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Dr. Gridlock
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Posted at 05:59 AM ET, 06/17/2011

Roads reopen after suspicious vehicle near Pentagon

11 A.M. Update: Arlington County reports that all roads around the Pentagon and Arlington National Cemetery, including Washington Boulevard, have reopened.

10:25 A.M. Update: Metro says that bus service to the Pentagon has been restored.

10:15 A.M. Update: Be alert for blocked streets in Alexandria around Sage Drive and Schurtz Streetdue to a police investigation, which is reportedly associated with the events at the Pentagom.

10:10 A.M. Update: Arlington National Cemetery reports that it is open, and funeral services are being conducted as scheduled. For more information, call 1-877-907-8585.

Washington Boulevard remains closed.

9:45 A.M. Update:

Route 110 has reopened in Arlington County.

Another news conference just wrapped up, adding a few details to this morning’s situation: The vehicle was a red 2011 Nissan, according to the FBI. An individual was taken into custody with a backpack that contained non-explosive unknown material (not a device, but products that were inert). The suspect is believed to be in his 20s and is believed to have been acting alone.

9:25 A.M. Update:

Things remain the same near the Pentagon right now. Roads remain closed in the surrounding vicinity, and the congestion on I-395 North remains the same.

If you need an alternate route and I-66 East works for you, I’d recommend heading that way. Traffic is relatively light heading by Rosslyn and to the Teddy Roosevelt Bridge.

9 A.M. Update:

The commuting nightmare on I-395 North remains, with traffic backed up from Edsall Road all the way to the 14th Street Bridge. (And once you make it onto the bridge and out of Virginia, it doesn’t get much better: traffic is crawling up 14th Street as you head towards the Mall.)

8:45 A.M. Update:

Arlington National Cemetery was closed earlier this morning while authorities investigated suspicious activity at the cemetery, according to cemetery spokeswoman Jennifer Lynch. It reopened shortly before 8:30 a.m.

8:40 A.M. Update:

Traffic remains a nightmare on I-395 North, with closures continuing to wreak havoc on commuters on this major artery.

Meanwhile, if you’re in Northern Virginia and trying to get into Washington: I-66 East is also heavily backed up, with traffic crawling in the Rosslyn tunnel. Key Bridge is actually moving better than you might expect, so head there if you need to get into Washington.

8:35 A.M. Update:

The press conference has wrapped up, but there wasn’t a significant amount of new information. One person in custody; the person was found in Arlington Cemetery overnight and led them to the vehicle near the Pentagon. That led to road closures. No timetable yet on when roads might reopen.

8:30 A.M. Update:

There is a press conference right now, and we will have more information shortly.

8:20 A.M. Update:

Rail service at the Pentagon station is operating normally this morning and ridership is up because of the situation, said Dan Stessel, a Metro spokesman.

He said there are bus bays at the Pentagon that are open “but getting to them is nearly impossible.”

Buses that normally operate to or from the Pentagon are being rerouted to the Pentagon City Metro stop, he said.

Dana Hedgpeth

8:10 A.M. Update:

In case you’re just checking in on the situation now, here’s what we know so far this morning:

A suspicious vehicle on Washington Boulevard near the Pentagon is causing major road closures this morning.

Washington Boulevard remains shut down in that area and the ramps to and from I-395 are also closed, causing major delays and backups. I-395 North is heavily backed up the entire way from the Springfield Interchange to the 14th Street Bridge. Avoid it if possible.

A person was taken into custody this morning, while NBC News is reporting that a “suspicious device” was found in the car. NBC News is also reporting that one or two other people fled the scene on foot.

Meanwhile, CBS News is reporting that the person in custody is suspected of placing suspicious devices around the Pentagon, Arlington National Cemetery and Iwo Jima Memorial.

Metro rail service is unaffected, but buses are going to be delayed and detoured, according to the rail agency. Arlington Transit buses that head through this area are also going to be detoured.

7:45 A.M. Update:

The backups on I-395 North now stretch from the 14th Street Bridge all the way back to the Springfield Interchange. Traffic on the interchange itself doesn’t appear to be too jammed up, which is good news for commuters trying to use alternate routes to avoid I-395.

Traffic is barely moving on I-395 North next to the Pentagon. Again, avoid this area if at all possible.

ART buses 42 and 87 may need to detour to Pentagon City, according to Arlington Transit.

7:20 A.M. Update:

NBC News is reporting that Pentagon police took one person into custody due to a suspicious device in his car, and that police are searching for one or two additional people who fled on foot when police stopped their vehicle. We will obviously update this as soon as we can.

I-395 North resembles a parking lot near the Pentagon right now, and traffic is also crawling on some of the impacted roads. (For instance, eastbound Columbia Pike, which heads towards Washington Boulevard and the closures, is in­cred­ibly slow.)

The delays continue once you cross the 14th Street Bridge, with traffic heading north into Washington moving very slowly just north of the bridge.

7:05 A.M. Update:

I-395 North is heavily backed up as far south as King Street right now. If you haven’t already left, avoid I-395 North if possible because the traffic is badly snarled.

6:50 A.M. Update:

As you might imagine, the road closures are causing some backups and congestion in the vicinity of the Pentagon. I-395 North is pretty sluggish approaching Washington Boulevard, while southbound traffic is also pretty slow in the same area.

There are also some delays further south because of an accident on northbound I-395 (blocking the center lane and right lane), so commuters heading north in that area might hit similar traffic due to that.

6:35 A.M. Update:

The police activity near the Pentagon is going to impact bus service (causing delays and detours), but rail service will operate normally, according to Metro.

6:30 A.M. Update:

Washington Boulevard is closed between Route 110 and Columbia Pike near the Pentagon as officers investigate a report of a suspicious vehicle in the area, said Arlington County police spokeswoman Crystal Nosal.

Major roads remain closed around the Pentagon, including Washington Boulevard, Route 110 and all ramps to and from I-395 near the Pentagon.

Justin Jouvenal

6:20 A.M. Update:

The right lane of I-66 East has reopened at the Beltway, but the shoulder remains blocked.

6:05 A.M. Update:

Multiple major roads are closed near the Pentagon this morning due to an ongoing investigation, according to WTOP.

The closures include Route 27 around the Pentagon, Route 110 around the Pentagon, all ramps to and from I-395 near the Pentagon and eastbound I-66 to Route 110.

Original Post:

Good morning, commuters! We’ll be keeping tabs on any headaches, issues or problems we hear about on the roads this morning. Let us know anything you see out there — tell us in the comments below or via Twitter (@DrGridlock).

So far:

An accident on I-66 East at the Beltway is blocking the right lane and right shoulder.

The east and west exit ramps from Leesburg Pike to the inner loop of the Beltway are closed.

Washington Boulevard, not Arlington Boulevard as the county initially reported, has been shut down near the Pentagon due to police activity, according to the county’s alert system. Drivers are warned to expect major delays and seek other routes during the morning commute.

By  |  05:59 AM ET, 06/17/2011

Categories:  Northern Virginia

 
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