Friday, July 30, 2010
The Montgomery County Department of Transportation’s Division of Transportation Engineering has begun construction of Watkins Mill Road Extended, designated in the Gaithersburg Vicinity Master Plan as a vital east-west link. The project will connect Watkins Mill Road east of I-270 to Frederick Road/Maryland Route 355 and, ultimately, to the Metropolitan Grove station and interim terminus for the Corridor Cities Transitway. In the future, the State will build an interchange at I-270 and Watkins Mill Road to relieve congestion at the Maryland 124/I-270 interchange, and the Frederick Road/Montgomery Village Avenue and Quince Orchard Road/Clopper Road intersections.
Under an agreement with the County and the City of Gaithersburg, a private developer, BP Realty Investments, constructed a four-lane portion of Watkins Mill Road, from west of I-270 to an existing section of road east of Clopper Road/Maryland Route 117. The developer is paying for nearly one-fourth of the Watkins Mill Road Extended project and the County and the City are paying the remaining amount. The developer also dedicated the land for the future interchange and a new 6th District County Police Station.
Watkins Mill Road Extended will be a six-lane highway that includes a sidewalk, a bike path and street lighting. A wildlife management plan, conducted in partnership with the Humane Society of the United States, has helped move vulnerable animals away from the path of the project.
The road should be completed next summer at a cost of $7.7 million.