Beach Drive. Credit: Photo from National Park Service

The National Park Service is keeping several portions of Beach Drive, beginning at the Maryland-D.C. border in Chevy Chase and running into D.C., closed to motorists through Sept. 5 as it continues an environmental assessment, the agency announced Thursday.

In April 2020, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the park service closed sections of the road in Rock Creek Park to provide more space for pedestrians and bicyclists to maintain social distancing. Since then the park service has been conducting an evaluation of whether to keep the northern part of the road closed permanently to vehicular traffic.

According to the park service, the study is taking a long time because it has added studies for an environmental assessment, including impacts to threatened and endangered species.

On Thursday, the park service said in a press release that the closures had been extended from previously stated opening date of April 30 to Sept. 5.

“This extension will ensure that we maintain recreational opportunities this summer, through Labor Day,” the press release stated.

The areas of Beach Drive that will remain closed to traffic are between:

  • Broad Branch Road NW and Joyce Road NW
  • Picnic Grove #10 and Wise Road NW
  • West Beach Drive NW and Boundary Bridge

Dan Schere can be reached at