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   Newsletter Vol 29 | September, 2006 Back to Go Montgomery | Archive 

Construction Projects Update— back to top

Montrose Parkway Status Report
Good progress continues to be made on the Montrose Parkway project, which was 30 percent complete in August. Utility companies have been relocating power lines and communication cables for the last nine months, with the work scheduled for completion next summer. Construction of new storm drains and stormwater management facilities along Montrose Road and in the Old Farm Creek watershed are nearly complete. The new bridge over Old Farm Creek is 60 percent complete, and construction of roadway embankments is underway.

Brink Road Bridge
Construction of a replacement for the Brink Road Bridge (M-063) over Goshen Branch, built in 1930, began this month. The new bridge will be located just east of the existing bridge to avoid impacting the Goshen Branch Stream Valley Park. Construction of the project will take about 13 months, and plans are in place so traffic will not be interrupted.

The new bridge will be about 49 feet long, with two 11-foot lanes and four-foot shoulders. The approach roads will also be improved. The project will minimize environmental impacts by providing slope protection; protective coverings on stream banks to prevent erosion; and stormwater management features.

For more information, contact the Montgomery County Department of Public Works and Transportation, Division of Capital Development at 240-777-7210 or dcd.construction@montgomerycountymd.gov.

Valley Park Drive
The County’s Division of Capital Development has just completed Valley Park Drive, a new $2.1 million road construction project in the Damascus area. Work was started last October. The extension provides an east-west connection between Ridge Road and Woodfield Road.

Valley Park Drive was extended 1,100 feet, and the project also included storm water management features, street lights, landscaping, a new sidewalk, and a 400-foot retaining wall. The project also provides safer access for residents of the Damascus Manor Townhouses and some on-street parking spaces, which were requested by the community.

Forest Glen Pedestrian Bridge Opens— back to top

A new Department of Public Works and Transportation project, that received unanimous support from the community, greatly improves pedestrian safety, boosts access to transit, and promotes community interconnectedness. On August 30, Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan joined state and local officials and community representatives to celebrate the opening of the Forest Glen Pedestrian Bridge. The elevated pedestrian walkway is located on the west side of Georgia Avenue between Locust Grove Road and Forest Glen Road, spanning three Capital Beltway ramps. The new bridge and bikeway is fully accessible by persons with disabilities and gives Forest Glen residents and bicyclists, easy, safe access to the Forest Glen Metrorail Station and retail establishments along Georgia Avenue.

The quarter-mile bridge will include a public art component jointly funded by the Public Arts Trust of the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County and the County’s Department of Public Works and Transportation. Raya Bodnarchuk, an associate professor at Corcoran College of Art and Design, was selected by the Council to create 11 sculptures that will enhance the bridge. The sculptures are currently being cast at the New Arts Foundry in Baltimore and will be installed in November.

The total project cost was $7.7 million, of which $4.6 million was from County funding, $2.9 million from the Federal Transportation Enhancement Fund administered by the State Highway Administration, and $200,000 from State aid. The bridge was completed on time and within budget. The consulting engineers were Rummel, Klepper, and Kahl of Baltimore. The construction contractor was A & M Concrete Corporation of Falls Church, Virginia.

New Parking Meters Installed in Silver Spring Have Cash Key Compatibility — back to top

Montgomery County’s Department of Public Works and Transportation, Division of Operations, recently completed the replacement of nearly 5,800 downtown Silver Spring parking meters with state-of-the-art electronic meters that allow parkers to use a Cash Key in addition to coins.

The Cash Key, also available in Bethesda, North Bethesda, and Wheaton, is a handy device that eliminates the need for cash and fits on a key chain. Up to $650 can be loaded onto the Cash Key. Insert the key into a parking meter once and the value remaining on the key is displayed. Insert the key a second time and payment is deducted from the key for three hours on a long-term meter or one hour on a short-term meter.

Purchase a Cash Key or add value to it at various locations throughout the county including the Silver Spring and Bethesda Parking Stores, the Mid-County Regional Services Center, and the North Bethesda Transportation Management District office.

The County offers more than 12,000 parking spaces in downtown Silver Spring. Other parking spaces are in Cashier or Pay on Foot garages, or are permit, carpool or handicapped spaces.

For more details about the Cash Key visit the County’s website.

Ride On Expands and Improves Service in September – Continues to Set New Ridership Records — back to top

Starting September 3, Montgomery County’s Ride On bus service began a new phase of improvements designed to relieve overcrowding on popular bus routes. The changes improved schedule reliability on 11 routes, reduced the time between buses on 10 routes, and added larger buses on many routes so riders are more likely to get a seat. Improvements to 16 routes were also made in July.

Since January, the County has received 45 new buses to both replace some of the oldest buses in the fleet and expand the fleet’s capacity. With the addition of these buses, the average age of a Ride On bus is now 6.5 years. Ride On’s goal is to replace buses every 12 to 13 years.

Ride On continues to set new ridership records. Since July 1, 2005, ridership is up 8.5 percent over the same period last year. In fiscal year 2005, ridership was up 8.6 percent over the pervious year, with more than 27 million passengers.

For information on the nearest Ride On service, visit the Division of Transit Services' website or call the Transit Information Center at 240-777-RIDE (7433).

Businesses Can Receive Tax Credits for Telecommuting — back to top

A new program allows businesses to take a County tax credit for computers purchased for telecommuting employees.

The law allows a credit for up to 50 percent of the cost of each personal computer purchased, with a maximum annual total credit of $2,000. Employers must certify that the computers are used for business purposes and that the employees using the computer work from home at least 78 days per year – or 1.5 days a week.

For more information on the new law, see the (County Council press release). For information on other employer options to promote alternate commuting choices, visit the Department of Public Works and Transportation's Commuter Services, or call 301-777-POOL (7665)

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Last edited: 9/27/2006