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Press Release: Join the party! Beach Drive Construction Moves Further Down the Road


National Capital Region
1100 Ohio Drive SW
Washington, DC 20242 

202-619-7400 phone

Contact: Ethan Alpern, ethan_alpern@nps.gov202-619-7186




Join the party! Beach Drive Construction Moves Further Down the Road 

Day at the Beach Illustration-01.png

WASHINGTON — There is still a long road of construction work ahead, but also much to celebrate.

On Sunday, August 20, Rock Creek Park and Rock Creek Conservancy are hosting a block party for residents and neighbors to experience the brand new Beach Drive before anyone else.

The party will begin at 1 p.m. at the Smithsonian's National Zoo entrance on Beach Drive (by Harvard Street NW) and go until 4 p.m. During the party, guests will be invited to walk and ride bicycles and other non-motorized vehicles on the fully reconstructed roadway and the wider, smoother multi-use trail.

Guests will notice the brand-new stairway and crosswalk leading into the National Zoo, with a flashing signal for drivers and pedestrian push-to-walk button. This newly-installed crosswalk finally provides safe passage into the Zoo, which has been requested by concerned visitors and staff for nearly a decade. There is also a new sidewalk at both ends of the staircase.

Beginning at noon, limited free parking for the event will be available at the Zoo in Parking Lot E.

Last fall, the National Park Service began the three-year Beach Drive Rehabilitation project, which includes a full-depth reconstruction of the nearly 6.5-mile roadway, widening and resurfacing the adjacent multi-use trail, and rehabilitating the six pedestrian bridges.

At the end of August the first segment of the construction project, which goes from Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway to Tilden Street/Park Road NW, will conclude and the roadway will re-open to traffic. When Segment 1 opens, both Segment 2 (Tilden Street/Park Road NW to Broad Branch Road/Blagden Avenue NW) and Segment 3 (Broad Branch Road/Blagden Avenue NW to Joyce Road NW) will close to traffic as construction begins. When Segment 2 construction is complete, that stretch of roadway will open to traffic, and construction work will continue on Segment 3.

In case of inclement weather, the party will be moved into the Zoo Tunnel.

To prepare for these changes, see the new detour route for the next two segments of construction., More information can be found at For text message updates on construction, please text “BEACHDRIVE” to 888-777.


About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 417 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at, on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube

About Rock Creek Conservancy

Rock Creek Conservancy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that exists to restore Rock Creek and its parklands as a natural oasis for all people to appreciate and protect. As the only organization dedicated solely to Rock Creek and its parks, the Conservancy is uniquely positioned to foster outreach, education, and efforts to overcome threats to Rock Creek. For more information, visit