The developers of National Harbor on Wednesday announced that $10 million in road improvements are underway in preparation for the MGM National Harbor opening at the end of the year.
Over the next few weeks, drivers in and around National Harbor will see some workers at 16 locations, and they should expect new signage to go up on the interstates and other roads alerting commuters about the upcoming opening, possible traffic delays, and new traffic patterns. The pre-opening construction itself could cause congestion.
But officials say that work is necessary to ensure better traffic flow. The improvements are a collaboration between National Harbor, MGM, Prince George’s and the Maryland State Highway Administration, officials said. It’s unclear –though we have asked– how much the developer and casino are contributing for the work, and whether any taxpayer money is being used for the projects.
Following is a map showing the road improvements, provided by National Harbor
The projects are centered around the casino property, which is about a mile north of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, has access to the Capital Beltway (I-95/495) and is in close proximity to Indian Head Highway (MD 210). The 23-acre parcel is on a hill overlooking the National Harbor waterfront area and the Potomac River. It has Oxon Hill Road to the east, National Avenue to the north, and Harborview Avenue to the south.
For the roads directly outside the casino, officials say the plan is to widen them and create dedicated lanes to the casino entrance to provide a smoother flow into and out of the facility.
Some work also focuses on Oxon Hill Road, one of the choke points in the area– especially since Tanger Outlets opened three years ago. As part of the improvements, crews will be adding a new traffic signal at Oxon Hill Road and Monument Avenue to create dual left-turn lanes northbound and southbound, and improve access to the Park and Ride.
In addition, there will be some new thru lanes to improve traffic flow onto I-295 and the new Rivercrest Drive. Some traffic signals will be improved and new ones will be added. For traffic coming from Virginia, there will be a new inbound lane from the Wilson bridge into National Harbor.
MGM National Harbor officials say they have also requested– and received approval to rename some roads. National Avenue will become Monument Avenue and Harborview Avenue will be MGM National Avenue. MGM has also built a two-lane road connecting the two avenues, which run parallel, just before reaching Oxon Hill Road. That road will be Rivercrest Drive and will help create a sort of a loop around the resort.