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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
Winter 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: Work in Phase I continues with demolition of the existing bridge, curb and gutter installation, ongoing installation of the permanent storm drainage systems, widening and reconstruction of the northbound and southbound lanes, and continued installation of the water line. The southbound section and the approaches have been completed, in addition to paving a portion of the shared use path just south of the bridge. The southbound left lanes between Harwoods Mill Reservoir and the Fort Magruder Boulevard ramp were also recently paved. Northbound traffic has been moved to the middle of the bridge to allow for construction in the northbound direction. 

In Phase II, signalization activities, such as pole foundations, setting poles and installation of conduit are ongoing. Temporary traffic signal work will soon begin in Phase III. 

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 change: Northbound traffic is being 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: May 29, 2015