U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) led a bicameral letter to Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao in support of the National Park Service’s (NPS) grant application for $102 million in federal funds to reconstruct nearly eight miles of the northern section of the George Washington Memorial Parkway.
The George Washington Parkway serves as a major commuting route for residents of Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C., facilitating the travel of more than 33 million vehicles per year. Since the north end of the Parkway’s completion in 1962, the roadway has been in need of repair due to large increases in traffic.
“The proposed project will address serious deterioration of the GWMP and implement needed safety improvements to protect motorists. If funded, the Park Service plans to repave nearly eight miles of road along the GWMP, repair stormwater management systems to prevent erosion at drainage outfalls; and rehabilitate two historic, scenic overlooks. The project also includes replacing guardrails, repairing walls, constructing new curbs, and building emergency turnarounds,” wrote the members of Congress.
In their letter, the members of Congress underscored the need for urgent safety improvements on the Parkway following a recent sinkhole that shut down large portions of the roadway.
“In 2019, several portions of the GWMP were closed to address emergency repairs relating to a culvert pipe failure and a large sinkhole that took nearly three months to complete. Both repairs resulted in significant disruption and displacement of motorists along a heavily traveled section of the GWMP. Improvements to the Parkway are needed to prevent similar disruptions from occurring and ensure the safety of our constituents who utilize this roadway on a regular basis,” they continued.
Sen. Warner was joined on the letter by Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) and U.S. Reps. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Don Beyer (D-VA), Jennifer Wexton (D-VA) and U.S. Del. Eleanor Norton Holmes (D-DC).