Washington Boulevard (Arlington)

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Washington Boulevard is a road in Arlington County, Virginia. It begins as a highway, connecting the George Washington Memorial Parkway and Arlington Memorial Bridge (into Washington, D.C.) with Interstate 395, running past The Pentagon and Arlington National Cemetery. It then extends north and west from I-395, crossing Columbia Pike, passing alongside Fort Myer, and connecting with Arlington Boulevard. From there, Washington Boulevard continues north as an arterial road and crosses Wilson Boulevard in the Clarendon neighborhood. It continues west, passing just north of Ballston, then crosses Interstate 66 and ends near Falls Church where it joins I-66.

The Washington Metro stations directly along Washington Boulevard are East Falls Church and Clarendon. The Ballston and Virginia Square stations are located two blocks from Washington Boulevard.

Washington Boulevard is part of the Pentagon road network. The portion of Washington Boulevard east and south of Arlington Boulevard was designated State Route 27 when it was transferred to the Virginia Department of Highways on December 17, 1964.

Incidents[edit]

September 11 attacks[edit]

On September 11, 2001, many commuters and drivers witnessed the hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 as it passed directly over Washington Boulevard and crashed into The Pentagon. Witnesses included Daryl Donley and Steve Riskus, both who took some of the first photographs after the plane crashed.[1] As the plane passed over Washington Boulevard, it clipped several light poles; one light pole landed on the windshield of a taxicab driven by Lloyd England. That section of Washington Boulevard was closed for several weeks following the attacks.[2]

Other incidents[edit]

At 3:40 a.m. on December 22, 2004, a tank truck overturned and exploded on Washington Boulevard at the interchange with I-395, near the Pentagon. The accident killed the driver, and sparked initial concerns that this explosion was another terrorist attack. The driver was headed to the Citgo gas station, near the Pentagon.[3]

Construction projects[edit]

Plans to renovate the bridge where Washington Boulevard passes over Columbia Pike were put on the drawing board in 1990.[4] The bridge dates from the 1940s. In 2001, public meetings were held and plans drawn up.[4] Under budget constraints, plans for the bridge were scaled down.[4] In March 2005, new plans were put forth, which lacked new bicycle paths and other touches, but would reconfigure the interchange with the goal of easing traffic congestion. [4] Construction is slated to begin in 2012 with expected completion in 2015. [5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wheeler, Gary (September 11, 2001). "Witnesses: Airplane hit the Pentagon hard". Gannett News Service. 
  2. ^ Washington, Adrienne T. (October 5, 2001). "Reopening airport helps; now let's aid the displaced". Washington Times. 
  3. ^ Jackman, Tom (December 23, 2004). "Gas Truck Driver Dies in Fiery Va. Wreck". The Washington Post. 
  4. ^ a b c d Schulte, Brigid (March 3, 2005). "New Life for Bridge's Renovation". The Washington Post. 
  5. ^ "Route 27/244 Interchange". Virginia Department of Transportation. Retrieved June 22, 2011.