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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

New, higher wall separates North Springfield Elementary from beltway

North Springfield Elementary School is literally a stone’s throw from the Capitol Beltway. Local government leaders and neighborhood groups worked with VDOT and the companies in charge of the HOT lanes project, Transurban and Fluor, to install a higher wall between the school (at 7602 Heming Court) and the beltway.

State Del. Vivian Watts; Braddock District Supervisor John Cook; Larry Cloyed, VDOT’s manager for the HOT lanes project; officials from Transurban and Fluor; school board member Tessie Wilson; North Springfield Principal Alice Alexander, and members of the school’s student government took part in a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new sound wall Wednesday afternoon.

The new, concrete, sound absorptive wall is eight or nine feet tall, depending on the terrain, and extends across the length of the school property. The old wall was six feet high, the standard required by VDOT. Local government officials and community groups worked with VDOT to exceed those standards to allow a higher wall to provide a safer, quieter environment for North Springfield students. Watts said she wasn’t comfortable with the height of the old wall and was concerned that “some kid is going to climb over.”

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