Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett participated in a groundbreaking ceremony on July 13 for the Equipment and Maintenance Operations Center (EMOC). This is the first of his Smart Growth Initiative (SGI) construction projects that will eventually revitalize an old industrial area by creating an urban village near the Shady Grove Metro station. Leggett’s SGI is a cost-neutral strategy that will provide substantial economic opportunities for future growth while implementing the goals of the Shady Grove Sector Plan. The SGI will:
Create a transit-oriented bioscience enclave at the Shady Grove Life Sciences Center that will increase the County’s competitiveness;
Construct thousands of new housing units;
Create new, high-paying jobs;
Relocate and replace old, overcrowded and inadequate public facilities;
Save $22 million a year on rent payments; and
Create opportunities to protect the agricultural reserve.
The Shady Grove Sector Plan, approved by the County Council in 2005, calls for transitioning the area around the Shady Grove Metro from light industrial uses to transit-oriented housing by building up to 6,500 new units, including affordable and workforce housing. To accomplish this goal, the County Service Park facilities, located in the heart of the planning area along Crabbs Branch Way, must be relocated. The facilities that will be moved include EMOC; the Department of Liquor Control Headquarters and Warehouse; Montgomery County Public Schools Food Distribution Center; Bus Depot and Facilities Maintenance Depot; Crabbs Branch Day Labor Center; County Radio Shop; and Park and Planning Facilities Maintenance Depot.
The overall project is designed to achieve a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification by incorporating innovative features.
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) has received over $15 million in stimulus funds designed to boost the economy of local governments and improve the transportation infrastructure. MCDOT’s Division of Highway Services received $6.7 million to improve seven deteriorated roadways. The first project, Barnesville Road, was completed last fall, and now three additional resurfacing projects are underway.
Begun in the spring and nearly complete, a resurfacing project on Old Columbia Pike from MD 198 to US 29 is replacing defective curbs, gutters, and sidewalks; patching pavement; and resurfacing with hot mix asphalt. Similar improvements are underway on 10 lane miles of Shady Grove Road, from I-270 to Darnestown Road, four-and-half lane miles of Randolph Road, from east of Nebel Street to the Rock Creek bridge.
The remaining ARRA projects -- Forest Glen Road, Travilah Road, and Wightman Road -- are expected to be completed this fall. For information about other stimulus funds, go to the County’s website.
The Department of Transportation’s Division of Highway Services (DHS) recently began road resurfacing projects in the neighborhoods of Hamlet North, east of Gaithersburg; Mountain View Estates, North Potomac; Edinburgh, Olney; and Bradley Woods, Bethesda; and on Renn Street, Marianna Drive, and West Frankfort Drive in Aspen Hill.
For these projects, DHS patches areas of distressed pavement; mills the roadway surface, removing one to two inches to improve drainage; makes utility adjustments; seals cracks; repaves the road using hot mix asphalt; and restores the lane markings.
Work is also planned to preserve roads in Fox Hills West, Potomac and in Sherwood Forest Manor, Silver Spring using micro seal resurfacing. To preserve roads, DHS patches areas of distressed pavement; makes utility adjustments; seals cracks; restores the lane markings; and uses a micro seal material that fills cracks and small voids and extends the life of the road pavement.
Permanent patching work is underway on in Rockville on Arctic Avenue and the Rock Creek Manor neighborhood; in Aspen Hill on Bauer Drive, from Marianna Drive to Norbeck Road. Areas of pavement that require replacement down to the road base are excavated and replaced with hot mix asphalt. This full depth patching restores the pavement’s structural integrity, prevents water from getting into the pavement and underlying road base. Patching extends roads life between 15 and 20 years.
Repairs are in progress in the Kensington Heights neighborhood in North Kensington.
The work involves removing and replacing damaged sidewalks and ensuring that curb ramps are accessible to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act; removing and replacing damaged and misaligned curbs; and restoring disturbed areas with soil, grass seed, and straw mulch. While DHS is in the neighborhood, residents can take advantage of the competitive price offered by the County to replace driveway aprons (the portion of the driveway that is within the public right-of-way) and lead walks (the sidewalk from the edge of the road to a homeowner’s property line).
On August 1, the Department of Transportation’s Division of Transportation Engineering began a project to replace the 28-foot single span, steel beam bridge on White Ground Road, where it crosses over Buck Lodge Branch. The project will involve extensive stream restoration. Work is expected to be completed in spring of 2012.
The bridge will be closed to through traffic, but local traffic will continue to have access. The detour routes on Maryland Route 117 and Maryland Route 28 are marked with signs.
The Department of Transportation Division of Transportation Engineering held a Public Hearing on July 13 to obtain comments that will assist the County Executive in determining whether or not to authorize construction of Montrose Parkway East. The proposed road will extend Montrose Parkway West (which runs from I-270 to Maryland Route 355) to Viers Mill Road (Maryland Route 587). The road was recommended in the North Bethesda/Garrett Park Master Plan.
The proposed roadway would include a four-lane divided highway with curb and gutter, a five-foot wide concrete sidewalk on the south side, and a 10-foot wide asphalt path on the north side. The project would include a 350-foot highway bridge over Rock Creek; relocation and reconstruction of 800 feet of Rock Creek Trail – including a 107-foot long pedestrian bridge over proposed Montrose Parkway; reconstruction of approximately 2,000 feet of Veirs Mill Road; and several retaining walls designed to reduce environmental impacts. Streetlighting, landscaping and stormwater management are part of the design. The traffic signal at the Veirs Mill intersection will be modified to accommodate the new intersection.
The complete project would cost an estimated $119,495,000, including engineering, right-of-way acquisition, site improvements, and construction.
The Rockville sales office for purchasing Ride On and Metro SmarTrip cards and other fare media has moved from 101 Monroe Street to the Treasury Division’s sales office, located at 255 Rockville Pike (Suite L-15). The new location, just a block north of its former site, is also accessible from Monroe Street. Parking is available in several nearby lots or garages and the area is still very accessible by transit via buses or Metro at the Rockville Metro station. Office hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Other retail sales outlets in Rockville are located at:
CVS – 360 Hungerford Dr. Room 410
CVS – 11852 Rockville Pike, Mid-Pike Plaza
Giant – 9719 Traville Gateway Drive
Giant – 12051 Rockville Pike
To find locations of retail outlets throughout the region, see Metro’s web site.
A new ramp now open from southbound US 29 (Columbia Pike) allows motorists to access both directions of Fairland Road. Motorists can no longer make right or left turns directly onto Fairland Road from US 29.
A new flashing beacon at Fairland Road from the relocated southbound US 29 ramp guides motorists to either east or westbound Fairland Road. The beacon flashes red for motorists on the ramp and yellow for motorists on Fairland Road.
This new configuration is part of the State Highway Administration’s $2.5 billion Intercounty Connector (ICC) project. For more information on the new ramp, including a helpful map, visit SHA’s website.