bridge this week.

The ramps from the eastbound Dulles Toll Road and the eastbound Dulles Airport Access Road to southbound I-495 are scheduled to be closed from 10 p.m.-4 a.m. from today (Monday) to Friday (June 21), according to VDOT.

VDOT said drivers can take the following detours:

  • eastbound Dulles Toll Road to southbound I-495: Eastbound Dulles Toll Road and southbound Route 123 (Exit 19A) back to the southbound I-495
  • eastbound Dulles Airport Access Road to southbound I-495: Northbound I-495 and westbound Route 193 (Exit 44) back to the southbound I-495
  • eastbound Dulles Toll Road traffic will still be able to access the southbound 495 Express Lanes

Additionally, Scotts Crossing Road closures between Jones Branch Drive and the I-495 Express Lanes will be closed during those times as well.

The closure will let workers continue work on the bridge, which is part of the $60 million project to relieve traffic along Route 123 at the I-495 interchange.

Pedestrians can expect the Jones Branch Connector sidewalk to open mid- to late summer.

The entire project is slated to finish this fall.

Map via VDOT

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The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors recently made a $51 million investment in Tysons-area roads, but improvements to a troubled McLean road didn’t make the cut.

Balls Hill Road runs parallel to the Beltway through much of McLean up to Georgetown Pike, turning the two-lane residential street into a preferred get-around for Beltway traffic on navigation apps.

During rush hour, the intersection of Balls Hill Road and Georgetown Pike (Route 193) is frequently a backed up, apocalyptic free-for-all. Solutions to alleviate the congestion — including a controversial plan to close Georgetown Pike off from the Beltway entirely — have been proposed.

One plan involving intersection improvements was considered at meetings last fall, but the proposed improvement was not included in the Board of Supervisors’ budget.

“The Balls Hill and 193 improvements were not included in the Board’s $51 million [budget],” said Robin Geiger, head of communications for the Fairfax County Department of Transportation.

Potential intersection improvements included short-term solutions like widening shoulders to allow for increased traffic enforcement and painted boxes to stop drivers from stopping in the intersection and blocking traffic.

Longer term solutions focused on coordinated efforts to improve the American Legion Bridge and the nearby Beltway to reduce backups onto Georgetown Pike.

Meanwhile, another project to improve another troublesome intersection on Balls Hill Road is moving forward. The Balls Hill Road and Old Dominion Drive intersection is notoriously crash-prone with 29 crashes in a five-year span, due in part to poor sight-line conditions.

Geiger said in December, the Board of Supervisors approved the T-intersection proposal for the site and the project is currently in a preliminary engineering design phase. Funding for that project is approximately $21.5 million with construction scheduled to start in spring 2023.

Image via Google Maps

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An 82-year-old man from Falls Church died after he was struck on I-495 near Tysons on Saturday (June 8).

Barrington Holt was driving his 2014 Honda Accord northbound on I-495 when he ran off the right side of the interstate and struck a concrete barrier and a guard rail, Corinne Geller, a spokesperson for the Virginia State Police, said.

Holt got out of his car and tried to cross the northbound lanes of I-495 when he walked in front of a northbound tractor-trailer.

“The tractor-trailer tried to avoid Holt by braking suddenly, but was unable to avoid striking the man,” Geller said. “The tractor-trailer was then rear-ended by a northbound tractor-trailer.”

The fatal crash occurred less than a mile south of Route 7 around 12:30 a.m.

Holt died at the scene, Geller said. The tractor-trailer drivers, who were both wearing seat belts, were not injured.

Virginia State Police Trooper L. Vajglova is investigating a fatal crash in Fairfax County, Geller said.

Map via Google Maps

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Updated 5/22/2019 — A new plan could widen the Beltway in McLean, but nearby residents say the plan won’t do anything to fix the bottleneck of traffic.

At a meeting in Cooper Middle School (977 Balls Hill Road) yesterday (May 20), the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) presented plans to add new toll lanes from the Dulles Toll Road to the American Legion Bridge to help alleviate a severe bottleneck in the region.

The plans for the toll roads have been in the works since last June, but the need for a solution to Beltway congestion was highlighted in March when a tanker crash paralyzed regional traffic.

VDOT’s plans call for the expansion of express lanes to the bridge and connections with the Dulles Toll Road. A connection to the George Washington Parkway is being considered, but options are included to not have the express lanes connect to the parkway.

VDOT officials said the three bridges in McLean that pass over the Beltway would be replaced and would include new pedestrian and bicycle facilities.

But for over an hour, McLean residents expressed outrage at the expansion of the Beltway and a perception that the decision had already been made behind closed doors. Residents who felt empowered by a recent rejection of a proposal to limit access to Georgetown Pike from McLean — a proposal that new state legislation means could come back — asked why this expansion was being treated as a done deal.

“[That] was a transportation solution for a neighborhood problem,” Susan Shaw, megaprojects director for VDOT, said at the meeting. “This project is a regional transportation project. We will consider input from communities, but we will also be considering transportation improvements for the region. If we only let direct impact communities decide — we would never provide any regional project.

One of the biggest criticisms — raised by State Senate candidate Nicole Merlene running against Barbara Favola — was that the success of the project seemed dependent on the expansion of the bridge and connection to toll roads on the Maryland side, projects that are still in early stages.

Shaw said that no traffic analysis was ready yet to show the impact of the toll lanes without improvements on the Maryland side, but she said that would be considered before final approval.

“We don’t have that traffic analysis yet, but I would expect there to be a bottleneck without increased capacity on the bridge,” said Shaw. “I think the question is, ‘Are there other improvements that we would see on this project? If there’s a period of time where Virginia is in on this project and Maryland is not, are there transportation benefits?’ That will be included in the assessment.”

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Lane closures are expected around Vienna this week as part of the I-66 Outside the Beltway Project.

According to the Virginia Department of Transportation, crews will continue corridor-wide roadway maintenance this week with multi-lane closures along I-66 including stretches near the Dunn Loring Metro station and the Beltway interchange.

On Friday (May 17), I-66 is expected to have lane closures from the Beltway to Nutley Street in Vienna. Three lanes will be closed on the westbound side from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. to implement long-term lane shifts. At the Nutley Street intersection, repaving work is also planned for the median.

VDOT estimates an extra 20-minutes of stoppages, and slowdowns should be expected.

Photo via VDOT

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(Updated at 2:45 p.m.) An accident on the Beltway just north of Tysons has northbound traffic cut down to just 1-2 lanes as crews work to contain a large diesel spill.

The incident occurred around 1:30 p.m. just north of the Dulles Toll Road.

Fairfax Fire and Rescue says the spill came from a saddle tank of an 18-wheeler box truck. Hazmat crews have contained the spill, but three lanes remain closed.

Traffic along the northbound HOT lanes is not affected. Video from the overhead (below) shows heavy traffic building prior to the accident scene. Congestion is backed up for northbound I-495 at least to Leesburg Pike.

The incident conjures fresh memories of last week’s tanker crash that shut down traffic on the Beltway for hours, though so far traffic has been able to squeeze by on the lefthand side of the highway’s main lanes.

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(Updated at 4:50 p.m.) Traffic in the Tysons and McLean areas is extraordinarily heavy due to the tanker truck crash on the Beltway.

With the Inner Loop completely blocked before the American Legion Bridge — and the closure and hazmat cleanup expected to continue for hours — traffic is spilling onto other local arteries and bridges.

(As of 3:45 p.m., a single lane of the Inner Loop had been temporarily opened to allow some traffic through.)

A solid line of very heavy traffic has been reported on eastbound Route 123 (Chain Bridge Road) from downtown McLean to Chain Bridge, which is also jammed. Arlington County Police have been called to the intersection of Chain Bridge Road and N. Glebe Road to assist with gridlocked traffic.

Elsewhere in McLean, Route 193 (Georgetown Pike) is a virtual parking lot between the Beltway and Route 123. The northbound GW Parkway exit to the Inner Loop is closed, following an earlier, complete closure from Route 123 to the Beltway. And in Arlington, police are responding to reports of very heavy traffic in Rosslyn approaching the Key Bridge.

The Inner Loop itself, meanwhile, is a solid line of slow-to-stopped traffic from Merrifield to the crash scene. VDOT is advising motorists to avoid it altogether.

Virginia State Police say they’ve deployed additional resources to the area to help with traffic control. Drivers should “plan ahead for detours and delays,” VSP said in a press release, which notes that charges are pending in connection to the crash.

At 1:52 p.m. Thursday (March 28), Virginia State Police responded to a crash involving an overturned tanker truck. The crash occurred in the northbound lanes of I-495 at the American Legion Bridge. Another vehicle struck the tanker truck as it overturned in the roadway. Neither the driver of the truck nor other vehicle was injured.

The tanker is loaded with approximately 8,500 gallons of fuel, which must be unloaded/pumped into another tanker before the overturned vehicle can be brought upright and removed from the scene.

Additional Virginia State Police resources have responded to the scene and manage traffic control. VSP is working with VDOT, U.S. Park Police, and Fairfax County Police to detour and redirect travel throughout the area. Motorists are advised to avoid the Inner Loop, northbound I-495 Express Lanes  and the northbound lanes of the American Legion Bridge through evening rush hour.

The crash remains under investigation. Charges are pending.

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