WASHINGTON — Another milestone has been reached in the rehabilitation project for Beach Drive through Rock Creek Park.
The conclusion of the second stage of the project has resulted in the reopening of the road from Tilden Street Northwest to Broad Branch Road.
For years, the tree-lined road has been popular for commuters getting into and out of Washington. It also is a popular area for pedestrians looking to enjoy the beauty of the national park.
When the project to give it a makeover began in late 2016, the closures which came with it left many commuters looking for alternate routes to and from work.
“It has complicated traffic and made Connecticut Avenue a lot more congested, “said Karen, who frequents the park as both a driver and a walker.
The first segment of the project, from Connecticut Avenue to Tilden Street, was completed in August of last year. The reopening of the second segment was a week late due to the cold weather, but with it, drivers can now get from Connecticut Avenue to Broad Branch Road.
John Deferrari has lived near Rock Creek Park his entire life and said that while losing the road during the project has been tough, it needed attention.
“The road was just awful; I mean, there really wasn’t any other choice,” Deferrari said
The National Park Service said the project isn’t any easy one, with crews replacing gravel and storm drains before repaving. Raised pavement markers, rumble strips, guardrails, road signs and streetlights are also being added.
Walkers, runners, bicyclists and drivers will have to wait until at least fall to get all the way to Military Road. To provide a route for walkers and bicyclists, Ross Drive and Ridge Road, which run parallel with Beach Drive, have been closed to vehicles.
After that, the final section of the road, from Joyce Road to the D.C./Maryland line, will get the attention of construction crews with a completion date expected in 2019.