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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: Work in Phase I continues with construction of the new 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. Crews will soon begin pouring the parapets for the bridge and constructing the bridge roadway. Permanent storm drainage systems and mainline water mains have been installed. Widening activities in the north- and southbound lanes are nearly complete, and curb and gutter installation remains ongoing. Traffic signal poles and mast arms were recently installed at the intersection of Ella Taylor Road, Heritage Square, Oriana Road/Lakeside Drive and George Washington Shopping Center. 

In Phase II, waterline installation continues, in addition to relocation of water services, installation of storm sewer pipes and drainage structures and widening of the outside lanes from Lakeside Drive/Oriana Road to George Washington Shopping Center. Preparations are underway to begin installation of underground signal work, conduit, junction boxes and signal cabinets.

Temporary traffic signal work and storm sewer pipe installation 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

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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. 28, 2015