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Single lane reopening May 14 on northbound George Washington Memorial Parkway

At about 1 p.m. on Tuesday, May 14, the National Park Service will reopen one northbound lane of the George Washington Memorial Parkway from Virginia Route 123, Chain Bridge Road, to I-495, the Capital Beltway. Drivers should expect delays and watch for workers in the road.

Over the last several days, crews worked to stabilize a sinkhole south of I-495 at Dead Run that was 10 feet deep, 30 feet long and 20 feet wide. The temporary stabilization work will allow vehicles to safely travel in the left lane while work is done to design and construct a long-term fix for the right lane. Over the coming weeks, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) engineers and NPS personnel will monitor the area daily for settlement.

Engineers have observed leaking in and around a brick inlet that drains water from the road, and they are currently determining the best way to repair it. The depth and location of underground drainage structures in that area complicates the work. FHWA and NPS engineers anticipate repairing the drainage system will require extensive design and construction work. This work will likely require planned closures of both northbound lanes and a single southbound lane. The NPS is committed to keeping people informed and will share more information once details are finalized.

During the full closure, NPS maintenance staff worked to complete hazardous tree removal and pothole work that normally requires lane closures. As a critical link in the region’s transportation network, closing the George Washington Memorial Parkway is “never a decision the National Park Service makes lightly, according to a news release.

In fall 2019, the NPS plans to perform targeted repaving on parts of the George Washington Memorial Parkway between Spout Run and the Beltway. In addition the NPS was already planning to assess, repair and replace more than two dozen drop inlet road drains along the parkway. This work will reduce the potential for future structural failures, drain water from the road more efficiently and make for smoother rides.

In fall of 2018, the NPS submitted a grant application for the Nationally Significant Federal Lands and Tribal Projects Program to support a project to completely reconstruct the George Washington Memorial Parkway, including associated drainage infrastructure, from Spout Run to I-495. Grant awards have not yet been announced, but the NPS believes the project will compete well given the significance of the parkway. Work on the north section of the parkway will address a significant part of the $1.9 billion NPS maintenance backlog in the National Capital Region.

The George Washington Memorial Parkway is a scenic roadway and memorial to the first president of the United States. When the NPS completed the northern part of the parkway in 1962, the NPS used the most up-to-date road engineering methods of the time by integrating a wide, gently curving roadway with a grassy median, low stone guide walls and soaring steel-and-concrete arched bridges. Today, the George Washington Memorial Parkway facilitates the travel of more than 33 million vehicles per year, with the northern section seeing the heaviest traffic with 85,000 daily users, the release said.

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