Tysons Corner, VA

Work to repair one of two flood-damaged McLean roads is taking longer than originally expected.

The 1300 block of Kirby Road and Swinks Mill Road by Scott’s Run are still closed due to severe storm damage from July 8 flash flooding. The Virginia Department of Transporation (VDOT) has said that both roads will stay closed for several months.

In an update yesterday (Thursday), VDOT said that work on Kirby Road is slated to be finished in mid-December instead of late November.

“The road is expected to safely reopen to through traffic in mid-December, and final asphalt and lane striping will continue through May 2020,” VDOT said in an update yesterday (Thursday).

“Martins Construction Corporation has been awarded a $2.1 million emergency contract for repairs, and work is anticipated to begin the week of Sept. 23,” VDOT said.

Meanwhile, work on Swinks Mill Road is expected to be done by the end of this month, VDOT said, adding that crews are currently working on reconstructing the bridge deck and making sub-structure repairs.

VDOT also provided information on the progress this week for both roads:

Swinks Mill Road at Scotts Run

In the last month, crews have:

  • Excavated and poured concrete working surfaces on the downstream side on which the footers will be built
  • Installed rebar and poured two footers on the downstream side
  • Installed rebar and support for the stem wall on the downstream right-side abutment
  • Partially installed rebar for stem wall on the downstream left-side abutment

Kirby Road at Pimmit Run 

Martins Construction Corporation’s work includes:

  • Relocation of Little Pimmit Run to its previous stream alignment in compliance with federal/state permitting agencies
  • Rebuilding the washed-out section of Kirby Road with concrete and rip rap
  • Replacement of a more than 50-year-old, 24-inch sanitary sewer line
  • Reconstruction of the bridge over Pimmit Run with work on the abutments, wing walls, parapets, bridge deck and approaches

Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust wrote in an email to constituents yesterday that he is working with other elected officials to set up a community meeting “to provide residents with an opportunity to learn more about these emergency repairs and ask questions.”

Photo courtesy VDOT

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After months of waiting, pedestrians and drivers can expect two McLean roads severely damaged by flash flooding in July now to reopen this fall.

The 1300 block of Kirby Road and Swinks Mill Road by Scott’s Run have been closed since the July 8 storm. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has said that it will take months to repair the damage.

In a newsletter to residents, Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust said that VDOT plans to complete repairs to Swinks Mill Road by the end of this month and Kirby Road by late November.

“VDOT is working on both roads concurrently and has committed to aggressive schedules for completing the repairs on each road,” Foust wrote in the newsletter.

VDOT is looking to secure an emergency contract for bridge and road repair at Kirby Road.

More from the newsletter:

Kirby Road has been cleared of debris, and temporary repairs to the bridge and roadway have been completed to make travel safe for local residents until the permanent repairs can be completed. However, the road is not open to through traffic. Safety and structural assessments have been completed, as have boundary and topographic surveys, which are being used to plan the repairs. Identification of types and locations of utilities have been completed, and utility repairs are planned.

The design has been finalized for a contractor bid, with the contract expected to be awarded by mid-September. Completion of the roadway and bridge repairs is expected by late November, with the roadway being completed first in order to maintain access to homes, and the bridge repairs being completed after.

Swinks Mill Road has been cleared of debris and been made safe for travel for local residents and emergency responders, but the Swinks Mill bridge was and remains closed. Safety and structural assessments, as well as boundary and topographic surveys, are being used to develop plans for the repairs. The bridge design has been finalized. VDOT state crews began making the permanent repairs on August 9. Construction is expected to be completed by the end of September.

Kirby and Swinks Mill roads weren’t the only local ones damaged — VDOT has said that “extensive repairs” were made to 12 McLean-area roads right after the storm.

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Some attendees at a meeting about a multi-year road project that recently kicked off in the Vienna area said they are worried about traffic impacts.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is currently working on its Transform 66 project, which includes construction near the Vienna/Fairfax-GMU Metro station.

Rich Clifton, the project’s design engineer from FAM Consulting LLC, provided attendees with a construction update at a meeting yesterday (Sept. 4) at the Providence Community Center. Every seat was filled for the presentation at 7 p.m., with dozens of people standing in the back.

Starting today (Sept. 5), the ramp from Saintsbury Drive to eastbound I-66 will be permanently closed.

The ramp will temporarily reopen for buses during the weekday from October 2019 to September 2020 while another road construction project is underway. Clifton strongly urged non-bus drivers to stay off of the ramp.

“The ramp can’t handle the volume of traffic if it was open to the general public,” Clifton. “There are 19 bus routes that go over Vaden.”

Along I-66, the barrier between the collector-distributor (CD) road and eastbound I-66 will be removed and access to I-66 from the CD road and Nutley Street will shift east of Vaden Drive.

On westbound I-66, the lanes will shift, along with the CD road. Clifton said that the exit ramp to Country Creek Drive will remain open.

Starting in October, the bridge at Vaden Drive will close for demolition and construction of a new bridge — a process that will take about a year, Clifton said.

“We’ll try to stay out of Nutley while we work on Vaden bridge,” Clifton said.

While the bridge is closed, drivers will have 2-mile-long detours to follow. A modification of traffic flow at the Nutley Street intersection and Saintsbury Drive will accommodate the detour, Clifton said.

Some attendees at the meeting said that they expect drivers to head west instead of following the detour, possibly clogging up local roads. Clifton said that posted signs about the detours are meant to encourage drivers to take detour routes, but that there is no guarantee that drivers won’t come up with their own directions.

For pedestrians, a shorter detour will allow them to use the bridge at the Vienna/Fairfax-GMU Metro station, which will stay open all day and night. Clifton said that the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) will be able to close off the station, while keeping the gates open for the bridge.

In about six months, work will start on Chain Bridge Road (Route 123) to relocate utilities and to construct bridges, ramps and new box culverts for a future path.

A temporary traffic pattern change will allow for the construction of new ramps:

  • westbound I-66 and northbound Route 123
  • westbound I-66 and southbound Route 123
  • eastbound I-66 and northbound Route 123
  • southbound Route 123 and eastbound I-66

There will also be four new traffic signals in that area.

Once all of that work is finished, construction will start on the Nutley Street and I-66 interchange.

While a diverging diamond design was proposed a few years ago, Clifton said that the interchange will instead have a double roundabout.

That work is slated to finish up in the early part of 2022.

After several questions about traffic for each portion of the project, Clifton told attendees to check out the traffic impacts online.

Maps via VDOT

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A meeting tonight (Wednesday) will provide an update on the upcoming work near the Vienna/Fairfax-GMU Metro station.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is currently working on its Transform 66 project.

The meeting will provide a construction update on:

  • the planned closure of Vaden Drive Bridge over I-66 from fall to summer 2020
  • rebuilding the Route 123 interchange
  • the design for the Nutley Street interchange

The meeting will take place 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Providence Community Center (3001 Vaden Drive) with presentations at 7 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Image via Google Maps

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A 28-year-old McLean man was killed in a crash involving multiple vehicles along I-66 near Centreville.

A series of chain-reaction crashes involving five sedans, one SUV, one pick-up truck and a tractor-trailer happened shortly before 11 a.m. on Saturday (Aug. 24) in the westbound lanes of I-66 east of exit 53 for Route 28, according to Virginia State Police.

More from Corinne Geller, a spokesperson for the Virginia State Police:

A 2007 BMW sedan was traveling west on I-66 when it struck the vehicle in front of it. The BMW then collided with a westbound tractor-trailer.

The tractor-trailer then collided with several vehicles, to include a Toyota Rav4, before overturning in the roadway. The Toyota Rav4 ran off the right side of I-66 and over the Jersey wall, at which point it caught fire.

McLean resident Joseph Castellano, who was the driver of the Toyota, died at the scene, Geller said.

His wife, who was a passenger in the car, was flown to a trauma center in D.C. and is still being treated for life-threatening injuries.

The driver of the BMW, 40-year-old Jonathyn Bland of Centerville, was transported to Reston Hospital for minor injuries, along with the driver of the tractor-trailer, 34-year-old Shahbaz Singh of Fairfax, for serious, but non-life threatening injuries, Geller said.

Police charged both Bland and Singh with reckless driving.

“The three other individuals transported to Reston Hospital — one had serious, but non-life threatening injuries and other two suffered minor injuries,” Geller said.

Fairfax County Fire and Fairfax County Police assisted state police at the scene, Geller said. The Virginia State Police is investigating the crash.

Photo via VDOT/Twitter

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A long-awaited project to lessen congestion at an intersection near the American Legion Bridge in McLean is nearing completion.

The Virginia Department of Transportation expanded the intersection by 550 feet to include a left turn and right turn lane, as well as an option for traffic to go straight into the nearby neighborhood. The renovations also include an area where law enforcement can safely pull over traffic.

Crews worked on the three-month-long project at the intersection of Georgetown Pike and Balls Hill Road over the summer. Politicians gathered Thursday morning (Aug. 22) to survey the scene and celebrate the project.

Allison Richter, a VDOT liaison for Fairfax County, attended the event and said that people in the nearby neighborhood struggled to get home when others were trying to turn onto American Legion Bridge or onto the freeway. The addition of turn lanes is expected to ease traffic around rush hour, she said.

Richter said that this was part of a $500,000 project to improve traffic flow in the area, which should be completed in the next couple days. She also said that roughly $250,000 of the funds came from Fairfax County while the remaining $250,000 came from an operations safety budget.

“This is one of the rare occasions we meet at this intersection on a happy note,” Dranesville District Supervisor John Foust told the gathering. “This has been a challenge to deal with the intersection and try to meditate the impact on the surrounding neighborhoods from the American Legion Bridge and back up on the ramp.”

Road crews had to redirect some attention from the work on Balls Hill Road to roads impacted by severe flooding in early July, Foust said.

Crews are still working to repair Kirby Road, which is still closed due to flooding damage, he said, adding that the floods completely rerouted the river, which now flows underneath the road.

The city needs to get permits from the Army Corps of Engineers to fix the damage.

“There is only so much we can expedite,” Foust said, adding that he believes that the residents have been patient with the process.

As for the road crews, “I don’t know if I’ve ever seen VDOT so focused,” Foust said.

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New speed humps are coming to the windy Bellview Road in McLean next month.

Known for its cut-through traffic use, the two-lane road runs from just north of Wolf Trap to Georgetown Pike, bisecting Old Dominion Drive along the way.

The upcoming traffic calming measures will add seven speed humps along the road.

“The speed humps on Bellview will be installed in coordination with planned repaving, which is expected to take place the third or fourth week of September,” Jennifer McCord, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Transportation, told Tysons Reporter.

Another McLean road will also undergo traffic calming measures.

In July, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved two speed tables, longer, flat-topped version of speed humps, for Youngblood Street.

Youngblood Street connects a residential area in Chesterbrook Gardens to Westmoreland Street.

“[The Fairfax County Department of Transportation] is finalizing plans for installation, and will then send to the Department of Public Works and Environmental Services,” FCDOT spokesperson Robin Geiger told Tysons Reporter. “The timeline for completion could be fall 2019.”

Image 1 via Google Maps, image 2 via FCDOT, map via Google Maps

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The anticipation is almost over for bicyclists and drivers who have been waiting for permanent lane markings along Greensboro Drive by The Boro development.

Jennifer McCord, a spokeswoman for the Virginia Department of Transportation, told Tysons Reporter that the roadwork is being completed by a developer under permit.

“The developer plans to install the pavement markings for the bicycle lane on Greensboro Drive between Westpark Drive and Solutions Drive on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019, weather permitting,” McCord said. “The other markings should be in place by Aug. 21.”

“I’m not sure how a bike commuter, pedestrian, scooter (or an [Single Occupant Vehicle] even) is supposed to safely navigate this area,” a self-identified cyclist tweeted Aug. 1.

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Much of the roads affected by the flash floods two weeks ago have been fixed, but two routes through McLean remain out of commission and will require long term repairs.

Kirby Road and Swinks Mill Road at the eastern and western edges of McLean respectively are both blocked off at roughly the halfway point where the roads were severely damaged by floodwaters.

Replacing the damaged bridges will take several months, according to Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) spokesperson Ellen Kamilakis.

A part of Kirby Road has been broken off with much of the supporting infrastructure underneath completely swept away. According to a press release from VDOT:

  • A segment of road just south of Claiborne Drive was washed away. The remaining asphalt in that location has been undermined.

  • Asphalt on the approaches to the deck of the VDOT bridge over Pimmit Run was damaged, but temporarily repaired the same day. The bridge also has damage to the guardrails and abutments (the “legs” that support the bridge deck) and retaining wall.

  • Pimmit Run will need to be realigned to its original location.

  • The sanitary sewer line and underground utilities were affected.

  • Damage to VDOT infrastructure is not preventing access to any homes.

  • Note: A privately owned and maintained bridge across from Claiborne Drive was severely damaged and homeowners are evaluating repair options.

Meanwhile, at Swinks Mill Road the asphalt on the bridge was completely destroyed, with the guard rail and large chunks of the road visible warped and scattered down the creek bed. According to the VDOT press release:

  • Several hundred feet of asphalt approaching the bridge on both sides was damaged.

  • Asphalt on the bridge deck was destroyed. Also, the bridge has sustained damage to the guardrails, abutments, and retaining wall.

  • Bridge scour (removal of sand and gravel from around the abutments) was observed.

  • Debris was observed in Scotts Run.

  • Damage to VDOT infrastructure is not preventing access to any homes.

Currently, VDOT said surveys are underway for the planned realignment of both streets. Preliminary design work has started for both bridges and road repairs, according to the press release.

Removal of debris is expected to continue alongside more extensive survey work at both locations. Once bridge designs are finalized, VDOT said the bridge and road repair plans will be put out for construction bids.

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As work continues on the Jones Branch Connector, Scotts Crossing Road, a road between Jones Branch Drive and the off-ramps for I-495 Express Lanes, will close overnight on Thursday (July 25).

The Virginia Department of Transportation said that Scotts Crossing Road will be closed from 10 p.m. on Thursday to 4 a.m. on Friday (July 26). Drivers heading north or south will have several detour options.

More from VDOT:

The ramps from the northbound and southbound I-495 Express Lanes to Scotts Crossing Road will remain open and traffic will still be able to access Route 123 via eastbound Scotts Crossing Road.

Route 123 traffic will still be able to access the northbound I-495 Express Lanes via westbound Scotts Crossing Road.

Currently, the Jones Branch Connector is undergoing construction for a $60 million project that will add two travel lanes and on-street bike lanes in each direction — the two lanes are set to open by the end of the year. Sidewalks are slated to open later this summer.

VDOT expects the project to be completed in spring 2020.

Map via Google Maps

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