Jul 31, 2023 - News

George Washington Parkway closures could last days after severe storms

The George Washington Parkway in DC.

More lane closures on GW Parkway. Photo: Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Significant closures along the George Washington Memorial Parkway are expected to last days as cleanup crews clear debris from Saturday's violent storms.

Why it matters: The Virginia roadway, considered the gateway to Washington, is a heavily traveled route for D.C.-area commuters, with about 26 million drivers a year — so no, rush hour isn't looking pretty.

What's happening: Five crews are working to clear fallen trees and limbs from roadways. As such, the northern section from Spout Run to I-495 remains closed except for the northbound lanes from Route 123 to I-495.

  • Additionally, the southbound lanes of Spout Run are also closed.
  • As of Monday afternoon, the National Park Service estimates the closures will last three to four days.
A downed tree on Massachusetts Ave NW in DC.
A downed tree on Mass Ave. following the storm. Photo: Elizabeth Frantz/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Zoom out: GW Parkway drivers are already experiencing heavier backups and route changes thanks to a $161 million rehabilitation project along the historic roadway.

  • The construction, which started in March and is scheduled to conclude in late 2025, currently cuts the parkway down from two lanes to one in each direction (plus a reversible lane tied to rush hour) and reduces speed limits in construction zones.

What we're watching: The impact of storm damage is still being felt throughout the region, as thousands remain without power while fallen trees are being cleared (some from atop homes and cars). Other roads remain closed.

The bottom line: If you're traveling on or near the GW Parkway in the next few days, check the NPS construction and news site for updates.

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