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Newsletter | July, 2007 Back to Go Montgomery | Archive


County Executive Leggett Announces New Road Maintenance Program to Upgrade and Preserve County’s Transportation Infrastructure back to top

A new program will be taking a more systematic and comprehensive approach to maintaining the County’s transportation infrastructure using data-driven methods to ensure that critical services are provided in the most effective and efficient ways.  For the first time, the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) is conducting an evaluation of all 4,800 lane miles of County roads, which should be completed later this year.  The evaluation, which will be conducted every two years, will assign ratings of very good, good, fair, poor, or very poor to each road using a formula-based scoring system.    This road evaluation will be used to prioritize the department’s maintenance, rehabilitation and resurfacing efforts. 

The Battery Park neighborhood in Bethesda, established in 1923, is the first area that will be rehabilitated under the new program.  Work began in July.  For more information, see the project press release or call MCDOT’s Customer Service Line at 240-777-6000.


Leggett Announces Pedestrian Protection Project to Improve Safety
on Arcola Avenue — back to top

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett announced that pedestrian safety and traffic calming improvements will be made on Arcola Avenue between Hoyt Street and Kemp Mill Road in Wheaton in July.  The innovative pedestrian protection improvements that are being installed were successfully used last year by MCDOT on Connecticut Avenue, where motorist speeds were reduced by about 10 miles per hour without affecting the road’s ability to handle traffic demand during peak hours.

The improvement project will reduce the number of travel lanes on the roadway to calm traffic and enhance pedestrian safety.  For Arcola, the four-lane road will be reduced to one lane in each direction.  MCDOT will install concrete pedestrian refuge islands, which are areas between lanes of traffic where pedestrians may safely wait.  The refuge islands not only help calm traffic, but also reduce the crossing distance for pedestrians.  MCDOT will also install bump-outs, which extend the curb, also giving pedestrians a shorter distance to cross the road.  Other pedestrian safety enhancements include the addition of a two-way center turn lane; relocation of bus stops; and repositioning and striping of crosswalks.  Signs and lighting will be evaluated and, where needed, enhanced to better accommodate senior motorists and pedestrians.

For more information about the Arcola Avenue project, see the project press release on the County’s website.   For information about the County’s Pedestrian Safety program, visit the County’s website or call 240-777-7170.


Other Construction Project Updatesback to top

Rehabilitation of Burning Tree Road Bridge
Construction should begin in September to rehabilitate the Burning Tree Road Bridge over Booze Creek in Bethesda.  The bridge was originally built in 1963 and is in need of a new bridge deck, surface, abutments and substructure.  The reconstructed 42-foot wide bridge will have two 11-foot wide traffic lanes, a two-foot shoulder on the west side and a five-foot shoulder on the east side, five-foot sidewalks on each side and concrete parapets. 

To avoid total closure of the bridge during construction, crews will complete work on the west side of the bridge first and then begin construction on the east side.  Staff anticipates closing the bridge to all traffic for only one weekend.  Construction should be completed in the summer of 2009.

Pedestrian Bridge at Newport Road and Glen Cove Parkway Closed for Repairs Until Fall
MCDOT closed the pedestrian bridge located in Bethesda at Newport Road and Glen Cove Parkway when staff discovered that the bridge’s beams were severely corroded beyond repair.  Staff were preparing to repaint the 16-foot bridge that provides pedestrian access over a drainage ditch, but are now planning to reconstruct the bridge over the next few months.   

While the bridge is closed, pedestrians can cross at another pedestrian bridge located at Glen Cove Parkway and Baltimore Avenue, about 220 feet from the Newport Road bridge.  For more information, contact the MCDOT Hotline at 240-777-7165.

Dixon and Bonifant Road Paving Begins in July
In July, MCDOT’s Division of Transportation Engineering began resurfacing Dixon and Bonifant streets in Silver Spring.  Construction will take place between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. to minimize traffic disruptions. 

For more information on this project, contact Timothy J. O'Gwin, Capital Projects Manager with the Division of Transportation Engineering at 240-777-6051 or at tim.ogwin@montgomerycountymd.gov.

MCDOT Repairs and Resurfaces Neighborhood Streets and Sidewalks
MCDOT’s Division of Highway Services continues its warm weather road maintenance program.  DHS is responsible for maintaining over 4,800 lane-miles of streets in Montgomery County.  During the warmer weather months, the crews focus on repair and resurfacing.  Resurfacing roads extends their usefulness, protects the road base and subbase, seals small cracks, and levels minor imperfections. 

DHS notifies residents in neighborhoods before resurfacing begins.  Some areas of the County receiving recent improvements include: Norfolk Avenue between Wisconsin and Rugby avenues; a block of Cheltenham Drive; St. Elmo Avenue between Old Georgetown Road and Woodmont Avenue; and Cordell Avenue between Old Georgetown Road and Woodmont Avenue.

Road resurfacing is planned for the North Sherwood Forest and South Stonegate neighborhoods, Colesville; Stoneybrook Drive, Kensington; Manor Road, Jones Mill Road and Jones Bridge Road, Chevy Chase; Tenbrook Drive, Silver Spring; Layhill View and Layhill Village East neighborhoods, Layhill; and the Norbeck Meadows neighborhood, Olney. 

MCDOT is also making curb and sidewalk repairs on Tenbrook Drive in Silver Spring and the Glenwood community in Bethesda.


Residents Have Option to Repair Driveways and Walks When DOT Replaces Sidewalks and Curbs back to top
When MCDOT repairs or replaces neighborhood sidewalks and curbs, residents have the option to also replace their driveway apron and front door walkway at the same time for a fee.  Residents can take advantage of the County’s contract prices and the cost to the homeowner is based on the square yards of new concrete needed.  For more information, call MCDOT’s Customer Service Line at 240-777-6000.


Transit Ridership Continues to Soar in June — back to top
For the month of June, Ride On ridership increased by 4.8 percent compared to June 2007.  Ninety eight thousand passengers took Ride On during an average weekday, an increase of 6.2 percent over last year.  There were more than 100,000 riders on eight days in June.

For the fiscal year ending June 30, total ridership was 29,673,140 passengers, an increase of 5.1 percent over the previous fiscal year. 


June Had Two Code Red Daysback to top
Residents are reminded that a Code Red Air Quality Action Day – when unhealthy air quality is anticipated – means Ride On and Metrobus in Montgomery County offer free rides all day.  Predictions about air quality are made the day before by the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and their forecasts are available on their website.   Ride On offered free rides on two days in June -- Sunday, June 8 and Monday, June 9.    

During days when air quality is poor, repeated exposure to ozone can aggravate bronchitis, heart disease, and asthma, and may permanently reduce lung capacity.  Ozone is a gas that forms in the atmosphere when heat from the sun reacts with pollutants.  If an Ozone Alert is announced, residents can help improve air quality by carpooling, telecommuting, or taking public transit to work.  Other actions that help include combining trips; refueling after dark; and putting off using gasoline powered lawn equipment. 

For information on Ride On, call the Transit Information Center at 240-777-7433, or check the County’s website


County Wins Agreement from Contractor to Repair Forest Glen Pedestrian Bridge Pathway and Landscaping — back to top

Premature deterioration of the Forest Glen Pedestrian Bridge walking surface led the County to seek repairs from the contractor that built the bridge.  Under a tentative settlement agreement, the contractor has, at no cost to the County, removed the thin layer of deteriorated walkway concrete and treated the surface with a penetrating sealant.  In addition, landscaping and grass that failed to survive last summer’s drought has been replaced by the contractor.

MCDOT has added new security features to the bridge, including enhanced lighting underneath I-495; emergency call boxes; and security cameras.  For additional information, call 240-777-7210.


Public Meeting Held to Discuss Bethesda Bikeways and Pedestrian Facilitiesback to top

On July 16, a public meeting was held to discuss the construction of new bikeways planned for Bethesda.  The projects include the interim northside Bethesda Avenue shared use path between Woodmont and Wisconsin avenues; the northside Willow Avenue shared use path between Wisconsin Avenue and 47th Street; and the 47th Street shared use path from Willow Avenue into the Elm Street Park entrance to the Capital Crescent Trail.   In addition, bike route signs are planned for sections of Norfolk Avenue, Woodmont Avenue, Old Georgetown Road, Cheltenham Drive, Tilbury Street, Sleaford Road, Pearl Street, Bethesda Avenue, Willow Avenue and 47th Street.

Last edited: 7/30/2008