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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "flash flooding"

Swinks Mill Road bridge repair to start in Fairfax Co. a month after flash flood

Construction to repair one of the washed out roads in Fairfax County, Virginia, that’s still closed due to last month’s flash flooding will begin by Monday.

A Virginia Department of Transportation crew is set to get to work on Swinks Mill Road at Scott’s Run.

The asphalt of the bridge was lifted off July 8, and water washed away supporting rock and soil from the bridge and approach roadway.

The new bridge will be largely the same as the old one, but with improved concrete barriers on the side rather than the old metal guardrail, and new U-shaped abutments to better retain supporting fill in the future.

“The asphalt was lifted off the beams, the guardrail was shoved and pushed downstream and actually broken off the bridge structure, so you start to assess all of that damage and then you move forward with trying to make repairs,” VDOT Northern Virginia District Structure and Bridge Engineer Gary Runco said.

Swinks Mill Road should reopen by the end of September, but could reopen earlier if everything goes smoothly, Runco said.

There is no timeline yet for permanent repairs to a bridge and the roadway of Kirby Road.

“Little Pimmit Run came up and out of its banks, and basically relocated itself over into the middle of the roadway on Kirby,” Runco said.

Construction plans are expected to include an attempt to put the creek back into its previous banks with new metal walls.

VDOT plans to contract out the Kirby Road repairs due to available crews and the scale of the project. Designs for the bridge upgrades could be completed by Friday afternoon, but a contract is not yet out for bids. It is expected to be issued soon on an emergency basis.

That contracting effort could lead to identifying an estimated completion date sometime next week.

Responding to criticism that VDOT has not acted quickly enough, Runco said road construction is not that simple.

A Virginia lawmaker criticized VDOT last week over repair work that could take months. But Runco said, “You don’t just plop a bridge in, you plan.”

For now, the Kirby Road bridge is open, if a bit nerve-wracking.

“The guardrail is not there and they’re driving directly on the beams … but we’re allowing that to occur because we know we have to get people in and out,” Runco said.

The county is also looking at relining a sewer while it is exposed by the washout.

Repairs to both bridges are meant to strengthen them with new concrete decks poured into the piles, but neither bridge will be raised or extended to address future floods.

“We try to balance having safety and also aesthetics and livability so that we’re not wiping out neighborhoods just to make sure that the water gets under the bridge,” Runco said.

Raising or extending a bridge could mean taking out homes on either side, and similar plans have faced pushback in places, such as Springvale Road and Hunter Mill Road over Difficult Run.

Other roads also remain closed or under repair due to flooding, including Princedale Road in Dale City, where a sinkhole swallowed a car in the days before the July 8 flooding.

The Northern Virginia District has about 350 bridges in need of some type of significant repair.


Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Northern Virginia could qualify for federal aid after July flash flooding

The devastating flash flooding that left people stranded on the roofs of their cars, washed out roads and flooded homes caused at least $14 million in damage in Fairfax County alone, but the county is optimistic a federal disaster declaration will be approved soon.

A disaster designation based on damage assessments in Arlington County would allow homeowners and businesses in Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax County to apply for low-interest federal loans beginning as soon as next week to help pay for repairs.

Fairfax County Emergency Management Coordinator Seamus Mooney expects the designation to be approved within the next two weeks.

The county estimates $2 million in its own costs for response and repairs, $6 million for the Virginia Department of Transportation, and has tallied around $7 million in reported damages to 277 homes and businesses, Mooney said Tuesday.

Fairfax County plans to waive permit fees for storm repairs.

While eligible people can apply online, an in-person application center is also planned at the Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library if federal approvals come through.

About five inches of rain fell in less than two hours in places including McLean and Vienna on July 8.

It was a scale of rainfall the storm water systems simply are not designed for, Fairfax County Department of Public Works head Randy Bartlett said.

Fairfax County Fire Rescue ran 56 swift water rescues between 8:20 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. While most roads that flooded were only closed temporarily, others saw more extensive damage. Prosperity Avenue was closed for a week after the storms; Swinks Mill Road and Kirby Road, even longer.

“We need to put pressure on VDOT. They’re telling us it’s going to be months before they get our road network back in place. That’s not acceptable. We don’t have an adequate network today,” Supervisor John Foust said.

Arlington and Alexandria have their own significant costs, largely tied to roadway problems.


Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Cleanup, closures continue after major flash flooding

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner, TysonsReporter.com, and republished with permission.

Around the Tysons area, work is underway to clean up and repair roads, parks and even a high school after severe flash flooding yesterday.

“Nearly 5 inches of rain fell on Fairfax County Monday morning — nearly a month’s worth of rain in just a few hours, overwhelming numerous parts of our public infrastructure,” according to Fairfax County.

McLean High School had two hallways flooded along with the athletic locker rooms and coaches’ offices, Ellen Reilly, the principal of the high school, told Tysons Reporter, adding that Fairfax County Public Schools assessed the school today (July 9) to make sure that all of the areas were safe.

“Custodial staff worked throughout the day pumping out the water from the locker rooms and the carpets will be shampooed once everything dries out,” Reilly said.

The staff received a shout out on the high school’s Twitter:

Kirby Road will continue to be closed in McLean for several weeks as crews work to repair extensive damage.

The Fairfax County Park Authority said this morning that several parks in the Tysons area are closed as park teams assess the damage, including the west parking lot at Scott’s Run and bridge at Lewinsville Park.

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