A three-year project to rehabilitate Beach Drive in Rock Creek Park is on track for on-time completion this fall. So drivers might be surprised to find lane closures on part of the project that was already supposed to be done.
Traffic calming measures to get cars to slow down will be happening until late July near Blagden Avenue in Northwest, near Broad Branch Road and Harvard Street Northwest. That’s at the bridge to the National Zoo.
“If we can calm traffic in these areas, it’ll be easier for pedestrians to get across the street. There’s a crosswalk near Harvard Street, and it’ll be easier for vehicles to enter the road near Blagden (Avenue),” said National Park Service spokesman Jonathan Shafer.
Flaggers will direct traffic between 9:30 a.m. and 3:45 p.m. on Mondays through Fridays for work to install new lane stripping, new signs and speed tables, which are similar to speed bumps but wider.
The fourth and final phase of the Beach Drive project underway now extends through the northern section of Rock Creek Park between Joyce Road in Northwest and the Maryland state line. It includes new asphalt for the road, and improvements to bridges and drainage infrastructure.
A challenge that could slow down the anticipated completion date is people not respecting closure boundaries and getting in the way of construction workers and their equipment, Shafer said.
“Stay out of the area where construction is going on. Please don’t enter the closed area in Rock Creek Park,” Shafer added.
“As soon as we complete this project, we’re going to reopen the road, and we’ll reopen the trail that’s next to it to drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists,” he said.