Arlington’s Most Wanted Road Repairs

Vault cover on Wilson Blvd Vault cover on Wilson Blvd Vault cover on Wilson Blvd Vault cover on Wilson Blvd Vault cover on Wilson Blvd Patched-up section of road on Columbia Pike Patched-up section of road on Columbia Pike Patched-up section of road on Columbia Pike

Like so many spring flowers, the post-winter warm-up brings a multitude of potholes to local streets. While there’s no shortage of bumps, holes and cracks along local roads, two road hazards in particular are frustrating drivers and residents in Arlington right now.

On Wilson Boulevard in Ballston, in the westbound lanes just past N. Randolph Street, a steel utility vault cover continues to produce a bumpy ride and plenty of noise.

We reported about the vault cover last month, after complaints from local residents. The steel plates produced jarring bumps for vehicles, and the booming sound of cars running over the plates annoyed those who lived nearby. Since our report, which suggested that repairs would be made by the end of March, the steel plates were lowered “to create a more even roadway for drivers,” according to Arlington County spokeswoman Laura G. Smith.

The problem is by no means fixed, however. An anonymous local apartment dweller complained that the noise is still “incredibly loud,” and now there are several large screws protruding from the vault.

To fix the issues once and for all, Avalon Bay, the apartment owner that’s responsible for the upkeep of the utility vault, will replace the plates with new concrete vault covers. The covers are expected to be installed “within the next few weeks, depending material delivery time,” Smith said.

Meanwhile, two sets of concrete vault covers adjacent to the cover that’s being replaced are falling into disrepair. Those “may be replaced at some point,” Smith said.

The vault cover in Ballston is not the only road hazard that’s drawing the ire of motorists. On eastbound Columbia Pike near the Sheraton hotel, a sharp change in pavement height in the righthand lane is giving drivers a rude awakening.

It might not look like much, but the tail end of a patched-up section of road produces a sudden, jarring bump for drivers, especially those driving smaller cars. No word yet on when repairs might be made.

Arlington residents can report potholes using this form.


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