Eighteen-Month Construction Project to Begin Near Lincoln Memorial

Mon April 19, 2004 - Northeast Edition

WASHINGTON (AP) Drivers will soon have another road construction project to navigate, and this one encircles the Lincoln Memorial.

The National Park Service is set to begin an 18-month construction project on Lincoln Circle Drive and connecting roadways, officials announced April 6.

The $12.2-million project is to begin, and it will be carried out in four phases, affecting different areas of the circle and connecting roadways through the fall of 2005.

“Commuters won’t see significant changes in traffic patterns until this summer,” said Alexa Viets, National Mall and Memorial Parks transportation planner.

Viets said the project has been designed to ensure that two lanes of traffic are open in both directions during most of the work. However, motorists concerned about possible traffic tie-ups are advised to seek alternate routes.

The project is intended to maximize the use of the road encircling the monument. Currently, there are three outbound lanes on the circle. Viets said there will be three inbound lanes as well, when the work is completed.

Additionally, the park service said the changes are designed to improve safety for motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists, as well as enhance traffic flow and reduce tour bus congestion.

Viets said specific benefits from the project include new street lighting, pedestrian crossings with signals on the north side of the circle, new loading and unloading areas for tour buses, an improved handicapped access, along with new and replaced visitor facilities.

The east side of the Lincoln Memorial is to remain a pedestrian plaza.