Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett announced today that rehabilitation of the Battery Park neighborhood in Bethesda will begin next week under a new program that is taking a more systematic and comprehensive approach to maintaining the County’s transportation infrastructure. As part of Leggett’s commitment to using data-driven methods to ensure that critical services are provided in the most effective and efficient ways, the Department of Transportation (MCDOT) is revamping its system of prioritizing road repairs and the techniques it uses for road resurfacing.
“To keep Montgomery County moving, we must invest in maintaining our existing transportation infrastructure so our older communities stay vital,” said Leggett. “The new Department of Transportation is reinventing the way it does business as part of our continuing effort to find better and more cost effective ways of providing services. Battery Park, which was established in 1923, has many roads that are in very poor condition, and this neighborhood will be the first to benefit from our revised approach.”
As part of its revised process for rehabilitation and reconstruction, MCDOT began a new Capital Improvements Program project this year that funds a comprehensive and systematic plan for road maintenance. A central part of this planning process is a road condition evaluation. For the first time, MCDOT is evaluating all 4,800 lane miles of County roads. The evaluation, which should be completed later this year, will be conducted every two years. It will assign ratings of very good, good, fair, poor, or very poor to each road using a formula-based scoring system. The evaluation also will be used to prioritize the department’s maintenance, rehabilitation and resurfacing efforts.
Councilmember Roger Berliner, who represents Battery Park, applauded the new approach: “I am pleased that the County is improving the quality of roads and the quality of life in down-county communities that were previously neglected. The County’s new data-driven approach should ensure that other older neighborhoods get the attention and road improvements they deserve.”
The road condition ratings will broaden MCDOT’s focus by directing resources to maintain the high-quality of good roads, and target the worst roads for rehabilitation and repair. For roads in good condition, MCDOT will concentrate on preserving the pavement quality by using methods, such as slurry seal treatments, that seal minor cracks and openings to prevent water damage to the roadway. These methods also restore the pavement’s surface, are cost effective and extend the life of the pavement.
“With MCDOT’s new name, there also comes a sharper focus on improving accountability, efficiency and effectiveness in our transportation operations,” said MCDOT Director Arthur Holmes. “The County government is stepping up its efforts to use quantitative measures to guide the way we provide services.”
Pavement in fair condition will be patched, which involves replacing distressed sections of pavement, then resurfaced using hot mix asphalt. The hot mix asphalt process involves applying a geo-textile reinforcing material to the pavement base to strengthen the pavement and retard road cracking, applying a uniform layer of hot mix asphalt, then compacting the asphalt to create a smooth pavement surface. The combination of patching and hot mix asphalt resurfacing restores the road’s structural capacity for at least 12 years.
Roads that have reached the end of their service life and are in poor or very poor condition will be rehabilitated by patching large sections of the roadway, reconstructing the roadway by grinding off the road surface and replacing the road base where needed, resurfacing with a minimum of two inches of hot mix asphalt, and where needed, replacing concrete sidewalks, curbs and gutters. This treatment should keep the roadway structurally sound for at least 12 years.
In Battery Park, most of the roads targeted for rehabilitation are in very poor condition. Starting next week, MCDOT will remove and replace deteriorated concrete sidewalks, curbs and gutters, as needed, grind up two inches of the roadway surface, further evaluate the road substructure for damage, patch where needed, and resurface the
roadway with hot mix asphalt. MCDOT expects the project to be completed in October.
The Battery Park neighborhood roads targeted for rehabilitation are Cordell Avenue, from Old Georgetown to Wilson Lane; Del Ray Avenue, from Old Georgetown to Wilson Lane; Exeter Road, from Glenbrook Road to Wilson Lane; Battery Lane, from Exeter Road to Glenbrook Road; Fairfax Road, from Wilson Lane to Glenbrook Road; Glenbrook Road, from Wilson Lane to Old Georgetown Road; Goddard Lane, from Battery Lane to Custer Road; Maple Ridge Road, from Glenbrook Road to Old Georgetown Road; Park Lane, from Maple Ridge Road to Custer Road; and Custer Road, from Huntington Parkway to Wilson Lane.
The cost for the project is estimated to be $850,000.
For more information, call MCDOT’s Customer Service Line at 240-777-6000, or go to their website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/mcdot, under “Visit Our Divisions” click on “Highway” and then “Road Maintenance.”
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