Work on Beach Drive extended

WASHINGTON — Drivers will be detouring away from Rock Creek Parkway and Beach Drive for longer than planned.

The National Park Service said the first phase of the three-year reconstruction project along Beach Drive will keep Beach Drive closed between Rock Creek Parkway and Tilden Street through August. The park service had originally planned for that phase to wrap up by late spring.

Jeremy Barnum, with the National Park Service, said contractors with the project are taking on adjacent roadwork and DC Water projects and are putting more into widening and rehabilitating the multi-use trail. He said doing it that way would be “more cost-efficient, by not having to mobilize multiple contractors multiple times.”

Crews will use the extra time during the first phase to revamp the deteriorating path alongside Beach Drive.

“At the time of award, a change was negotiated to the [Park Service] contract on behalf of [the District Department of Transportation] to rehabilitate and widen areas of the multi-use trail adjacent to the roadway,” Barnum said.

While the change has extended the first phase of the project by about four months, Barnum said, the final completion target date remains fall 2019.

The short stretch of Beach Drive between Piney Branch Parkway and Porter Street — left open to facilitate east-west traffic through the park — will be closed by midsummer. When the first phase wraps up in August, the second segment, between Tilden Street and Broad Branch Road, will be closed for two to three months. Barnum said work on the final two segments closer to Maryland will be more labor-intensive and will last between six to eight months.

The project entails pavement reconstruction, trail upgrades and storm drain repairs, as well as the rehabilitation of six bridges above Rock Creek.

Dave Dildine

A native to the Washington area, Dave Dildine is no stranger to the region's complex traffic and weather patterns. Dave joined WTOP in 2010 when the station launched its very own in-house traffic service. You can hear him "on the 8s and when it breaks" from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays.

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