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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 construction of the northbound section of the bridge, including the approaches. Other work includes 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 sound wall, storm water management basin, and the southbound section of the bridge are now complete.  

In Phase II, traffic has shifted to the median. Crews also restriped the temporary lane markings that had worn away as a result of the snow events and plowing operations. In Phase III, temporary widening of the median continues, as well as mobilization for utilities. Additional activities for Phases II and III include the installations of erosion and sediment controls, the water main and hydrants, and storm drain and utilities.

Signalization activities, such as pole foundations, setting poles and installation of conduit are ongoing throughout the project. 

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

Motorists should expect single-lane closures on George Washington Highway (Route 17) in the southbound direction between Harwoods Mill Reservoir and the Magruder Boulevard ramp (Route 134) beginning Sunday, April 19, at 3:30 a.m. and continuing until Monday, April 20 at 5:00 a.m. Crews will be performing paving operations as part of the project. 

Following the paving work, southbound traffic will shift to the southbound lanes of the new bridge. This will allow for planned project improvements to begin in the northbound lanes. The start date for the traffic shift is dependent upon weather conditions. 

Motorists are advised that the reduced 35mph speed limit remains in effect throughout the work zone between Hampton Highway and Goodwin Neck Road. 

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: April 17, 2015