Construction — and more congestion — could be coming to GW Parkway

MCLEAN, Va. — There’s no timeline yet for when the pain is coming, but rehabilitation plans are being finalized for the north end of the George Washington Parkway, and construction will cause congestion.

“Your commute will be impacted,” said GW Parkway ranger Aaron LaRocca. “We’re giving great care and attention to make sure your commute is impacted as little as possible.”

The parkway hasn’t undergone any significant changes since it was built in the 1960s. In addition to being a national park, it’s a significant commuter route for 33 million roadway users a year.

The planned rehab project focuses on the area between Spout Run and the Capital Beltway to the north. It will include work on two scenic overlooks, curbs, pavement and stormwater management.

“We’re giving great care and attention to make sure your commute is impacted as little as possible,” said ranger Aaron LaRocca. (WTOP/Kristi King)

Parts of the proposed project that are most likely to affect drivers involve improvements related to safety.

Entrance and exit lanes at some interchanges will be lengthened. The parkway interchange with Virginia Route 123 will be reconfigured to make it safer for traffic merging on and off the parkway, and on and off 123.

The parkway follows the Potomac River, and steep ravines line the space between the road and the water.

Upgrades will be done on the historic low stone walls that act as guard rails. “In keeping with the historic design, but also meeting today’s highway safety standards,” LaRocca added.

So, when will this all happen?

“The project is unfunded, so we don’t have a start date yet,” LaRocca said. “This is the completion of the planning phase of the project.”

The National Park Service wants to hear what drivers think. You can submit comments through July 14 on the park service’s website or by mail at the address below:

Attn: Superintendent
George Washington Memorial Parkway
c/o Turkey Run Park
700 George Washington Memorial Parkway
McLean, Virginia 22101

Kristi King

Kristi King is a veteran reporter who has been working in the WTOP newsroom since 1990. She covers everything from breaking news to consumer concerns and the latest medical developments.

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