News Release

National Park Service to restripe the southern section of the George Washington Memorial Parkway

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Date: September 21, 2021
Contact: Aaron LaRocca, 202-438-6619

McLean, Va. — On or about Tuesday, Oct. 4, the National Park Service (NPS) will begin roadwork to enhance safety on the southern portion of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. The changes are intended to make the parkway safer for drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists while maintaining its historic character.

The NPS will restripe the road between the City of Alexandria and George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and implement a road diet (changing markings so that there will be two northbound, one southbound and one turn lane) in areas between Stratford Lane and Tulane Drive to improve safety. We will also install new signs and delineators (flexible posts) at the intersections of Belle View Boulevard, Belle Haven Drive and other areas along the parkway to guide drivers.

The NPS plans to temporarily close one of two lanes in each direction while work is happening. Drivers should expect to see work on weekdays in: 

  • Northbound lanes from roughly 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. starting in late-Sept. at Mount Vernon and working north. 

  • Southbound lanes from roughly 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. starting later in the fall near the City of Alexandria and working south. 

“We are pleased to implement several of the improvements suggested by our neighbors, and we will engage with the community as we assess other changes in the future,” Superintendent Charles Cuvelier said. “We are committed to taking steps that make driving, walking and bicycling between Mount Vernon and Alexandria safer and more enjoyable for everyone.”

These improvements are based on extensive public input, coordination with stakeholders and expert analysis of crash data and traffic modeling. Those models show that the improvements will not change the road’s ability to accommodate pre-COVID-19 levels of traffic. Once implemented, the NPS will continue to engage with stakeholders to monitor the effectiveness of these changes recommended in our South Parkway safety study.

The study, which the NPS completed in April 2021, examined traffic and safety conditions at nine key intersections along the southern portion of the parkway between the City of Alexandria and George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate. The study identifies recommendations to improve safety through , enforcement and engineering approaches. 

Opened as the Mount Vernon Memorial Highway in 1932, the southern section was the first section of the current George Washington Memorial Parkway. The road’s completion coincided with the nationwide celebration of the bicentennial of George Washington’s birth.  

The parkway’s designers pioneered principles of modern roadway construction by building an attractive and efficient limited access road. Besides serving as part of the national capital region’s transportation network, the parkway preserves natural scenery, links sites associated with George Washington's life and provides recreational opportunities along the Potomac River. Because of its unique qualities, the parkway is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This is a key factor in considering any changes so that they are context sensitive for a park setting. Today, this section of the parkway serves over 25,000 vehicles daily.

You can read the complete report on the NPS park planning site and learn more about the southern part of the George Washington Memorial Parkway at go.nps.gov/GWMPSafety

 

-NPS- 



Last updated: October 18, 2021

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