Sunday crash sent driver to hospital, knocked out power for 3 hours

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A one-car accident on Richmond Highway yesterday afternoon damaged power lines, closing the road in both directions and causing a nearly three-hour power outage for some nearby residents.

Police say the driver of a Honda Civic sedan was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries after the vehicle hit a utility pole in the 8300 block, near the intersection with Maury Place.

The crash, which happened shortly after 2 p.m., damaged power lines and closed Route 1 in both directions. Traffic was temporarily routed onto side streets, causing major delays for drivers going either way.

Crews from Dominion Virginia Power responded to the scene, and police were able to open both southbound lanes and one northbound line around 3:30 p.m.

Repair work lasted until around 5:30 p.m., and power was out for as many as 1,202 customers as service was restored incrementally during that time, according to Dominion. 

Recurring problem

Sunday’s accident marked the second time in less than three months that an accident on the highway knocked out power. On Jan. 20 an crash on Route 1 in the Huntington area brought down a pole and caused enough damage to keep power out for some residents until the following afternoon. 

In August 2016, another accident closed Richmond Highway in both directions during the morning rush hour. That accident happened a few blocks south of where Sunday’s crash was. 

State Sen. Scott Surovell (D-36) tweeted Sunday about the need for underground utilities along the highway:

 

Surovell, along with Del. Paul Krizek (D-44) and Supervisor Dan Storck (D-Mount Vernon), wrote an 0p-ed in Sept. 2016 calling for underground utilities along Route 1 as part of the Embark Richmond Highway initiative. The writers said that although undergrounding utilities for all of Richmond Highway would cost around $200 million, the task could be accomplished through a mix of state and regional transportation project funding, economic development bonds and appropriations from the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors that would “further leverage private sector development dollars with the large state transportation investments.”

“Our present-day mid-20th century highway and transit systems require public and private investments to create the revitalized 21st century ‘Main Street’ our Richmond Highway corridor needs to become,” the op-ed stated. “We cannot afford not to make these investments and improvements. Now is the time to bring all these resources together for the Richmond Highway Corridor.”

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