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Northern GW Parkway to close with snow expected Friday night

A U.S. Postal Service truck in Vienna during the Jan. 19, 2024 snowstorm (photo by Amy Woolsey)

(Updated at 5 p.m.) The northern section of the George Washington Memorial Parkway will close tonight (Friday) in anticipation of some snowfall, the National Park Service says.

The closure will start at 7 p.m. and extend from the Capital Beltway (I-495) in McLean to Spout Run in Arlington.

“This closure is necessary to ensure the proper treatment of the roadway and to restore the parkway to safe travel conditions,” the park service said in its announcement of the closure this morning. “Crews will work diligently to treat the road for safe passage of drivers. Drivers should anticipate delays in reopening the northern section of the parkway as crews are required to use smaller equipment than usual to accommodate the lane widths and configurations.”

Drivers are advised to plan to use an alternate route.

As rehabilitation work continues on the northern GW Parkway, the NPS instituted a policy this winter of closing the road whenever 2 or more inches of snow are forecast.

The National Weather Service issued a Winter Weather Advisory this morning for the D.C. area, including Fairfax County that will be in effect from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. tomorrow (Saturday). Two to four inches of snow are expected, though some areas could potentially see as many as six inches, according to the advisory.

The impending storm has already prompted the Town of Vienna to cancel classes that were scheduled for tomorrow at the Vienna Community Center and Bowman House.

“The Community Center is expected to open at 10:30 a.m. for rentals and public use,” the town said in a tweet.

Fairfax County Public Schools has nixed all activities set to take place on school grounds before noon tomorrow, including extracurricular activities, athletic team practices and non-FCPS community and recreational programs.

Here’s the full advisory from the NWS:

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY NOW IN EFFECT FROM 11 PM THIS EVENING TO 7 AM EST SATURDAY…

* WHAT…Snow expected. Total snow accumulations of 2 to 4 inches, with isolated totals up to 6 inches possible under heavier snow bands.

* WHERE…Portions of central Maryland, The District of Columbia, and northern Virginia.

* WHEN…From 11 PM this evening to 7 AM EST Saturday.

* IMPACTS…Plan on slippery road conditions.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Snowfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour are possible for a few hours under the heaviest snow bands. Visibility may be reduced to less than one half mile at times.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

Slow down and use caution while traveling.

When venturing outside, watch your first few steps taken on steps, sidewalks, and driveways, which could be icy and slippery, increasing your risk of a fall and injury.

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