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Check here for the latest media reports about BRAC, press advisories related to BRAC activities and other announcements about BRAC-related issues. Please report any bad links by clicking the below each item.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

4-9-14 Gazette.Net: Planners seek more traffic info on planned Chevy Chase road -- Platt Ridge Drive could be extended through a corner of local park

Planners say they need more information before they can determine whether an access road planned to cut through the corner of a Chevy Chase park is necessary.

The Montgomery Planning Board deferred action Thursday on a set of three requests related to the county’s plan to extend Platt Ridge Drive between Jones Bridge Road and Montrose Drive to provide another entrance to the Chevy Chase Valley neighborhood.

The county and the State Highway Administration planned the road extension several years ago to help deal with an expected jump in traffic from the BRAC move of Walter Reed Hospital to Bethesda nearby, according to Planning Department documents. Since then, traffic hasn’t been as bad as anticipated, the documents said.

The proposed road extension cuts through the southeast corner of North Chevy Chase Local Park. Before the Planning Board gives the go-ahead for putting a road in, its members want to see more data on traffic and crash history to show the road is necessary, said Larry Cole, a Planning Department master planner.

“Since we’re going to be losing a good chunk of parkland and the forest, you have to prove that’s the only way,” Cole said.

The board delayed taking a vote on the road extension because it needed comments from an arborist before it could vote on a forest conservation plan, Cole said. The board did hear testimony and asked the county Department of Transportation for more traffic information.

Cole said he expects the proposed road extension to be back before the Planning Board in a couple of months.

POSTED: 8:13:00 AM |

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

4-8-14 Washington Post: Road work set on Maryland commuter routes

Most of the Maryland State Highway Administration projects that will affect travelers in the D.C. suburbs this construction season are repavings, but there are a few interchange, intersection and bridge projects that are likely to be even more noticeable. Here are some that commuters are most likely to notice.


Intersections
Route 355 at Cedar Lane. This intersection improvement project, adding turn lanes and through lanes, starts this spring and continues to summer 2016. The Cedar Lane intersection is on the northwest corner of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and the project is one of several meant to ease traffic stemming from the federal base consolidations. The work is likely to have a moderate to high impact on traffic.

Old Georgetown Road and West Cedar Lane. This is another project to improve traffic flow at an intersection near Walter Reed. It will create a new northbound right-turn lane onto Cedar Lane and reconfigure westbound Cedar Lane so that it has a through/left-turn lane next to a lane for right turns only.

POSTED: 3:42:00 PM |

Friday, February 21, 2014

2-20-14 Bethesda Now: Cedar Lane Closing For 2 Months Starting In June

The noticeable construction work on Cedar Lane at Rockville Pike is leading up to a complete closure of the road that will last most of summer.

Christopher Bishop, community liaison for the State Highway Administration, told the Walter Reed BRAC Integration Committee on Tuesday that Cedar Lane will be shut down sometime around the first week of June until August.

As part of a group of federally funded intersection improvement projects around the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, the SHA is creating a dedicated turn lane on Cedar Lane east of Rockville Pike and realigning a culvert for the creek that runs under the road.

Bishop said the work going on now is to divert that stream. Outreach materials are undergoing final review and the SHA hopes to have a website with regular updates on the project up soon.

Cedar Lane is a major access point to Rockville Pike for commuters to and from WRNMMC and NIH.

A Montgomery County project to replace the 74-year-old Elmhirst Parkway Bridge over the same creek is scheduled to begin in the summer too. County and state officials are coordinating efforts to make sure that closure doesn’t affect the Cedar Lane closure at the intersection.

Richard Levine, from the Locust Hill Citizens Association, said he’d actually prefer if both projects overlapped. Levine said he’s worried about the potential for neighborhood cut-thru traffic when that section of Cedar Lane is closed.

Bishop said the SHA is aware of the Aug. 25 opening date for the 2014-2015 MCPS school year, which typically brings more traffic on area roadways.

POSTED: 10:54:00 AM |

Monday, August 12, 2013

Forest Glen Annex's temporarily closure of gate due to sequestration affects Ride On Route 4

On July 15, the Forest Glen Annex closed its Linden Gate entrance to vehicles and pedestrians as a result of sequester staffing reductions. Vehicles and pedestrians must now use the Brookville Gate for all entries and exits.

With this change, the Ride On Route 4 bus will no longer be allowed to enter the Annex. Instead, riders on this route must use the bus stop at the intersection of Linden and Warren streets, and then walk to the Brookville Gate entrance. An option for northbound riders is to use the Ride On Route 2 bus, which will continue to enter the Annex.

More information and maps are available on Fort Detrick’s website or contact the Fort Detrick Public Affairs Office at 301-619-2018.

POSTED: 10:44:00 AM |

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

6-21-13 Gazette.Net: $68 million project to ease traffic on Rockville Pike, increase pedestrian safety -- Including: pedestrian tunnel and high-speed

Montgomery County recently issued a request for contractors to bid on a $68 million dollar project that includes high-speed elevators to the Medical Center Metro station and a pedestrian tunnel under Rockville Pike, county transportation officials said at a public presentation on June 17.

The project, called the “Maryland Route 355 Multimodal Crossing Project,” is slated to start in the fall of 2014 and completed by the fall of 2017.

The makeover is part of the larger Base Realignment and Closure, or BRAC, campaign that has seen thousands more employees come to work at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda. The goal of the work is to help alleviate congestion on Rockville Pike, also called Md. 355, and to increase pedestrian safety, said Holger Serrano, an engineer with the Montgomery County Department of Transportation.

Request for proposals for contractors have been issued, and are due back in the fall, Serrano said.

The project would not exceed $68 million, he said, which equals the amount granted by the U.S. Department of Defense for the project.

That money will pay for three high-speed elevators on the east side of Md. 355 that will whisk passengers from the Walter Reed Military Medical campus down to the Medical Center Metro station 120 feet below as well as for the 80-foot-long pedestrian tunnel that will run beneath Md. 355 at Wood Road. There will also be shallow escalators and elevators, as well as stairs, going to the Metro on the west side.

Serrano said the current street-level crosswalk will remain, but that he hopes people will use the tunnel instead, both for safety reasons and because it will help the traffic on Md. 355 move more quickly if cars do not have to stop for pedestrians. The county is considering adding lights and cameras to the tunnel to make it safer and more appealing, he said.

But some at the meeting expressed concern with trying to speed up traffic on Md. 355, a thoroughfare that runs through the heart of Bethesda and sees a lot of foot traffic.

Others objected to curving corners at intersections, which would allow cars to turn without having to slow down as much.

But Serrano said the time to discuss design had passed.

The project will be jointly maintained by the county and Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. The county will own and operate the shallow elevators and escalators on the west side and the pedestrian underpass. WMATA will own and operate the high-speed elevators.

For more information on the project, visit the website: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/dot-dte/projects/355Underpass/index.html.

POSTED: 10:40:00 AM |

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