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Contact: Jonathan Shafer, 202-619-7186
McLean, Va.— The National Park Service (NPS) is moving forward on plans to rehabilitate the north section of the George Washington Memorial Parkway (GWMP) from Spout Run to the Interstate 495, Capital Beltway interchanges. The project will improve a critical link in the region’s transportation network while preserving the historical and cultural characteristics that make the route one of the most scenic parkways in the county.
Work on the north section of the parkway will address a significant part of the National Capital Region’s $1.7 billion dollar maintenance backlog.
As part of this project, the NPS will:
- Repave eight miles of the parkway.
Repair stormwater management systems to prevent excess water from damaging the road.
Improve safety by replacing guardrails, repairing walls and constructing new concrete curbs.
Rehabilitate parts of two historic, scenic overlooks.
Redesign the Route 123 interchange to improve safety.
Construct emergency turnarounds.
George Washington Memorial Parkway is a scenic roadway and memorial to the first president of the United States. When the NPS completed the northern part of the parkway in 1962, the NPS used the most up-to-date road engineering methods of the time by integrating a wide, gently curving roadway with a grassy median, low stone guide walls and soaring steel-and-concrete arched bridges. Today, the George Washington Memorial Parkway facilitates the travel of more than 33 million vehicles per year, with the northern section seeing the heaviest traffic.
The NPS completed an Environmental Assessment and analyzed public comments before deciding how best to rehabilitate the north section of the parkway. The Environmental Assessment was prepared in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration—Eastern Federal Lands Highway Division and the National Capital Planning Commission. With the Environmental Assessment complete, the NPS will be eligible to compete for funds from the Nationally Significant Federal Lands and Tribal Projects Program which is expected to call for grant applications later this fall. Given the significance of the parkway and with schematic design already done, the NPS believes that this $150 million project will compete well in that program.
A Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) was signed on September 13, 2018 by the acting National Capital Regional Director. A FONSI describes why the selected action will have no significant effects on the environment, provides the rationale for the decision and outlines conservation measures that we will take to avoid, minimize and mitigate impacts. The FONSI and other planning documents may be reviewed at: https://parkplanning.nps.gov/p
Last updated: October 1, 2018