Cone Zone: Updates on D.C.-area work zones



Cone Zone: Updates on D.C.-area work zones

  • Exclusive: Closure of US 50 near Fair Oaks Mall imminent following pipe failure

    Posted by WTOP/Dave Dildine
    The failing metal pipe under Route 50 near Fair Oaks Mall will be replaced with precast concrete piping pictured. (Courtesy VDOT)

    A depression on U.S. Route 50 near Fair Oaks Mall has been deepening over the last week — and the Virginia Department of Transportation is taking steps to close part of the highway for emergency repairs.

    A full closure will likely be in place for day or two- by the end of the month.

    A large galvanized pipe is failing under the eastbound lanes between West Ox Road and Interstate 66. The metal pipe sends storm water from a retention pond on Fair Oaks Mall property under Route 50 into another pond along South Penderbrook Drive.

    Temporary asphalt was used to level the roadway within the past week,  but the right and center lanes continue to sag. An inspection on Monday revealed that the damage was more significant than first thought.

    On Tuesday morning, crews are set to begin excavating the corroded pipe and the soil and gravel surrounding it. A couple of right lanes are scheduled to be blocked into the afternoon hours. Steel plates will be used to cover the initial work site until the old pipe can be permanently replaced.

    The replacement project will likely require the complete closure of eastbound Route 50 between West Ox Road and I-66 during the last weekend of April, a plan that would be put into motion as early as 7 p.m. on Friday, April 26, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

    Specialty crews with VDOT, with expertise in large pipe projects and trench operations, have been tasked with fixing the failure that lies more than 10 feet below the driving surface.

    Similar pipe replacements have taken place in recent years on Stumptown Road in Lucketts, Virginia, as well as Wolftrap Road in Vienna and Miller Road in Oakton.

    The deficiencies of galvanized piping are well-known, and the material is no longer used regularly for large culverts. The new conduit under Route 50 will be made from 48 inch diameter, precast concrete piping.

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