|Article Prepared By Robert Michie
NMTC, Lee District
Last Reviewed: 17 February 2004
VDOT rendered the pedestrian underpass safe in December 2004 by removing the concrete shards shown in Photos 1 and 2.
In the early 1990's, Fairfax County built a pedestrian tunnel underneath the northbound I-495 slip ramp at South Van Dorn Street (see Tax Map 81-2). Ten years later, parts of the concrete framing of the tunnel are showing signs of wear and tear. This tunnel is identified as Structure #5018.
Exhibit 1: Map of Subject Area
Exposure to weather over ten years as well as vibration from traffic has cracked the concrete framing around the tunnel entrance. Although it is doubtful if the stability of the tunnel structure itself is in question, a concrete shard on the right side of the South entrance is going to fall soon. A better view of this crack is in Photo 2. In a worst-case scenario, it could hit a pedestrian.
The North entrance has another problem. Although on side of the tunnel frame shows the same stress cracks as on the south side, the retaining walls flanking the entrance show signs of leaning outward. The differences between the top and the bottom of the wall on the right side of the North entrance, for example, shows a lean of about 4 cm (1.5 inches).
Field Check 26 October 2004
These photographs show the wear and tear on the structure:
Have Fairfax County structural engineers check Structure # 5018 before freezing weather arrives.
Note: The structure was checked and the hazardous concrete shards were removed in December 2004.
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