BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The National Park Service will begin new repairs to Baltimore-Washington Parkway this weekend.
Beginning this Friday, March 29, NPS will begin a new phase of “enhanced repairs” to improve the road in anticipation of a larger repaving project that was scheduled for Fall 2019, but will now begin in mid-April.READ MORE: Maryland Department Of Health's Website Compromised After Cyberattack; COVID Metrics Not Updated Due To 'Server Outage'
NPS will close parts of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway for two nights this upcoming weekend.
From 7:30 p.m. on Friday to 5 a.m. until Saturday, the NPS will close the southbound parkway from MD 198 to MD 197.
From 7:30 p.m. Saturday until 5 a.m. on Sunday, the NPS will close the northbound parkway from MD 197 to MD 198.
“We take our responsibility for the parkway very seriously and are making good on our promise to drivers to do everything in our power to improve the road,” Baltimore-Washington Parkway Superintendent Matt Carroll said. “National Park Service crews have been working tirelessly. The special patching this weekend should improve driving right away and will be quickly followed by repaving.”
The NPS said it hopes the repairs, which will use different patching material and approach, will improve driving conditions until the repaving projects begin in a few weeks.
This comes after driving conditions have worsened over time on the traffic-filled parkway that serves as a regular commuter road for Baltimore and D.C.-area workers.
“The federal government is right to recognize the overwhelming outcry from Marylanders about the dangerous driving conditions on 295,” Governor Larry Hogan said. “We are glad that the focus is on fixing the road as soon as possible.”READ MORE: Maryland Could Start Seeing Snow As Early As Tuesday
Since the end of January, NPS crews said they have placed more than 130 tons of asphalt to patch potholes on the parkway.
Multiple Maryland lawmakers said they have pushed for the expedited construction of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway by sustaining pressure on the National Park Service.
“I contacted the National Park Service to raise the alarm about B-W Parkway, and I appreciate their efforts to work with us and prioritize this issue. This decision will ensure that repair work will begin right away so that Maryland residents can return to a safe, reliable commute,” Senator Chris Van Hollen said.
“I appreciate the willingness of the National Park Service to engage in productive conversations about how to address the serious safety situation on the B-W Parkway and for shifting priorities and resources toward urgently addressing the horrific damage to the roadway’s surface,” Senator Cardin said. “By accelerating the anticipated time necessary for completion of this work from years to months, the Park Service is showing that it takes seriously the stewardship of this essential regional travel artery. I look forward to remaining in close contact with the agency as the B-W Parkway resurfacing project gets underway and moves quickly toward completion with the least disruption possible, ensuring that this and other key maintenance projects on federal lands in Maryland receive the full attention they merit.”
Work will be completed in two phases. Beginning mid-April, the NPS will completely repave the road from near MD 197 to near MD 198. Mid-summer, crews will begin the second phase of work repaving the road from near MD 198 to MD 175. The second phase will also involve repaving the access ramps throughout both work areas.
“The current state of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway is a real problem for the safety of commuters throughout our region. I am glad that the National Park Service and the Federal Highway Administration are finally taking steps to improve the parkway, and I encourage them to complete the repairs without delay,” Congressman Steny Hoyer said.
In the coming weeks, the NPS will finalize a schedule for the repaving work this spring and share that with the public. Drivers should expect additional night and weekend closures as the NPS continues patching elsewhere on the parkway.MORE NEWS: 'Serious' Crash Slows Traffic On I-97 In Anne Arundel County