Sinkhole repairs continue on northbound George Washington Memorial Parkway on Monday, and the lanes will remain closed until at least Monday afternoon.
The closure is between Va. 123/Chain Bridge Road and the Capital Beltway.
Traffic is being diverted at Va. 123/Chain Bridge Road.
The northbound lanes have been closed since road crews observed a sinkhole forming, but the National Park Service said that it is hoping to at least have one northbound lane open in time for Monday evening’s commute.
“The traffic pattern will probably be a little different Monday morning (and) Monday afternoon until the situation stabilizes. In times like this, when you have long-term closures, it usually takes a day or two for drivers to adjust,” WTOP traffic reporter Dave Dildine said.
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With regular GW Parkway users having to find other ways to get where they need to go, alternate routes will experience heavier volume.
“During the morning rush hours, you can’t go outbound on Canal Road and Clara Barton (Parkway) and so George Washington Parkway is the way that some northbound drivers go. But in this case, they won’t be able to go any farther than 123. So those drivers are going to have to find another way as well,” Dildine said.
Drivers can expect denser traffic on westbound Interstate 66, with drivers bailing out on Spout Run, he said.
“It’s (also) likely that traffic will be somewhat slower on (Virginia state route) 123 toward Chain Bridge and through McLean. Apart from that, it’s hard to say exactly what the impacts will be. There could be other incidents that factor in,” he said.
If the park service does open one lane in time for the afternoon rush, Dildine said drivers should still expect a sluggish drive.
“You know the northbound lanes are going to be blocked to some extent, you know that traffic is likely to be heavier as it diverts, but at least you have the opportunity to think of another plan, go another way.”
The most significant impact is likely during the afternoon rush hour, whether NPS opens a northbound lane or not, because there’s more traffic headed that way during the afternoon rush, Dildine said.
Sunday’s downpour lengthened efforts to fix the 10-foot deep, 30-foot long and 20-foot wide sinkhole. Rain is expected to end Monday night, which could further complicate repair efforts and drivers’ commutes.
NB George Washington Memorial Parkway will remain closed Monday from Route 123 to I-495. Sinkhole stabilization slowed by rain. Hopeful that we may be able to reopen one NB lane by PM rush. SB lanes remain open. #VaTraffic #MdTraffic #DCTraffic #GWMP photo credit @USDOTFHWA pic.twitter.com/KQA76jDx3r
— Jenny A-S NPS (@NPSJennyAS) May 12, 2019
This is the second time in two months that a sinkhole has appeared on the GW Parkway. In March, a sinkhole appeared in the same are near Dead Run after heavy rain pelted the area.
The National Park Service said that sinkholes along roadways are a common occurrence in the Greater Washington area, especially during periods of extended rainfall.
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Below is a map of the closure:
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