Mother Nature has been Winning Lately
Originally published 5/14/16
An exceptionally wet spring has been frustrating for work crews hoping to finish this area’s largest infrastructure project by the end of May.
Certain types of work simply cannot be done in wet weather: excavating, compacting, grading, concrete-forming, and paving in particular. A 31 inch snow in January knocked out many weeks. Ten days of continual rain prior to Mother’s Day, and five rainy days since have brought work to a standstill. More rain is expected today. Even when the sun comes out, many days have to pass before the water table goes down sufficiently to resume.
Meanwhile we can all catch a glimpse of what will be as we cross at Echols Street. It is not hard now to imagine the new blacktop with yellow lines, the green grass along that new sidewalk, and traffic back to normal.
Things will go much faster now,” said site supervisor Luis Brandon of Vienna DPW. “The roadway itself will be the most visible, but actually the smallest part of this project.”
According to Brandon, there remains a gas routing detail at the Echols Street intersection, but this is expected to be completed soon. “We are all working for the earliest opening date.” The gas line relocation narrowed Echols Street to a single lane this week.
Dennis Johnson, who served Vienna for the last eight years as Director of Vienna’s Public Works Department, is retiring. Prior to this, he worked 34 years for the Arlington County Government, and retired as Chief of Engineering. Johnson postponed his retirement specifically to handle the Follin Lane Project. Deputy Director Michael Gallagher, was appointed acting director until Johnson’s successor is selected.