By July, commuters driving on Wilson Boulevard will face some road realignment and see the beginning of work on a major office complex -- two more projects that will eventually alter the commercial district around the Arlington Courthouse.
In the next phase of the street changes for the redevelopment of the Arlington Courthouse area, Wilson Boulevard between North Wayne Street and Uhle Street will be routed slightly to the north.
Arlington's department of public works engineer John Hummel said that the reconfiguration of Wilson Boulevard and eventually other nearby streets is "one of the more significant projects" for the county.
Wilson Boulevard's northward shift is tied to several other building projects in the area. This fact, and the heavy amount of traffic on the boulevard contribute to the difficulty of the street project, Hummel said.
"Because it's a primary road, we have to maintain four lanes of traffic. That's what makes it so difficult to accomplish," Hummel said.
The final phase of Wilson Boulevard's restructuring will yield three lanes for westbound traffic. Eastbound traffic will use the three lanes of North 15th Street now under construction. County officials said the street changes should be finished sometime in the summer of 1986.
Wilson Boulevard's new position also must be timed to allow the DeRand Investment Corp. of America to start excavation of its garage site beneath four lanes of the existing Wilson Boulevard.
After Arlington County roadworkers reposition the road, the DeRand Corp. will begin construction of an underground garage several hundred yards away, beneath the future intersection of North Veitch Street and the eastbound lane of Wilson Boulevard, according to the county's master plan for the area.
DeRand's 123-car garage is just the start of the corporation's plans to construct its 13-story headquarters between North Wayne Street and North Veitch Street.
That site is now occupied by King Arthur's Court Motel, which is owned by DeRand, and a county-owned building at the corner of North Veitch Street and Wilson Boulevard.
DeRand plans to incorporate the five-story motel into its new building so that none of the original will be seen, a process known as "reskinning a building," said DeRand spokesman Jim Audia.
The realigned section of Wilson Boulevard must also be in place for the spring 1986 opening of the first of three 12-story Colonial Place office towers now under construction.
The building's owner, a subsidiary of the Mobil Land Development Corp., can then begin a portion of an underground tunnel to the Courthouse Metro Station across the street, Hummel said.
The tunnel will run under the existing Uhle Street, and will be partly built by the county, he said.
To make way for the Wilson Boulevard detour and the DeRand headquarters, at least five businesses will have to vacate several county-owned buildings.
Those businesses are currently on a month-to-month lease with the county.
The Pizza Nostra Restaurant, Thursday's Restaurant, Groom Realty, Inc., the International Bartenders School, and Stone Photo Graphics are scheduled to move.
Those businesses are all located on Wilson Boulevard.
In mid-December the county sent the businesses notices to vacate within 90 days.
All the commercial tenants are eligible for relocation assistance from the county, officials said.