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More than 22,000 people looking forward to running in the Marine Corps Marathon will need to find something else to do that weekend or participate in a virtual event.

The Marine Corps Marathon today announced it canceled all events associated with the Marine Corps Marathon Weekend, Friday, October 29 to Sunday, October 31. That includes the signature 10K and 50K marathon events in Arlington, which draws tens of thousands of people each year from across the U.S. to our region.

Officials said that a virtual event would be held instead of an in-person race due to safety precautions, officials said. Race organizers did not mention the coronavirus as the reason for the cancelation.

“Although we were not able to conduct a live event for 2021, we trust that each of you understands that safety for you and our great support team took priority,” stated Col. Micheal C. Brooks, Quantico Marine Corps Base commanding officer, in a press release.

A total of 22,000 people signed up to participate in the event’s weekend, as more than half of those signed up to compete in the in-person run. Those who paid the entry fee to participate in the 10K and 50K runs will receive their registration fee refunded, or they may defer their entry to next year’s 2022 race at no additional cost.

Last year, the marathon was held virtually and attracted nearly 20,800 people. In 2019, more than 26,500 participated in both the marathon and weekend events leading up to the race.

The Marine Corps Marathon is one of multiple events in the race series. The Historic Half takes place in May, where runners race through Hospital Hill at Quantico Marine Corps Base.

The Marine Corps 17.75K, which celebrates the year the Marine Corps was founded in 1775, is held each year in March. Runners, again, traditionally travel around Quanitco Marine Corps Base.

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The Northern Virginia Transportation Commission is looking into improving transportation accessibility between the Marine Corps Base and Springfield, the terminus of Metro’s blue line.

The study known as the Springfield to Quantico Enhance Transportation Feasibility Study is currently being conducted by the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation. The study, which began in September 2020, is looking into transportation options that would run through the corridor between the Franconia-Springfield Metro station and Quantico.

Virginia Railway Express (VRE) already serves the base with a commuter rail stop. The commuter rail system is already undergoing a major expansion that will bring more trains to the corridor, between Fredericksburg and Washington, D.C., and possible commuter rail service on weekends.

The study was the result of an amendment in the approval of DRPT’s 2020 budget made by the Virginia General Assembly. The amount that was budgeted to the department for FY 2020 was $730.5 million.

The different possibilities that the study has looked into include options such as additional express bus service, increased commuter rail service levels from the Virginia Railway Express, Bus Rapid Transit, and a possible extension of Metrorail.

The study is also looking into planned land use as well as identifying possible locations for new stations and opportunities for development. Information provided by the study’s webpage estimates that the study area’s population will grow by 24% or by roughly 550,000 by the year 2045. Jobs in the same area are estimated to grow by 34% to a total of 270,000 by the same year.

The DRPT is currently conducting a public online survey about transportation in the area covered by the study which will close on May 17. The final results of the study are expected to be presented to the General Assembly by Dec. 1.

In addition, the DRPT has also been gathering information from local governments such as those of Fairfax and Prince William Counties, transportation organizations such as the VRE and Metro, as well as the U.S. Department of Defense.

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Construction crews are gearing up to repair Russell Road, at the entrance to Quantico Marine Corps Base.

A Prince William County spokeswoman writes PLN:

The work to be done at Russell Rd. is really two different projects. As you enter the base on the right side, there is a slumping of soil happening due to water infiltration and bad soil. This slumping is occurring near the road elevation.

This area will be excavated in several different steps down the slope and new material placed back. The guardrail will be removed and if asphalt needs to be milled due to undermining, it will be milled and replaced. Guardrail will be placed back in the new soil and the road striped if necessary. The new soil will be hydroseeded to stabilize from any further erosion.

The left side of the road has a failing corrugated metal pipe causing a sinkhole. This will be replaced with the same size pipe, however it will be a 0.50” thick steel casing pipe. The new pipe will be bored under the road to avoid open excavation due to depth and traffic issues. Upon installation of the new pipe, the old pipe will be filled with cement and properly abandoned and the sinkhole on the left side of the road will be filled with new soil. New headwalls will be placed on the pipe and all disturbed areas will be hydroseeded.

The work will start within the next few weeks with an authorized task order from the Marine Core Base Quantico.

The work comes as the county has inked a new agreement with the Marine Corps Base to maintain some of its roads.

Prince William County penned some of the details of that agreement in a press release:

The agreement will allow the county to work on drainage and road projects on the base. “This is why this agreement was necessary,” said Tom Smith, the director of the Prince William County Department of Public Works. “This is the mechanism and means to get this done. Quantico approached us and said they would be willing to enter into this agreement. This is an umbrella agreement where, anytime they need some work that we believe is a public benefit, and we have time to do it, they can ask us to give them a price. If everything works out, we would go in and do the work for them.”

Traffic problems at the base can spill out into the community. “We’re bringing about 25,000 people aboard the base every day,” said Marine Corps Base Quantico Base Commander Col. Will Bentley. “Any problem with one of the two main side entrances, for any period of time, will cause a backup out onto I-95, and onto Route 1, so the impact is felt throughout Prince William County. This is really about partnership in particular. We’re part of the neighborhood. Our roads impact Prince William County. People do use the base—people who live out in the town and people who come on the base and even use the base as a transportation mode to get in and around traffic on I-95.”

The base will reimburse the County for the cost to make the repairs to Russell Road and any other future projects.

 

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The Marine Corps Heritage Foundation is offering a spring break scavenger hunt.

Participants will have the chance to explore the Semper Fidelis Memorial Park, on the grounds of the National Museum of the Marine Corps at Quantico, and safely enjoy the spring weather while learning about the history of the Marine Corps.

Participants can find scavenger hunt directions, clues, and information on how to submit photo proofs online. All who complete the scavenger hunt may enter a lottery to win a special Marine-themed prize package.

Semper Fidelis Memorial Park is a space dedicated to history, remembrance, and reflection. The park features over a mile of trails, monuments, memorials, and the award-winning Semper Fidelis Memorial Chapel. Due to current federal and state guidance on coronavirus, social distancing is encouraged on Park grounds.

Participants can enter the lottery beginning March 29, 2021 through April 30, 2021.

The National Museum of the Marine Corps and Semper Fidelis Memorial Park are located at 18900 Jefferson Davis Highway in Triangle.

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Good news for commuters: the Joplin Road bridge over Quantico Creek will reopen to through traffic on Friday, April 2, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

The bridge was completely rebuilt after historic flooding on Aug. 13 required its closure.

The flood was the highest peak flow that the United State Geological Survey (USGS) gauge adjacent to the bridge had seen in its 69-year existence- classifying it as between a 100 and 200-year event.

Lane Construction was awarded a $932,000 emergency contract for repairs. The work included undergrounding of NOVEC power lines, as well as:

  • Removal of the center pier
  • Construction of new abutments, wing walls, and parapets
  • Replacement of bridge beams and bridge deck (superstructure)
  • Repair of bridge asphalt approaches
  • Installation of new guardrail

Joplin Road is a popular bypass that links Interstate 95 at Quantico Marine Corps Base with Route 234 at Independent Hill, the location of the Prince William County Public Schools headquarters.

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A woman who lost control of her vehicle outside the main gate of Quantico Marine Corps Base was killed in a car crash.

Police said the crash occurred at 10:20 a.m. in the area of Fuller Heights and Old Triangle roads.

The investigation revealed that the driver of a 2016 Ford Focus was traveling east on Fuller Heights Rd, approaching Old Triangle Rd, when the driver began to lose control of the vehicle.

At one point, the vehicle left the roadway, striking two trees before coming to rest. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene. There were no other occupants in the vehicle.

Skye Elizabeth Richardson, 27, of Woodbridge, was pronounced dead on the scene.

On March 5,  a construction worker was injured when the the steamroller he was driving overturned in the same area. Investigations into both incidents are ongoing, police tell us.

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