North Parkway Construction, News, and Impacts

GWMP Construction Infographic
This infographic displays the areas that are under construction and the anticipated schedule.

NPS

Construction efforts to rehabilitate the George Washing Memorial Parkway (GWMP) are underway between I-495 and Spout Run Parkway. Construction activities will impact drivers and park visitors for the duration of the rehabilitation. View construction updates under Current Construction. The project is anticipated to be completed in late 2025.

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  • To contact the project team please e-mail us. 
  • View recordings of informational public meetings on our public meeting webpage.
 
A graphic depicting how the new traffic arrangement will look.
During the morning rush hour, two lanes will carry traffic southbound toward Washington, DC. During the evening rush hour, two lanes will carry traffic northbound toward Maryland.

NPS

Current Construction (Updated February 2024)

I-495 to Route 123


The National Park Service (NPS) has entered the next phase of the North Parkway Rehabilitation Project. In January, the three-lane traffic pattern, with a reversible lane, between I-495 and Route 123 shifted from the northbound lanes to the southbound lanes of the parkway. The NPS expects this three-lane traffic pattern to be in effect through late 2025. This closure allows construction crews access to the northbound side of the road to perform repairs, including reconstructing the existing roadway, curb, drainage, and masonry guard wall.

Lane Configuration:

  • Temporary Lane: The temporary lane remains in place in the median of the parkway between the Route 123 interchange and I-495. This temporary lane will always travel north and drivers heading toward Maryland must use this lane.

  • Left Southbound Lane / Center Lane: The left southbound lane closest to the median (or center lane) is a reversible lane and will change direction to travel southbound during the morning rush hour and northbound during the evening rush hour. This lane is closed outside of weekday rush hour, on weekends and holidays.

  • Right Southbound Lane: This lane will always travel south.

 
A map of the detour route
Detour route for Southbound Route 123 to Southeast GWMP.

NPS

Route 123 Interchange Ramp Weekend Detours Planned Through Early 2024

NPS will close one ramp at a time during the weekend hours at the GWMP and Route 123 interchange through early 2024, weather permitting. Construction activities requiring the ramp closures include select tree removal, drainage installation, and installation of permanent asphalt pavement. Detours will be in place as shown within the closure details. Crews anticipate the following closure sequence:

The ramp from southbound Route 123 to southeast GWMP will be closed during weekends through February to complete activities as shown below:

  • Weekdays between 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. for curb construction.

  • Continuous weekend closure starting each Friday at 8 p.m. continuing through to Sunday at 11:59 p.m. for drainage installation and permanent asphalt paving.

 
Detour map for 123 Interchange
Detour route for Northbound Route 123 to Southeast GWMP.

NPS

Once work is complete on the ramp from southbound Route 123 to southeast GWMP, Crews will begin work on the ramp from northbound Route 123 to southeast GWMP. This ramp is anticipated to be closed on weekends through early 2024. Closures include weekends between 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. for drainage installation.

 
Detour route for Route 123 interchange
Detour route for Southeast GWMP to Southbound Route 123.

NPS

Once work is complete on the ramp from northbound Route 123 to southeast GWMP, crews will work on the ramp from southeast GWMP to southbound Route 123. Construction will take place during the following periods:

  • Step 1: Weekdays between 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. for curb construction.

  • Step 2: A continuous weekend closure starting each Friday night at 8 p.m. through Sunday night until 11:59 p.m. for permanent asphalt paving.

Crews will complete the required work sequence at each ramp before moving to the next ramp. All work is weather dependent and this schedule is subject to change.

Variable message boards and orange construction signage are posted along the parkway and on Route 123 for updated directions. Drivers should observe traffic signs, respect the 40-mph speed limit, and watch for crews working along the parkway and Route 123 intersection. Motorists should expect additional delays and consider alternate routes.

 
A graphic depicting work occurring in the left most lane while three other lanes have traffic.
During the morning rush hour, two lanes will carry traffic southbound toward Washington, D.C. During the evening rush hour, two lanes will carry traffic northbound toward Maryland.

NPS

Route 123 to Windy Run Bridge

A temporary three-lane configuration, with a middle reversible lane, between Route 123 to Windy Run Bridge, remains in effect. The right northbound lane is closed for rehabilitation work, including demolition, excavation activities, drainage installation, and tree removal at the outfalls. This work extends the three-lane configuration from I-495 to just south of Windy Run Bridge.

From Winter 2023 - Fall 2024, both the North Donaldson Overlook and Fort Marcy will be inaccessible from the northbound right lane during non-rush hour times (9 a.m. - 2 p.m.). This configuration extends the existing right lane closure to allow for additional safe work zones for the expedition of rehabilitation work along the northbound shoulder.

Reversible Lane Schedule
The reversible lane schedule is as follows:

Weekday morning rush hour (5:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.)

  • Two lanes southbound (toward Washington, DC).

    • Drivers who need to exit at Route 123 or CIA Headquarters must use the right lane.

  • One lane northbound (toward Maryland/Virginia).

Weekday evening rush hour (2:45 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.)

  • Two lanes northbound (toward Maryland/Virginia).

    • Drivers who need to exit at Route 123, CIA Headquarters or towards Maryland must use the right lane.
    • Drivers who need to exit towards Virginia on I-495 should use the center lane.
  • One lane southbound (toward Washington, DC).

Weekdays (9:30 a.m. – 2:45 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. - 5:30 a.m.) weekends and major holidays

  • One lane southbound (toward Washington, DC).

  • One lane northbound (toward Maryland/Virginia).

To increase safety, small physical barriers divide the narrow travel lanes. Commercial vehicles are restricted from the parkway at all times. Signage will direct drivers to the appropriate lanes. Motorists who wish to exit the parkway at the CIA and Route 123 must remain in the right lane. The center lane will be used as a through lane during rush hour for traffic to exit at either end of the parkway at I-495 or Spout Run Parkway. Northbound motorists who wish to exit the parkway onto I-495 into Maryland must remain in the right lane.

During non-rush hour periods, weekends, and holidays, the center reversible lane will be closed, and motorists can expect two travel lanes: one travelling northbound and one travelling southbound.

The NPS expects the three-lane traffic pattern to be in effect through late 2025.

 
Windy Run Bridge to Spout Run Parkway

Crews continue select tree removal activities ahead of rehabilitation work between Windy Run Bridge to Spout Run Parkway. Tree removal will be completed before temporary widening activities on the northbound side of the parkway begin later this year. Crews anticipate closing the right northbound lane in Spring 2024 for rehabilitation work. Current activities may require daily lane closures during the following times:

Weekday lane closures:

  • Northbound lane closures from 6:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m.

  • Southbound lane closures from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Saturday lane closures:

  • Northbound left lane from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

  • Southbound left lane from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Nighttime lane closure hours (weather dependent):

  • Northbound lane closures from 7:15 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.

  • Southbound lane closures from 7 p.m. to 5:30 a.m.

All work is weather permitting.

 
A graphic depicts construction workers in the Southbound lane, while traffic moves in three lanes (two nouthbound and one sorthbound) next to it.
During bridge work, a three-lane configuration will be in place with a barrier to separate traffic from the work zone.

NPS

Bridge Construction

Crews will continue with bridge work on and below the surface:

  • Dead Run Bridge: Steel and railing painting activities, repairs on the left lane and under the bridge.

  • Turkey Run Bridge: Railing painting activities, repairs on the left lane and structures above and below the bridge surface.

  • Pimmit Run Bridge: Repairs above and below the bridge surface.

  • Glebe Road Bridge: Repairs above the bridge surface.

  • Gulf Branch Bridge: Preparations for railing painting activities and structural repairs below the bridge surface.
  • Windy Run Bridge: Repairs to supporting structures.

Temporary barriers remain in place at Pimmit Run, Glebe Road, Gulf Branch, Donaldson Run, Dead Run, Windy Run, and Turkey Run bridges with narrower lane widths as work continues. No additional traffic delays are anticipated at this time.

 

Construction Zone Safety

Please slow down and be cautious while driving through work zones on the parkway.

  • Drivers should observe traffic signs for updated information.

  • A 40 MPH speed limit remains in effect from the I-495 interchange to Spout Run Parkway to help keep construction crew and motorists safe. This speed limit will be in place for the remainder of the project and is enforced as such.

  • To avoid traffic delays on the northern section of the parkway, drivers should consider alternate routes and plan for additional travel time.

 

Inclement Weather and Potential Traffic Impacts

During the winter season, the NPS may shift the reversible lane schedule or close the parkway in the event of inclement weather forecasts. The northern section of the parkway:

  • Will close for storms forecasting 2 or more inches of snow or any amount of freezing rain or ice. Drivers will need to seek alternate routes.

  • Will remain open for storms forecasting fewer than 2 inches of snow and no freezing rain or ice.

The NPS will pre-treat roads, however treating the road and removing snow will take more time because snow removal crews need to use smaller equipment to fit in the narrower lanes. Drivers should expect delays in reopening the northern section of the parkway while crews clear snow and treat other sections of the parkway and park areas. Drivers should observe traffic signs, respect the 40-mph speed limit, expect delays through narrow travel lanes, and seek alternate routes. Commercial vehicles are always prohibited from using the parkway. Subscribe for email updates on parkway closures. Updates will also be posted on our website and on social media.

 

Potomac Heritage National Trail Partially Closed through late Spring 2024

A portion of the Potomac Heritage National Trail is closed under the Glebe Road Bridge for safety reasons. Crews installed containment platforms for blasting and painting activities under the bridge limiting space between the bridge and pedestrian trail. The partial closure of the trail is in place through the late Spring of 2024 as a safe detour is unavailable. Signage has been posted at trail entrance and exit points. Click here for more information on the trail closure.

 

Construction Signage on the North Parkway

 
Map of the North Parkway with Construction Signage
This is the temporary construction signage motorists will see while traveling along the North Parkway.

NPS

 
 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

This project is the reconstruction of approximately 7.6 miles of the northern section of the GWMP between Spout Run and the I-495/Capital Beltway in Fairfax and Arlington counties, Virginia. This project will improve the driving experience, safety, and water drainage while retaining and enhancing the historic beauty and culture of the parkway.

This rehabilitation includes:  

  • replacing the asphalt pavement 

  • redesigning portions of the Route 123 interchange 

  • repairing stormwater management systems  

  • replacing and updating drainage inlets and culverts  

  • stabilizing erosion 

  • constructing turnarounds for emergency vehicles  

  • rehabilitating two historic overlooks 

  • lengthening entrance and exit lanes at some interchanges to improve traffic safety 

  • reconstructing stone walls and improving roadside barriers 

  • and re-opening historic views along the parkway

This project is the first rehabilitation in this section of parkway since it was completed in 1962. Once completed, this historic parkway will continue to provide a safe, scenic, and smooth experience for those who are using it to connect to our nation’s history or as a way to get to and from our nation's capital.

The National Park Service (NPS), in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division (FHWA - EFLHD), continue the process of rehabilitating the northern section of the George Washington Memorial Parkway (GWMP).

The northern section of the GWMP, between Spout Run to I-495/Capital Beltway, is the busiest section of the parkway and serves about 26 million drivers annually. It is a four-lane divided scenic parkway that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and serves as a major commuter route between northern Virginia and Washington, D.C., carrying roughly 70,000 vehicles per day. It also provides access to several recreational and historic sites along the roadway. The physical roadway is reaching the end of its lifespan in the northern part of the parkway. NPS wants to rehabilitate the historic parkway to provide a safe and scenic experience while extending its lifespan. This project will repair and rehabilitate deteriorating aspects of the roadway as well as implement safety improvements while preserving the cultural and historical characteristics of the parkway.

Construction activities are tentatively scheduled to begin in August 2022. The project is anticipated to be completed in late 2025.

In September 2018, the NPS achieved a major milestone project by completing an environmental review completed for the rehabilitation. The NPS completed an Environmental Assessment and analyzed public comments before deciding how best to rehabilitate the north section of the parkway.

The National Park Service's preffered alterntative for the is intersection is to consolidate Route 123 on-ramps to southbound GWMP at a new intersection east of Pine Tree Road (modified diamond interchange).  Conceptual map is depicted below.

This would:
• Realign entrance to the Route 123 eastbound on-ramp to southbound GWMP mainline. The roadway would be realigned to be opposite the consolidated off-ramp from southbound GWMP.
• Maintain tight northbound GWMP exit ramp to both eastbound and westbound Route 123.
• Remove existing ramps in the northwest quadrant of the interchange (Earth Tech 2005).
• Install SWM best management practices consistent with VDEQ requirements.

For more information see the Enivironmental Assessment document.

 
Aerial view of Route 123 and the proposed GWMP Interchange Option One. The curved sections in purple would be removed and the proposed configuration is in blue and is more linear. The Limits of Disturbance boundary is a dashed yellow line.
 

North Parkway News

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    Last updated: February 8, 2024

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    Contact Info

    Mailing Address:

    George Washington Memorial Parkway Headquarters
    700 George Washington Memorial Parkway

    McLean, VA 22101

    Phone:

    703 289-2500

    Contact Us