Smooth driving ahead: Repaving done on major routes, National Park Service says

What the repaving project looks like at Fort Dupont Drive. (Courtesy NPS/Jonathan Shafer)

D.C.-area drivers who have dealt with the no-pain, no-gain dynamic of road construction will start benefiting now, with repaving projects wrapped up on major commuter routes.

In Maryland, the Baltimore-Washington Parkway is completely repaved between Maryland routes 197 and 175, according to a statement from the National Park Service. Its surface has been transformed from a virtual minefield of potholes that was in such poor condition last March that the speed limit was reduced from 55 mph to 40 mph during emergency pothole patching.

In Virginia, dark squares of new pavement dot portions of the George Washington Parkway north of Spout Run, reflecting repairs the park service called a “targeted repaving” project.

For more than six months last year, a northbound lane of the GW Parkway was closed in the McLean area while repairs were made to a sinkhole.

Driving through the Baltimore-Washington Parkway felt like an off-road expedition at times last year. (WTOP/Nick Iannelli, file)

In D.C., targeted repaving now is complete on the Clara Barton Parkway north of Chain Bridge extending into Maryland. Also reflecting your tax dollars in action are the multiyear rehabilitation projects in D.C. for Beach Drive, as well as for Fort Dupont and Fort Davis drives.

Work by the park service and Federal Highway Administration to repave roads in five national parks reflect the park service’s “ongoing commitment to providing safe, smooth roads for travelers in the D.C. area,” they said in the statement.

The relatively recent completion of road projects in the D.C. area are just a drop in the bucket, however, considering what the park service indicates still needs to be done.

“In the greater Washington area, the NPS maintenance backlog is nearly $2 billion, $900 million of which is for vital transportation systems,” the park service said.

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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