The northbound lanes of the GW Parkway will be closed this Sunday between Spout Run in Arlington and Chain Bridge Road in McLean.
The closure, from about 6 a.m.-4 p.m., is for the removal of “an abandoned vehicle that is below the road near the Potomac River.”
From the National Park Service:
On Sunday, March 5, 2023, the National Park Service (NPS) will close both northbound lanes of the George Washington Memorial Parkway to remove an abandoned vehicle that is below the road near the Potomac River. The NPS expects to close the lanes between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m. from Spout Run Parkway to Chain Bridge Road, VA 123. The southbound lanes will remain open. The NPS will also temporarily close parts of the Potomac Heritage Trail near the vehicle for up to half an hour at a time while the work is happening.
The abandoned vehicle is located below the parkway next to the Potomac River near Donaldson Run. The car left the road during a snowstorm in January of 2022. The driver sustained non-life-threatening injuries.
The crash and rescue happened during snowy conditions on Jan. 3, 2022.
“The driver — the only occupant of the vehicle — was trapped inside the car and suspended upside down, with a broken arm and leg, according to initial reports,” ARLnow reported at the time. “After being extricated from the vehicle, the man is now being brought to a waiting ambulance at Columbia Island Marina via D.C. fire boat.”
This is not the first time in recent memory such a closure of the Parkway has been planned. Indeed, drivers have been running down the Parkway’s steep embankments with some regularity, posing logistical challenges for the Park Service.
In March 2021, a portion of the GW Parkway was closed over the weekend as crews remove two vehicles that ran down embankments and crashed near the river.
Other such crashes since the start of 2021 include:
- Jan. 12, 2021: Two people rescued after a crash in which two vehicles careened off the Parkway near I-395 and ended up in the Potomac.
- Jan. 15, 2021: Another car ran off the road and over an embankment near the second scenic overlook in Arlington, after the suicide of a Jan. 6 first responder
- Oct. 20, 2021: A driver was rescued but suffered serious injuries after their car careened off the northbound lanes and into a thick patch of woods, just north of Spout Run
- Nov. 17, 2022: One person died and another survived after driving into the Potomac near Columbia Island Marina on a particularly cold fall night
The northern portion of the Parkway, where many of the crashes have taken place, is in line for a significant rehabilitation project. As we previously reported:
For the first time since it was built in the early 1960s, the northern section of the GW Parkway will be getting a major overhaul.
The National Park Service announced yesterday that it had awarded a $161 million contract to rehabilitate the Parkway from Spout Run in Arlington to the Capital Beltway in McLean. After a design process in 2022, construction is expected to take place between 2023 and 2025.
Drivers are being cautioned that there will be traffic impacts during construction.
Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) touted the project in a statement, saying such work is overdue. This stretch of the Parkway has had to close at least three times over the past seven years due to sinkholes.
The Park Service, in today’s press release, noted that the Parkway has turned into a major commuter and travel artery, after first being envisioned as a scenic parkway.
The George Washington Memorial Parkway is a scenic roadway and memorial to the first president of the United States. When the NPS completed the northern part of the parkway in 1962, the NPS used the most up-to-date road engineering methods by integrating a wide, gently curving roadway with a grassy median, low stone guide walls and soaring steel-and-concrete arched bridges. Today the George Washington Memorial Parkway facilitates travel for more than 33 million vehicles per year, with the northern section seeing the heaviest traffic of about 85,000 daily users.
As a critical link in the national capital region’s transportation network, closing the parkway is never a decision the NPS makes lightly.
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36TH FESTIVAL ARGENTINO
ARLINGTON JUNE 3RD, 2023
Sat, June 3rd I 3:30 pm / Shows 5:50 pm I Kenmore Auditorium I Glencarlyn
The 36th Festival Argentino USA celebrates Argentine Day and Cultural Freedom. The folkloric group Los 4 de Córdoba and 25 more artists from Argentina, World, and Solidarity Tribute, 200 years of friendship between USA and Argentina!.
We have an exciting Juneteenth program with speakers sharing historic artifacts that tell the rich history of Arlington’s Black community builders.
Friday, June 16, 2023
7:00 – 8:00 pm
Arlington Historical Museum
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Are you ready to jump into homeownership or started considering it but don’t know where to start? Financial preparation is key when thinking about purchasing your first home and the first step to getting pre-approved.
Join ACFCU’s mortgage loan officers
4th of July Celebration & Fireworks
Treat yourself this Independence Day with a world-class, private 4th of July extravaganza at the Military Women’s Memorial – a premier National Capital Region site.
Great food, fun, and the best views of Washington DC’s spectacular fireworks display. Relax, enjoy,