Department of the Interior Announces Start of Historic Rehabilitation of George Washington Memorial Parkway

Last edited 03/16/2023
Various people, wearing suits and green uniforms, dig dirt behind a banner reading "George Washington Memorial Parkway Rehabilitation".

News Release Date: July 18, 2022


WASHINGTON — National Park Service (NPS) Director Chuck Sams, Federal Highway Administration Associate Administrator for Federal Lands Tim Hess, and federal and local elected leaders today participated in a ceremonial groundbreaking for the rehabilitation of the northern section of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. The approximately $161 million project is one of the largest infrastructure investments funded by the Great American Outdoors Act.

The parkway is managed by the NPS and serves more than 70,000 vehicles per day, connecting people with countless opportunities to recreate along the Potomac River. It will be rehabilitated in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration, with construction expected to start this August. 

“This historic investment in the parkway will improve visitor safety, preserve the road’s historic design and ensure that future generations can use and enjoy this scenic roadway,” said Secretary Deb Haaland. “Through investments from the Great American Outdoors Act, President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and other construction funding sources, the Biden-Harris administration is demonstrating our concerted effort to address extensive deferred maintenance and repairs that will support good paying jobs, safeguard the environment, and help ensure that we are ready to meet the challenges of climate change. That’s right: every week is Infrastructure Week!"

The George Washington Memorial Parkway is a scenic roadway honoring the nation’s first president. It preserves cultural and natural resources along the Potomac River from Great Falls to Mount Vernon.  The northern section of the parkway – from Spout Run to Interstate 495 – is the busiest section of parkway and serves about 26 million drivers annually. 

This project is the first rehabilitation in this section of parkway since it was completed in 1962. The project includes replacing the asphalt pavement and roadway drainage system, redesigning portions of the Route 123 interchange, repairing stormwater management systems and lengthening entrance and exit lanes at some interchanges, while retaining and reviving the historic beauty and significance of the parkway.  

“George Washington Memorial Parkway is much more than a parkway—it connects millions of visitors with places to learn, play and relax just outside our nation’s capital," said NPS Director Chuck Sams. “Through funding from the Great American Outdoors Act, the National Park Service is not only improving infrastructure, but also expanding opportunities for visitors to enjoy their public lands.”  

The Great American Outdoors Act is part of a concerted effort to address the extensive deferred maintenance and repair backlog in public lands. Supported by revenue from energy development, the fund provides up to $1.3 billion per year for five years to make significant enhancements in national parks to ensure their preservation and provide opportunities for recreation, education and enjoyment for current and future visitors. 

Construction on the George Washington Memorial Parkway will occur in phases beginning with temporary road widening in the median along the northbound travel lanes and on two bridges between Route 123 and Spout Run. Construction will impact drivers and park visitors for the duration of the rehabilitation. A minimum of one lane of traffic in each direction will remain open at all times. The project is anticipated to be completed in late 2025.

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