Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) is calling on Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao to grant the National Park Service’s (NPS) grant application to secure $126 million in funding to reconstruct an eight-mile stretch of the north end of the George Washington Memorial Parkway.
The GW 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, Warner and other signers of a letter to Chao said.
The north end of the roadway, which also serves as a memorial to the first president of the United States, was completed in 1962 and has since faced worsening conditions due to large increases in traffic.
The grant application, under the Nationally Significant Federal Lands and Tribal Projects (NSFLTP) Program at the Department of Transportation (DOT), would help repair this 7.6-mile stretch of highway, while addressing a substantial portion of the parkway’s $230 million deferred maintenance backlog.
“The proposed project will address serious deterioration of the GWMP and implement significant safety improvements. If funded, the Park Service plans to repave nearly eight miles of road along the parkway, repair storm water management systems to prevent erosion at drainage outfalls; and rehabilitate two historic, scenic overlooks. The project will also include replacing guardrails, repairing walls, constructing new curbs, and building emergency turnarounds along the north end of the Parkway,” Warner and colleagues in the House and Senate wrote.
“This project will improve a critical link in the National Capital Region’s transportation network while preserving the historical and cultural characteristic that make the Parkway one of the most scenic roadways in the country. These proposed improvements will increase the safety of visitors while significantly extending the life of the Parkway,” they concluded.
Sen. Warner was joined on the letter by Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and U.S. Reps. Don Beyer (Va.-8), Jennifer Wexton (Va.A-10) and U.S. Del. Eleanor Norton Holmes (D-DC).