On Friday, August 25, Arlington County
ripped up the small green area at 6th and South Garfield Streets
to install a new water main to connect the 500 and 600 blocks of
South Garfield Street.
County staff told AHCA that they planned to replace the rippled asphalt path through the "secret passageway" and pre-positioned water pipes, but County staff did NOT tell AHCA that they would destroy the small green area to put in the new water main. They leveled the green area and destroyed a forsythia, but they left intact the big blue spruce.
Jon Hansen took digital photos of the destruction. <PHOTO (100K)> <PHOTO (100K)
County Board chair Barbara Favola responded to AHCA's complaint about the lack of notice, as follows.
ARLINGTON COUNTY, VIRGINIA
OFFICE OF THE COUNTY BOARD
TO: Mr. Jay Wind, President, Arlington Heights Civic Association
Dear Mr. Wind:
I am following-up on your email regarding a Department of Public Works' project on South 6th Street. I am sorry you felt there was not enough advanced notification to the Arlington Heights Civic Association.
Please find enclosed a copy of the report I requested from the County Manager on the matter. It explains why the scope of the project was expanded in order to improve service to the community. I was pleased to read that you and others in the community will work with County staff to develop a landscaping plan. I am confident the area will be restored and even enhanced by your efforts.
Thank you for bringing your concerns to the Board's attention.
Barbara A. Favola, Chairman
ARLINGTON COUNTY, VIRGINIA
From: William T. Donahue, County Manager
Staff was in regular contact with Mr. Jim Gill, the NC representative from Arlington Heights, regarding this project and its progress from design through construction. In fact Mr. Gill worked with the Department of Public Works (DPW) to get the asphalt sidewalk portion of the overall project to move forward a month in advance of the concrete and utility work. Mr. Wind had been apprised of the upcoming work just one or two weeks prior to commencement when he ran into Mr. David Hundelt of the Water, Sewer and Streets Division of DPW at another project site who told him of the impending work.
The original project was to replace a narrow, dilapidated asphalt walk through a piece of County property that separates the dead end of South Garfield Street from 6th Street South. During design of this small project, a water main was added to eliminate a dead end main in South Garfield Street and a sewer manhole was planned at the end of Garfield Street to provide access to the end of the sewer main. While these additions set back the timetable for construction, they did little to change the design of the sidewalk.
Unfortunately it was not possible to replace the existing narrow asphalt path through this site with a wider, concrete sidewalk without impacting some of the vegetation on the site. In order to minimize the disruption to the trees and shrubs closer to the adjoining properties, an alignment for the walk and water main was chosen through the center of the property. This meant the loss of a sizable forsythia bush, but spared larger trees and shrubs to the east and west of this alignment.
Staff is available to work with members of the community to determine appropriate plantings to replace the lost vegetation. It is our understanding that there are master gardeners in the community who might be available to suggest a modest landscaping plan and that property owners adjacent to the project are also interested in participating in the decision making process. The civic association has already contacted Mr. Jim Allen at 703-228-3547 and Mr. David Hundelt at 703-228-6539 to begin such a process. They anticipate working with Mr. Wind and a small group of interested neighbors to re-plant the area this fall.
Mr. Wind has expressed a desire to be e-mailed the Board's response in addition to or in lieu of a traditional letter as he desires to share the answers to his questions with a group e-mail list of some 170 Arlington Heights Civic Association members.