After nearly three years of construction on various segments, the popular Beach Road in Rock Creek Park will completely reopen to drivers and cyclists tomorrow “around noon,” according to the National Park Service (NPS). The project involved repaving roughly 6.5 miles of road in the park as well as installing new markers, guardrails, and signage. Traffic signals and streetlights along the road were also updated, as were bridges and parking lots.
In a statement, the park’s superintendent Julia Washburn called Beach Drive “a historic road and a vital route.” The final 2.7-mile part of the road that was resurfaced runs from the D.C.–Maryland border, at Wise Road, to Joyce Road NW, which intersects with Military Road NW. Work on the first 1.8-mile part of the road—running from Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway NW to Park Road and Tilden Street NW—kicked off in September 2016. Prior to this, the last time Beach Drive was rehabilitated was in 1991, says NPS. It was originally designed in 1897.
“Today, drivers take more than 12 million trips through Rock Creek Park every year, and more than 40,000 people enjoy the park every weekend,” the Park Service points out. In other Rock Creek Park news, a recent federal bill would put “National” in the park’s name.