Beach Drive is a busy commuter route in Northwest DC. It has continued to deteriorate for years, in disrepair with cracks, crumbling roadways, and seven eroding bridges along the 6.5 mile stretch. Fort Myer Construction is beginning work on Phase 1 of the 4 phase project to rehabilitate this roadway including excavating the entire area, installing a new gravel base, and laying fresh asphalt. In this kick-off phase, which lasts through Spring 2017, all seven bridges will be improved and parking areas rebuilt. Our teams are improving stormwater drainage and adding new traffic safety features like guardrails and centerline rumble strips. The adjacent trail used by bikers, runners, and pedestrians, will be widened to 10 feet in areas and a new trail will be constructed along Beach Drive from Rock Creek Parkway to Tilden Street.
This is a highly visible project and has been covered by local news outlets including The Washington Post. According to District Department of Transportation reports, as many as 26,000 cars travel through Beach Drive near the National Zoo each day. The Park Service reports about 40,000 people use the road and trail for recreation purposes at Rock Creek Park on weekends. Full closure to vehicle traffic is necessary to allow work to be completed since it is not possible to close half the road first and then the other half later due to space restrictions. Beach Drive is narrow with curvy sections and crews will need both lanes of traffic to accommodate construction, staging, and equipment. This means congestion and rerouted roads for commuters to travel safely during this construction. Matthew Wolniak, a consultant for National Park Service said “When it is done, it is going to be a beautiful facility, but in the short term there is going to be pain.”