Beach Drive closes 9/22, things will get snarly for months

If you enjoy taking Piney Branch to the Rock Creek Parkway, then up toward Tilden or south toward downtown, you need to start looking for alternative routes.

According the National Park Service, they will begin a project of repaving parts of Beach Drive on Thursday, September 22nd. Work on Beach and nearby roads will done be in segments and is scheduled to take three years to fully complete. Closures will be rolling as they work on the repaving. Each segment of Beach Drive will be closed for in both directions 24/7 during work. 

The project includes full depth pavement reconstruction, which requires excavating the entire area and placing a new gravel base before new asphalt paving; improvements to pedestrian and bicycle trails in collaboration with the DDOT; DC Water storm drain rehabilitation and improvement projects; installation and upgrades of raised pavement markers, centerline rumble strips, guardrails and road signs to provide safer road conditions for drivers; parking area reconstruction and rehabilitation; traffic signal and streetlight replacement; and the rehabilitation of six bridges.

For bicyclists and pedestrians, NPS says they are planning on keeping the multi-use paved trail on Beach Drive open during daylight hours. "During construction on the paved multi-use trail, the NPS will provide a protected and designated space for cyclists and pedestrians on Beach Drive. For everyone's safety, cyclists and pedestrians may not use the closed the segments of Beach Drive." 

Construction on each segment is expected to take 6-8 months. The four segments of the project are:

  • Segment 1 - Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway NW to Tilden St NW
    (September 22, 2016 - Spring 2017) 

    Segment 1 is broken down into two phases: 1A and 1B. During 1A, Beach Drive will stay open between Piney Branch Parkway and Porter Street so vehicles can travel across the park. During 1B, this jog will close while it is reconstructed. During segments 1A and 1B, the trail gate at the National Zoo will be open between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. Between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. pedestrians and cyclists will need to plan an alternate route as there will be no access to the trail through the National Zoo or via Beach Drive through the zoo tunnel.
  • Segment 2 - Tilden St NW to Broad Branch Rd 
  • Segment 3 - Broad Branch Rd to Joyce Rd 
  • Segment 4 - Joyce Rd to DC/MD Border

To receive text message alerts about the Beach Drive rehabilitation project, text BEACHDRIVE to 888777. To register online, visit and create a user profile. After you register, you will receive information about the Beach Drive rehabilitation project including upcoming closure and detour information. 

DC has a PDF of transportation options available on their website.

See more info on the National Park Service website.

Good luck out there!