New Beltway Sound Wall Built at North Springfield Elementary School
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on Wednesday afternoon to celebrate the completion of of the wall
The Virginia Department of Transportation, along with partners Transurban-Fluor for the Capital Beltway HOT lanes, celebrated the completion of a new sound wall at North Springfield Elementary School with a ribbon cutting ceremony at the school on Wednesday afternoon.
"Sound wall construction is a major benefit of the Capital Beltway HOT lanes project," said Larry Cloyed, VDOT senior project manager for the Capital Beltway HOT lanes in the press release about the event. Cloyed said after the ribbon cutting that the benefits of the sound wall for the school and the community included security, safety and sound protection.
This is the third wall in front of the school. The new wall runs along the inner loop of I-495 and creates a wall which extends from Hemming Avenue all the way to Braddock Road in Annandale. It is three to six feet taller than the previous sound wall.
North Springfield Principal Alice Alexander and students from the school's student government participated in the ceremony along with Delegate Vivian Watts (D-39th), Braddock District Supervisor John Cook and officials from Transurban-Fluor.
"The North Springfield community is a special community. It's a community that's been in place for a long time. Its central identity is this elementary school," said Watts in her remarks before the ribbon cutting. "It really does matter what our home looks like as well as its protection and safety. This wall is an important symbol of that. It helps preserve that sense of community."
Watts said the sound wall creates a better learning environment for the students and also ensures their safety. Behind the wall is a previously erected black chain-link fence which VDOT and HOT lanes officials, along with Watts and others, agreed to keep.
Area Manager Jerry Brown and Cloyed estimated the project started around September and construction, which included tearing down the previous wall and erecting the new wall, took about two months. Much of the construction was done during school hours during the day.