Roadway Conditions

Pretty image of the parkway in spring.
George Washington Memorial Parkway in the Spring.

NPS Photo.

The George Washington Memorial Parkway (GWMP)—a scenic roadway honoring the nation's first president, that protects and preserves cultural and natural resources along the Potomac River below Great Falls to Mount Vernon— is an important commuter roadway and serves as an integral part of the region’s transportation system. It is also a National Park, consisting of very important resources that the park staff works to maintain for future generations to uphold the mission of the National Park Service.

The George Washington Memorial Parkway, including Spout Run and Clara Barton Parkway is a series of interconnected, carefully planned, scenic driving routes to the nation’s capital. From the north it curves along the Potomac Gorge highlighting steep cliffs and rich woods. From the south it is a broad avenue with monuments to America’s history. The unique scenic driving experiences provided along the parkway are achieved through the maintenance and protection of the natural areas as a scenic buffer along an urban area. The GWMP has about 7.4 million annual recreation visitors and about 33 million annual non-recreational (commuter) visitors.

Pothole repair on Clara Barton Parkway
NPS Crews work patching potholes on the Clara Barton Parkway.

NPS Photo

In the fall of 2019 the NPS repaired a number of rough areas in an effort to prepare the parkways for winter driving and improve the recreational driving experience. . The milling and paving project removed more than 76,000 square yards of the road’s surface and placed more than 7,000 tons of new asphalt between Spout Run Parkway and I-495, the Capital Beltway as well as the length of the Clara Barton Parkway.

In October, the NPS reopened both northbound lanes of traffic on the parkway at a Dead Run. The months long closure was necessary to fix a sinkhole. This work included 50 vertical feet of excavation, removal of a 60-year-old, failed drainage structure, installation of a new drain and back-filling the excavated area. The National Park Service also recently completed $620K of guardrail replacement work. These projects totaled over $6 million dollars completed through contracts awarded to various local construction companies.
View of the Washington Monument from the GWMP
Scenic view maintained by the GWMP of downtown Washington, D.C.

NPS Photo

In additional to roadway improvements and in response to safety concerns observed on the transportation facilities that serve Glen Echo Park, the National Park Service concluded a report which makes recommendations for improvements to vehicular access to the park from Clara Barton Parkway and considers safety and accessibility improvements for pedestrians and cyclists. A few of the recommendations have already been implemented, others will become part of the project to fully rehabilitate the Clara Barton Parkway from Chain Bridge to MacArthur Boulevard

These efforts provide some short-term relief while the park seeks funding for rehabilitation of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. Roads and bridges represent a significant portion of the deferred maintenance and infrastructure needing work. Park staff have been involved in a number of other restoration projects at locations throughout the parkway. To learn more about restoration efforts at Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial, the U.S. Marine Corps Memorial, Dyke Marsh, the Netherlands Carillon, or Dentzel Carousel visit

Has your car suffered damage from the current conditions on the GWMP and are you looking to file a tort claim? Would you like to report a pothole you have noticed on the GWMP? To do either of these things, please follow the instructions below:
If you are interested in filing a tort claim for damage your vehicle may have incurred while driving along the GWMP, please e-mail us the following information:
- Your name
- Description of your vehicle
- Description of the damage
- Date and time the damage occurred
- Location the damage occurred
- Fill out
Standard Form 95 and include in your e-mail
If you have noticed a pothole and would like to report it, please e-mail us. Please include in you e-mail:
- Location of the pothole
- Is it on the George Washington Memorial Parkway or the Clara Barton Parkway?
- Is it in the northbound or southbound lanes?
- What is the closest cross street or landmark?

Last updated: November 18, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

George Washington Memorial Parkway Headquarters
700 George Washington Memorial Parkway

McLean, VA 22101


(703) 289-2500

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