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Northern Section of GW Memorial Parkway to Undergo $161M Renovation

July 19, 2022 by Dan McCue
The National Park Service, Federal Highway Administration, and federal and local elected leaders participated in a ceremonial groundbreaking for the rehabilitation of the northern section of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. From left to right: George Washington Memorial Parkway Superintendent Charles Cuvelier; Fairfax County Supervisor John Foust; Noah Simon for Representative Don Beyer; National Park Service Regional Director Kym Hall; Senator Tim Kaine; Associate Administrator for Federal Lands, Federal Highway Administration Tim Hess; National Park Service Director Chuck Sams; Senator Mark Warner; Representative Gerry Connolly; Representative Jennifer Wexton; Eastern Federal Lands Division Director, Federal Highway Administration Monique Evans; Jennifer Madello, Division Manager, Park Facility Management Division. (NPS Photo)

WASHINGTON — Interior Secretary Deb Haaland was among the officials who took part in a ceremonial groundbreaking Monday for the $161 million renovation of the northern section of George Washington Memorial Parkway.

The project is one of the largest infrastructure investments in the country to date funded by the Great American Outdoors Act, which was passed last year as part of the bipartisan infrastructure law.

The funding is specifically intended to support deferred maintenance on projects on federal lands.

The George Washington Memorial Parkway is managed by the National Park Service and serves more than 70,000 vehicles per day, connecting people who live in the northern suburbs of Virginia with Washington, D.C.

The northern section of the parkway — from Spout Run to Interstate 495 — is the busiest section of parkway and serves about 26 million drivers annually. 

But the scenic road is more than just a parkway, according to National Park Service Director Chuck Sams.

“It connects millions of visitors with places to learn, play and relax just outside our nation’s capital,” he said.

A portion of the northern section of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. (NPS Photo)

The parkway will be rehabilitated in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration, with construction expected to start this August. 

“This historic investment in the parkway will improve visitor safety, preserve the road’s historic design and ensure that future generations can use and enjoy this scenic roadway,” Haaland said at the groundbreaking. 

“Through investments from the Great American Outdoors Act, President Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure law, and other construction funding sources, the Biden-Harris administration is demonstrating our concerted effort to address extensive deferred maintenance and repairs that will support good-paying jobs, safeguard the environment and help ensure that we are ready to meet the challenges of climate change.”

This project is the first rehabilitation in this section of parkway since it was completed in 1962. The project includes replacing the asphalt pavement and roadway drainage system, redesigning portions of the Route 123 interchange, repairing stormwater management systems and lengthening entrance and exit lanes at some interchanges, while retaining and reviving the historic beauty and significance of the parkway.  

Construction on the George Washington Memorial Parkway will occur in phases beginning with temporary road widening in the median along the northbound travel lanes and on two bridges between Route 123 and Spout Run. Construction will impact drivers and park visitors for the duration of the rehabilitation.

A minimum of one lane of traffic in each direction will remain open at all times. The project is anticipated to be completed in late 2025. 

The National Park Service will host a public meeting on July 28, 2022, at 7 p.m. to share an overview of the project and answer any questions. 

Information about the project and how to join the meeting can be found here.

Dan can be reached at dan@thewellnews.com and @DanMcCue

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