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Under Construction

George Washington Memorial Highway Widening Project (Route 17)

York County

Project Photos

Project at a Glance

Begin Date
August 2013

Est Completion Date
December 31, 2016

Estimated Cost: $25.2 million

E.V. Williams


Hampton Roads

Hampton Roads Public Affairs

Project Overview

George Washington Memorial Highway (Route 17) in York County is a four-lane divided highway with an average daily traffic volume of approximately 56,000 vehicles. There is frequent traffic congestion and delays during peak travel periods. Motorists are experiencing traffic congestion with delays during the commuter peak travel periods. Traffic volume is projected to increase to about 90,000 vehicles per day by the design year 2035. 

The proposed improvements will increase the capacity of George Washington Memorial Highway between Hampton Highway and Wolf Trap Road, from four lanes to six lanes, with three lanes in each direction. The proposed roadway will include a raised median, curb and gutter, with a shared-use path parallel to the northbound lane from Mill Road to Showalter Road. The two existing bridges over the Poquoson River will be replaced with one bridge carrying six lanes of traffic and a shared-use path. 

The project has been included in the FY2012-2017 Six-Year Improvement Program. Planning, engineering, and right-of-way acquisition are complete.

Current Status: As work in Phase I continues, our team has been working hard to accomplish several job activities and will soon be completing a Phase I project milestone: the bridge. Pile driving, concrete form work and pours have been completed and the beams have been set. The bridge deck has been poured, and backfill work is continuing. In early September, crews will begin pouring the parapets for the bridge and constructing the bridge roadway. The bridge is expected to be complete by September 13, weather conditions permitting. In other bridge work, the waterline has been installed, in addition to the pouring of the backwalls, installation of the deck pans and tying rebar.  

Also in Phase I, the shared use path has been graded and landscaping will begin in mid-October. Curb and gutter installation in the northbound lanes has been completed from the AMF Bowling Alley entrance to Lakeside Drive and from Showalter Road to Ella Taylor Road.  

Traffic signalization work is continuing, with traffic signal poles and mast arms recently installed at Dare Road and Grafton Shopping Center, and permanent pole foundations at Sports Way and Oriana Road. Temporary signalization has been installed at Washington Square and the existing signal equipment will soon be removed. Preparations are underway to begin installation of underground signal work, conduit, junction boxes and signal cabinets.

Another left turn lane has been added at the intersection of Ella Taylor Road and George Washington Highway. Please be alert to the new traffic pattern.

On Thursday, Jan. 22, an update on the project was presented at Grafton High School in York County: 

George Washington Highway Widening Project Presentation

Project Updates:
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More project photos are available on Flickr.

Traffic Alerts

Throughout the duration of the project, weeknight single-lane closures are in effect from 7 p.m. until 5 a.m. Depending upon the work activities, lane closures may occur during the daytime hours from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.and on weekends if necessary. 

Showalter Road traffic is being detoured to Ella Taylor Road through late fall 2015. 

Traffic pattern changes:

Southbound traffic is being shifted slightly to the right from Sports Way to Ella Taylor Road to allow construction crews access to perform work in the median. Slight roadway modifications and a new traffic pattern are also in effect on the signalized side streets.

Northbound traffic has been shifted to the right outside lanes from the Magruder Boulevard ramp to north of Mill Road to allow construction crews access to perform work in the median. 

Other Project News

New Traffic Detection System Installed
Wireless sensors (also known as pucks) have been installed in the roadway along the Route 17 George Washington Highway project corridor. The sensors detect vehicles and transmit data for analysis of traffic speed, travel times and volume trends. Learn more about pucks here: Traffic Systems Face Off with Game Changing Technology

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Page last modified: Aug. 31, 2015