The closure will be in effect through the weekend.
Drivers trying to get from Northern Virginia to the Beltway will have even more headaches for the next few days. All northbound lanes of the George Washington Memorial Parkway will be closed for at least several days to repair a 10-foot-deep sinkhole caused by recent rains. The closure will affect the section from Virginia 123, ChainBridge Road, to I-495, the Capital Beltway. The historic road is under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service.
Image courtesy of Jenny @NPSJennyAS
The roadway was closed by NPS on Friday, May 10, after the sinkhole was discovered. Engineers brought to the scene discovered a hole about 10 feet deep, 30 feet long, and 20 feet wide. The large swath of unstable earth was caused by the failure of a 40-foot brick inlet.
Crews hope to have one of the northbound lanes repaired by Monday morning rush hour, but cautioned more rain over the weekend could delay repairs.
The NPS and Federal Highway Administration will monitor the progress and update the public on the opening and further delays. A long-term fix for the roadway will include closing both northbound lanes for an undetermined period of time.
This isn’t the first time this year rain caused a sinkhole on the parkway. The same area of the road was closed in March due to another sinkhole.
A rehabilitation project for the road has been on the wish list for officials. Last fall the NPS applied for a grant to rehab the entire parkway through the Nationally Significant Federal Lands and Tribal Projects Program. The grant, if awarded would provide funds to repair the road and install critical drainage infrastructure. Drivers should check local traffic reports or visit nps.gov/GWMP for updates on the closure.
Do you have a favorite detour or alternate route for this road? Please tell us in the comments!