Completed in 1932, the Mount Vernon Parkway between Mount Vernon and the Arlington Memorial Bridge was built to commemorate the 200th birthday of George Washington. Unlike most straight-line roadways built at the time, the Mount Vernon Parkway was designed to compliment its natural setting, not overcome it. The highway curves through the wooded hills along the Potomac in gradual, streamlined arcs that follow the natural topography of the land. Beveled concrete curbs allow easy pull-off onto grass shoulders.
Construction of the pavement was divided into two sections. Because the 7 1/2 mile section between Arlington Memorial Bridge and Huntington Creek covered about 2 1/2 miles of hydraulic fill, this section of the road was constructed of a 2-inch asphalt topping over a 7-inch concrete base. The remaining 8 miles from Huntington Creek to Mount Vernon is all 8-inch reinforced concrete.
To install wire mesh reinforcement, the concrete pavement was placed in two lifts. A double-screed finishing machine with its front screed down leveled off the first lift of concrete to about 2 inches below the top of the side forms. The wire mesh was laid down, and both the screed and the mixer were backed up to place the second lift of concrete, only this time with the machine's front screed raised.