If you’re used to taking the scenic route along the Potomac River, you may have noticed lately that your drive is a little smoother.
The National Park Service is addressing the bumpiest sections of the George Washington and Clara Barton parkways through what it calls “targeted repaving.” Both parkways are now checker-boarded with a patchwork of stable old and brand-new asphalt between the Capital Beltway and Chain Bridge.
The work started in the fall after years of complaints about crumbling driving surfaces. Even though wintertime temperatures have arrived, National Park Service spokesperson Jonathan Shafer said the effort will go on longer than first planned and will continue through the end of the year.
“Our goal is to improve the condition of the road before winter makes more paving impossible,” Shafer said.
Although the operation is ongoing, the work window is shrinking since temperatures at night are too cold and average high temperatures are falling. The Park Service said their crews are only able to address the parkways during daytime hours from now on.
Drivers should expect single lane closures on the parkways from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and all day on warmer weekends.
The initiative aims to mend more than 76,000 square-yards of the driving surface using more than 7,000 tons of new asphalt.
The Park Service says even though it won’t address the entirety of either road, it’s part of their long-term plan to eventually reconstruct both the GW and Clara Barton parkways.