- The Washington Times - Friday, November 27, 2009



Parkway guardrails to be replaced

Old-fashioned all-wood guardrails along more than half the 460-mile Blue Ridge Parkway aren’t much use at stopping cars.

Mike Molling, chief of maintenance and engineering for the parkway, said the older rails can’t stop a car moving at 45 mph and that many are too low to the ground to be effective at all.

A $7 million replacement project three years in the making will start next month and should wrap up by June 2011.

Mr. Molling said the new rails are made of steel-backed timber and can hold back cars traveling at the speed limit.


Kaine predicts tribes recognition

Gov. Tim Kaine said he thinks six Virginia Indian tribes can win federal recognition before he leaves office in January.

Mr. Kaine made the prediction Wednesday in Richmond while receiving an offering of wild game from the tribes. The tradition dates back to a peace treaty signed in Virginia in 1677.

About 200 people, including members of the tribes in traditional attire, attended the ceremony.

Mr. Kaine testified before Congress this year on behalf of the six tribes, which have about 3,000 members. Seeking recognition are the Eastern Chickahominy, Chickahominy, Upper Mattaponi, Rappahannock, Monacan and Nansemond tribes.

A bill granting recognition has cleared the U.S. House of Representatives and been approved by a Senate committee.


Broken main repairs near completion

Arlington County officials said Thursday that repairs to a water main that ruptured Monday were expected to be completed by the end of Thursday.

Crews had been working around the clock to repair the 36-inch water main.

On Wednesday, one worker was fatally shocked and another seriously injured when their equipment touched a power line at the site near North Glebe Road and Old Glebe Road.

County spokeswoman Diana Sun said all sections of the water pipe have been repaired. Officials expected it to be filled and re-pressurized by late Thursday.



Traffic tool testing begins next week

The State Highway Administration will begin testing next week to help motorists move to reduced lanes more safely.

Variable Speed Advisory technology permits lane merges without sudden stops or backups. It will be tested for five weeks.

Using roadside sensors, speed trailers and vehicle recognition software, SHA will gather information to determine whether giving advisory speeds and travel time information helps reduce congestion.

The test will be conducted on two miles of westbound MD 100 between MD 713 and Coca Cola Drive.

The $70,000 project will be completed with the University of Maryland’s Traffic Safety and Operations lab.


Streets to close for Pollin funeral

Some streets in Northwest Washington will be closed Friday morning for the funeral of Washington Wizards owner Abe Pollin.

The funeral services are scheduled for 11:30 a.m. at Washington Hebrew Congregation. Mr. Pollin died Tuesday. He was 85.

D.C. police said Macomb Street will be closed near the synagogue between Massachusetts and Idaho avenues. Also, 39th Street will be closed between Massachusetts Avenue and Newark Street.

A public memorial service will be held Dec. 8 at the Verizon Center. Mr. Pollin built the arena, spurring development in a blighted section of downtown Washington.

Ceiling cracks found in Metro station

Cracks have been discovered in the ceiling of the Farragut North Metro station in downtown Washington.

Inspectors removed loose concrete tile in the ceiling Tuesday and found a 15-foot by 4-foot crack.

Further inspection uncovered more small cracks, including one that stretches from the platform onto the tracks.

Transit officials said Wednesday that a work zone including scaffolding had been set up to make repairs during the Thanksgiving holiday, late at night and on the weekends. Officials expect the work to take two weeks.

Inspectors are investigating whether a 27-inch sewer pipe above the crack may be leaking and causing the ceiling damage.

Dense fog delays airport arrivals

Dense fog delayed some flights heading to the Washington and Baltimore areas for Thanksgiving.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the fog prompted a ground stop for flights arriving Thursday morning at all three Washington-area airports. Departing flights were apparently not affected. The FAA lifted its ground stop by 10:30 a.m.

A spokesman for Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport said the fog cleared enough by 8 a.m. to allow some flights to land. Delays continued after that at Washington Dulles International Airport and at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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