POTOMAC, Md. – Starting October 5, 2015 through January 12, 2016, safety improvement work will be performed on the entrance and access roads in the Great Falls Tavern area in Potomac, Maryland. The project was developed to improve road safety, improve vehicle flow at the fee collection booth, and enhance emergency vehicles access to the towpath and park area. The road project will be managed by the Federal Highway Administration through a contract awarded to Pavkov Contracting Company from Sumter SC for $476,849.
On October 12, the contractor will begin work on the turn before the fee booth to increase the super elevation of the turn, and install guardrails, additional signage, and pavement markers. This work can occur during or after park hours. If the work is during park hours, visitors will be directed through the construction area with the use of flagmen. Motorists are asked to drive slowly and use caution. Due to the removal of asphalt and the uneven surfaces, bicyclists are requested to avoid using the entrance road during this construction period. Weather permitting, the construction on entrance road will be completed by November 30, 2015.
In addition to the safety improvements of the entrance road, the contractor will be installing traffic control gates at the fee booth. Two gates will be installed on the entrance lanes and one gate will be installed on the exit lane. Although gates will be installed during non-park hours, visitors are asked to use caution when traveling through the area. Once the gates are installed, small vehicles and bikes will use the lane next to the fee booth to enter the park. Oversized vehicles including large trucks, buses and motorhomes will use the wider outside lane.
The final phase of this project will be the widening and realignment of the access road behind the public restrooms near the Great Falls Tavern and Visitor Center. This will allow easier, quicker and safer access to the towpath and river for emergency response vehicles. During construction, all visitors are asked to use the sidewalk and stay out of the construction area. Work for this final phase can occur during or after park hours.