News Release

New traffic pattern for the northern section of George Washington Memorial Parkway

A graphic depicting how the new traffic arrangement will look.
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.


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News Release Date: January 3, 2024

Contact: Christopher Hershey, (703) 289-2508

MCLEAN, Va.— The National Park Service (NPS) is entering the next phase of the North Parkway Rehabilitation Project. The three-lane traffic pattern, with a reversible lane, between I-495 and Route 123 will shift 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.

From Jan. 5 at 8 p.m. until Jan. 8 at 2:45 p.m. 

Single lane, northbound closures to allow crews to carry out the traffic shift.

Starting Jan. 6 

There is a temporary lane in the median of George Washington Memorial Parkway between the Route 123 interchange and I-495. With this traffic shift, the temporary lane will always serve as a northbound lane, and drivers heading toward Maryland must use this lane.

The left southbound lane (closest to the median) will serve as the reversible lane, which provides flexibility to change direction for morning and evening rush hours.

The right southbound lane will always serve as a southbound lane.

Summary of the new traffic pattern:

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 or CIA Headquarters must use the right lane.  

  • Drivers heading toward Maryland must use the right lane. 

  • Drivers heading toward Virginia via I-495 must use the left lane (the reversible lane). 

  • One lane southbound (toward Washington, DC).

Weekdays (9:30 a.m. – 2:45 p.m.) and weekends/holidays 

  • One lane southbound (toward Washington, DC).  

  • One lane northbound (toward Maryland/Virginia).

Drivers should observe traffic signs, respect the 40-mph speed limit, expect delays through narrow travel lanes and plan alternate routes. Vehicles with a gross vehicle weight over 10,000 lbs. are always prohibited from using the parkway.

This traffic pattern allows the project crews greater access to the roadway, which will reduce the time needed to complete the project. Temporary concrete barriers will be placed along the northbound lane throughout January to create a safer work zone for crews.

So far during the project, the NPS has: 

  • Installed 355 inlets to capture surface runoff and laid more than 13,200 linear feet of drainpipe. 

  • Rebuilt or repointed more than 7,000 linear feet of guard walls and 26,000 linear feet of curb. 

  • Placed more than 22,900 tons of asphalt.

Drivers should be aware that bad weather could change the reversible lane schedule or close the parkway. 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. The road will close 4 hours before the forecasted start of the storm. 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.

Where to find more information  

Construction on the parkway will affect drivers for the duration of the rehabilitation. Message boards and orange construction signs along the parkway provide important information and directions, and drivers can see construction updates and opt-in to receive emails about traffic impacts, meetings and major project milestones on the project webpage.


The rehabilitation of the northern section of the parkway was announced by the Department of the Interior on December 7, 2021. In partnership with the National Park Service, the Federal Highway Administration awarded a $161 million contract to rehabilitate this section of George Washington Memorial Parkway. The project will improve the driving experience, safety and water drainage while retaining and reviving the historic beauty and significance of the parkway – including opening scenic views to Washington, D.C. The NPS began work on the project in September 2022 with design planning and construction in April 2023.

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.


Last updated: January 3, 2024

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

George Washington Memorial Parkway Headquarters
700 George Washington Memorial Parkway

McLean, VA 22101


703 289-2500

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