Tysons, VA

Travel on Interstate 66 will be reduced to one lane in both directions from Cedar Lane in Vienna to Route 7 every night through Saturday (Dec. 19), the Virginia Department of Transportation announced today (Thursday).

VDOT has been closing lanes on the highway between 9:30 p.m. and 5 a.m. since Dec. 14 in order to address overhead utility work for the new Gallows Road Bridge that it has been constructing, but the lane closures were originally expected to end today.

The I-66 lane closures will last from 9:30 p.m. to 9 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, with intermittent full stoppages of up to 20 minutes between midnight and 4 a.m.

The reduction of travel on Gallows Road over I-66 to one lane and the overnight closure of the ramp from the I-495 North Express Lanes to I-66 West have also been extended to Saturday.

According to VDOT, the 495 ramp closure will last from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. every night. Traffic will be detoured to I-66 via the Route 7 exit during that time.

The Gallows Road lane closure will take place from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.

“Drivers should expect delays if traveling in this area and are encouraged to use alternate routes,” VDOT said.

The state transportation agency also noted that work is dependent on the weather and may be rescheduled if inclement conditions occur.

Construction on the new Gallows Road Bridge has been ongoing throughout the year as part of VDOT’s Transform 66 Outside the Beltway project. The bridge is being reconstructed to make room for the new Express Lanes.

VDOT plans to demolish the old Gallows bridge once the new one for northbound Gallows is completed in early 2021, but according to the current project timeline, the full bridge is not expected to be complete until early 2022.

Photo via VDOT

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Updated at 6:30 p.m. — Blake Lane has reopened. The person who was injured in the crash is a bicyclist, and they remain hospitalized. The incident is under investigation by Fairfax County police detectives.

Earlier — Blake Lane is currently closed between Hibbard Street and Bushman Drive in Oakton due to a vehicle crash that occurred this afternoon.

Fairfax County police reported the accident just after 3:30 p.m. today (Thursday). One person has been transported to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Police are asking people to avoid the area, and travel delays should be expected.

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A flood warning is in effect until noon today (Monday) for central Fairfax County, including Tysons, Vienna, Dunn Loring, and Merrifield.

As of 8:43 a.m., over an inch of rain has fallen in the county since late last night, according to the National Weather Service.

Old Courthouse Road has been closed at Besley Road in Vienna due to high water from Wolftrap Creek, and drivers should expect delays. The NWS says that Beulah Road at Browns Mill Road by Wolftrap Creek could also be prone to flooding.

“Turn around, don’t drown when encountering flooded roads,” the NWS says. “Most flood deaths occur in vehicles.”

Here is more from the NWS flood warning alert:

…FLOOD WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON EST TODAY FOR CENTRAL
FAIRFAX COUNTY…

At 843 AM EST, Over an inch of rain fell in central Fairfax County
late last night and early this morning. This resulted in Old
Courthouse Road in the area of Wolf Trap being closed. Stream gauges
in the area appeared to have crested and only minor additional
rainfall is expected through the remainder of this morning.

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A portion of Dorr Avenue, a street that runs parallel to Gallows Road through a stretch of offices and businesses in Merrifield, will be closed for the next four weeks as crews relocate underground utilities.

The street will be closed off at the intersection with Prosperity Avenue. Traffic to locations along Dorr Avenue, like ArtsFairfax and Prosperity Flats will be redirected to Merrilee Drive one block east.

The closure is expected to start this Thursday, Sept. 24, and last until Thursday, Oct. 22.

“Vehicular traffic from Prosperity Avenue will not be allowed to turn south on to Dorr Avenue,” VDOT said in a press release. “A detour will use Prosperity Avenue, Merrilee Drive, and Merrifield Avenue. Vehicles can access properties along Dorr Avenue from the south during this work, but will not be able to continue through to Prosperity Avenue.”

VDOT said the closure will not impact pedestrian and bicyclist traffic on the sidewalks.

Image via Google Maps, map via VDOT

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Late night drivers around Tysons may experience some detours this weekend and next week if they travel around the interchange connecting I-66 and I-495 near Merrifield.

“Overnight lane closures and traffic stoppages are planned on I-66 West approaching Gallows Road during overnight hours Friday, September 11; Saturday, September 12; and Monday, September 14, through Wednesday, September 16, as bridge beam installation continues for the new Gallows Road Bridge over I-66,” VDOT said in a press release. “Bridge beam lifts over I-66 West will require nightly traffic stoppages of up to 20 minutes on I-66 West. Work is part of the Transform 66 Outside the Beltway Project.”

Gallows Road over I-66 will also be reduced to a single lane in each direction overnight Friday-Tuesday.

The Gallows Road bridge is being lengthened, widened, raised, and shifted to the east to accommodate the new express lanes and provide room for future improvements along Gallows Road, according to VDOT.

“Drivers should expect delays if traveling in this area and are encouraged to use alternate routes,” VDOT said.

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(Updated 10:25 a.m.) Downed power lines and a fallen tree have shut down Old Dominion Drive and caused a small power outage in McLean.

Fairfax County sent out an alert about the road closure at Old Dominion Dive between Briar Ridge and Franklin Park roads shortly before 10 a.m.

Dominion Energy’s power outage map says that 60 customers are affected by the outage and that power is expected to get restored by 3 p.m. today.

Fairfax County police said in a tweet that people should expect extended delays and avoid the area.

Image via Google Maps, map via Dominion Energy

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Alpaca Party — “Earlier this summer, [Andrea] Diaz, who lives in Vienna, started a new business, My Pet Alpaca.” [DCist]

Lodging Revenue Nose Dives — Tysons-based Park Hotels “saw a 95.16% drop in revenue, from $434 million in 2019 to just $21 million in the most recent quarter. RevPAR for the second quarter was $14.47, down 95.1%. Occupancy for Park’s 18 consolidated hotels that remained open for the entire quarter was 20.8%. Today, 42 of Park’s hotels are operational, which accounts for 53% of its portfolio.” [Washington Business Journal]

Road Closure Alert — “The 100 block of N. West Street will be closed on Monday, August 10, from 10 a.m. to about 2 p.m. to allow for construction trailer movement at the Founder’s Row site.” [City of Falls Church]

Halloween Store Coming to Tysons — “Spirit Halloween stores recently announced plans to start opening its 1,400 U.S. locations in anticipation of Halloween 2020. The company typically occupies vacant storefronts leading up to Halloween season, and this year it will be at the former Performance Bike location at 8387 Leesburg Pike in Tysons.” [Patch]

COVID-19 Case Backlog — “An additional 2,015 coronavirus cases were reported statewide Friday, which the Virginia Department of Health attributed to a backlog of cases. The number reflects cases that should have been reported on Wednesday and Thursday, as well as Friday’s cases.” [Patch]

Local Author Releases New Novel — “If the Roman Empire never collapsed, would society be far more advanced than it is today? That’s the subject of a new history novel, “The Alternative History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire,” enthusiast Martin Missaiel has been working on since 2012.” [Falls Church News-Press]

Hand Sanitizer Recell — “The Food and Drug Administration has recalled 75 brands of hand sanitizer that contain methanol, which can cause serious health complications.” [Patch]

Photo courtesy Hilde Kahn

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Updated 3:40 p.m. — The Fairfax County Police Department said around 3:30 p.m. that all of the road closures have been resolved. 

Earlier: Several roads are closed in the Tysons area due to the storm.

The Fairfax County Police Department shared an updated list of weather-related road closures around the county this morning.

Currently, the Tysons area is under a Flash Flood Watch and Flood Warning today as Tropical Storm Isaias moves through the D.C. region.

Road closures:

  • Old Courthouse and Besley roads: high water
  • Old Dominion Drive and Swinks Mill Road: tree blocking the roadway
  • Idylwood Court and Idylwood Road: tree on power line over the roadway
  • Friden and Hillside drives: tree blocking the roadway
  • Browns Mill and Beulah roads: high water 

Use the map below to find the Tysons-area road closures. Tysons Reporter will update this article and map as more information becomes available or if the road closures change.

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Several roads are closed in the McLean area following a storm.

The Fairfax County Police Department shared a list of weather-related road closures around the county.

As of 6 p.m., the closures in the McLean District Station area include:

  • 1000 block of Balls Hill Road (traffic hazard, tree and wires blocking roadway)
  • 1200 block of Providence Terrace (traffic hazard, tree blocking roadway)
  • 8000 block of Georgetown Pike (traffic hazard, tree blocking roadway-right lane)
  • Leesburg Pike/Towlston Road (traffic signal, lights on flash)

Currently, a Flood Warning is in effect until 9 p.m.

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With sunnier and warmer days ahead, a portion of Tysons Blvd is poised to become a space for cyclists and pedestrians looking for more room to social distance.

Robin Geiger, a spokesperson for the Fairfax County Transportation Department (FCDOT), mentioned the plans during a town hall with county officials yesterday.

“We’re going to close a portion of Tysons Blvd to allow for safer biking and pedestrian access for exercise, to increase social distancing, so people can get around Tysons,” Geiger said.

The upcoming closure is part of a pilot project with Tysons Partnership, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) and the Fairfax Alliance for Better Bicycling, Geiger said. While Geiger did not say when the partial road closure is expected or which portion will be closed, she said that FCDOT will announce more information soon.

Providence District Supervisor Dalia Palchik praised the project, saying that “it does take quite a bit of coordination” for the county and VDOT to work on road projects.

“I’m just thrilled,” Palchik said.

Closing roads to give cyclists and pedestrians more space during the pandemic has been gaining traction around the U.S., WAMU reported.

“I know bikes are being sold quite a bit these days,” Palchik said, adding that “we take this opportunity to improve our bikeability and walkability.”

Image via Google Maps

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