Sep 27, 2023 - News

New GW Parkway closures to start this weekend

Ramp from southbound Route 123 to southeast GWMP closure and detour
Data: National Park Service. Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

Traffic delays are expected to increase on the George Washington Memorial Parkway starting Saturday with a months-long series of ramp closures at Route 123.

Why it matters: The Virginia roadway, considered the gateway to Washington, is a heavily traveled route for D.C.-area commuters — and traffic is already disrupted by lane closures and speed reductions for a massive, years-long rehabilitation project.

What's happening: Three ramps that filter drivers on and off the GW Parkway to/from Route 123 in McLean, Virginia, will be under construction for a staggered period between this weekend and late November — though the work is weather-dependent and subject to change.

Zoom in: The first ramp closure is from southbound Route 123 to southeast GW Parkway, starting Saturday through (estimated) mid-to-late October.

  • That's the ramp drivers often take commuting from Langley, McLean, and Tysons to D.C. and Arlington exits and beyond.
  • The ramp will first be closed on weekends (7am-5pm) for tree clearing and drainage installation. When that project is completed, the ramp will close weekdays (8am-4pm) for curb construction. And finally more weekend-long closures (Friday at 8pm-Sunday at 11:59pm) for paving.
  • During this time, drivers can take a detour that loops around Turkey Run Park and spits them back on the southeast parkway, or consider alternate routes.

What's next: Once construction on the first ramp is completed, similarly staggered work will begin for the other two ramps (weekend/weekday schedules vary).

  • Like the first phase, detours are planned.

Zoom out: The construction is all part of a $161 million first-time rehabilitation project for the North Parkway, which was built in 1962.

  • According to the National Park Service, "The project will retain and revive the historic beauty and significance of the parkway — including opening scenic views — while updating aspects of it to improve the driving experience, safety, and water drainage."

What we're watching: NPS recently proposed plans to upgrade the Mt. Vernon Trail and South GW Parkway, according to DCist. Residents have until Oct. 24 for public input.

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