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Newsletter | May, 2009 Back to Go Montgomery | Archive

Leggett Celebrates Opening of US 29 Sidewalk;Final Link Will Improve Pedestrian and Bicyclist Safety back to top

In May, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett, community members and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) employees celebrated the completion of the last missing sidewalk segment along the east side of U.S. Route 29 between University Boulevard and Oak Leaf Drive. The project will greatly improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety along Colesville Road, a busy six-lane roadway. Running between Lorain Avenue and Northwest Branch, the sidewalk segment connects to existing sidewalks and is about 2,750 feet long. The sidewalk complies with Americans with Disabilities Act standards.

The project will improve pedestrian safety -- especially for White Oak and Four Corners residents -- and provide a connection between neighborhoods and schools, transit stops, parks, commercial areas, places of worship, and other community facilities, and serve as an optional bicycle route to the FDA. To create a flat shelf in the steep slope at the edge of the road for the sidewalk, retaining walls were constructed at three locations, spanning a total of 1,240 feet. The project required the relocation of 400 feet of sanitary sewer, drainage improvements, and installation of about 75 feet of new storm drain pipe.

Construction took approximately one year to complete. The construction budget was $3.8 million, which included $850,000 from the State Highway Administration.


MCDOT Completes Two Road Projects back to top

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation's (MCDOT) Division of Transportation Engineering recently completed the extension of two streets in the county's road network - Citadel Avenue in Rockville and Locbury Drive in Germantown.

The Citadel Avenue project extends the street from its previous dead end south of Marinelli Road to Nicholson Lane. The road now aligns with Huff Court and will eventually be a section of Chapman Avenue. This project is part of a long term plan to provide a street network parallel to Rockville Pike to ease congestion. The new two-lane business street that features a sidewalk on the west side of the street, parking on both sides of the road, streetlights, retaining walls and new trees. With design work, the total project cost was $5.4 million.

Locbury Drive runs next to the park behind the new Germantown Library. The project connected two separate street segments, increasing local access for residents and visitors to the library. Total project cost, including storm drains, was $315,000.

You can learn more about these and other transportation projects on MCDOT's website.


Department of Transportation Works on Traffic, Pedestrian Safety and Road Repair Projects back to top

With the advent of spring, the Department of Transportation (MCDOT) has once again begun its seasonal program to enhance traffic flow, repave roads, and improve pedestrian safety.

Under the County's new Pavement Management System that began last year, MCDOT evaluated the condition of the nearly 5,000 miles of County roads and developed maintenance schedules for those needing significant repairs or rehabilitation. Under this program, DHS has begun renewal efforts in the Glen Echo neighborhood and the Rollingwood area in Chevy Chase to repair and patch streets, replace deteriorated curbs and sidewalks, and apply slurry seal to roadways, where needed.

MCDOT will make full depth pavement repairs this spring using hot mix asphalt in many communities throughout the county.

Traffic and pedestrian safety is also being improved on Calverton Boulevard, between Cherry Hill Road and Galway Drive with the installation of new traffic medians and intersection bump-outs, milling, road repairs, and paving. Fairland Road, from Partridge Drive to Old Columbia Pike, is getting new traffic medians and bus stop pads. And, Sligo Avenue from Fenton Street to Chicago Avenue will receive new medians, bump-outs and bus pads, and roadway patching. For all three projects, MCDOT will also modify curbs, gutters and sidewalks to comply with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards and install permanent roadway markings and signage.

Pedestrian safety projects underway this spring include a sidewalk, bus stop pad, and ADA ramps at the intersection of Huntington Parkway and Moorland Lane and installation of a concrete sidewalk, ADA ramps and a crosswalk at the intersection of Roosevelt and Grant streets.

For more information about MCDOT, go to the County's website.


Small Parking Lot in Bethesda to Temporarily Close back to top

In mid-June, Parking Lot 31A, located south of Bethesda Avenue and east of Woodmont Avenue, will temporally close for about 60 days while utilities are relocated to accommodate a new building across the street. The larger Parking Lot 31 located across the street will remain open. For additional information on parking in Bethesda or to view a map showing where both lots are located, visit the Division of Parking Management's website.


State to Make Intersection Improvements at New Hampshire and Georgia Avenues back to top

The Maryland Department of Transportation's State Highway Administration (SHA) has begun work on intersection improvements at Maryland Route 650 (New Hampshire Avenue) and Maryland Route 97 (Georgia Avenue). Weather permitting, the work should be completed by early fall.

The $523,000 project includes widening less than a quarter-mile section of southbound Maryland Route 650 to accommodate a new left turn only lane at the intersection. Other work includes roadway resurfacing, driveway reconstruction, installation of pavement markings and replacement of road signs.

Motorists may expect lane shifts and other construction activities Monday through Friday. SHA will provide variable message signs, drums, and arrow boards to guide motorists through the work zone.


Montgomery County Celebrated Bike to Work Day on Friday, May 15 back to top

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett designated May 15 as "Bike to Work Day in Montgomery County" and encouraged residents and employees to join the nation and region in celebrating this annual event. Bicycle commuting is an effective way to improve air quality, reduce traffic congestion and noise, and conserve energy and is a way to help the County achieve its carbon reduction goals.

Montgomery County provides and promotes a comprehensive and balanced transportation program that includes a wide variety of transit, ridesharing, bicycling, pedestrian, and teleworking options for residents, businesses, employees, and visitors. Many of these options - especially biking - are also a good way to build a healthier lifestyle into everyday living.

For more information about commuting options in the County, contact Commuter Services at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/commute or call 240-773-2989. Commuters in the Silver Spring area can stop in at the new location of the County's Commuter Store, TRiPS, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The store is located at 8413 Ramsey Avenue at the intersection with Wayne Avenue.


Employers Can Submit Traffic Mitigation Plans and Reports Online back to top

The Division of Transit Service's Commuter Services program now provides employers the option to submit Traffic Mitigation Plans (TMPs) and Annual Reports online. These plans and reports are required by County law for employers with 25 or more employees located within a Transportation Management District (TMD).

TMDs were created to address traffic congestion issues in the County's most urbanized centers and include Silver Spring, Friendship Heights, Bethesda, and North Bethesda. The online reporting system will eventually replace the need to submit paper plans and reports as the County continues implementing more environmentally sustainable practices.

For more information, go to Commuter Services' website.


State Begins Resurfacing Portion of I-270 in County back to top

The Maryland Department of Transportation's State Highway Administration (SHA) has begun a $10 million safety and resurfacing project along a four-mile section of I-270 between Muddy Branch Road and Middlebrook Road.

Work began on the northbound side of I-270 in the beginning of May and work along southbound I-270 is expected to begin mid-summer. The entire project, including resurfacing along both north and southbound I-270, should be complete by late fall 2009.

For more information on this project, visit the SHA website.


New Maryland Law Makes It a Crime to Hinder Transit Operators back to top

A new law in Maryland will make it a crime to obstruct, hinder or interfere with the operation or operator of a public transit vehicle, such as Metrobuses, Ride On buses, or Metrorail trains. The law takes effect October 1.

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley signed the new legislation on May 19 that will punish violators with fines of up to $1,000 or imprisonment of up to 90 days. A similar Maryland law applied only to Maryland Transit Administration operations. Now, all transit providers will be included.


Burning Tree Road Bridge Rehabilitation Completed back to top

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation's (MCDOT) Division of Transportation Engineering recently completed a major refurbishment of the Burning Tree Road Bridge, which was built in 1963. The bridge spans Booze Creek in the Bradley Hills community north of River Road.

The bridge rehabilitation project was funded through the Capital Budget, and construction work began in the summer of 2008. The existing bridge abutments were reused with minor modifications to support a completely new superstructure. The new surface provides two 11-foot travel lanes, shoulders and sidewalks on both sides. The work was completed on schedule, and the project came in slightly below budget at $1.3 million dollars.

Other major rehabilitation projects underway include bridges on Clarksburg Road, East Deer Park Road, East Gude Drive, Nicholson Lane and White Ground Road. MCDOT County maintains 303 bridges and routinely inspects them to ensure they are safe.


New Metro Entrance at Bethesda Naval Included in Federal Budget Request back to top

County Executive Leggett expressed his gratitude to the Navy and the County's federal delegation for successfully including in the federal budget submission to Congress funding for a new entrance at the Medical Center Metro station that will serve the Bethesda Naval Hospital. If Congress approves the funding, this project will provide traffic congestion relief and improve pedestrian safety along Wisconsin Avenue in Bethesda.

The Medical Center Metro station primarily serves personnel at two major federal facilities - Bethesda Naval Hospital and the National Institutes of Health. Under the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC), Walter Reed Hospital functions will move to Bethesda by September 2011, greatly increasing transit demands. There will be 2,500 additional personnel at the Bethesda campus - an increase of almost one-third - and the visitor load at the hospital complex will double to nearly one million visits to the campus each year. Currently, visitors or employees who wish to use Metrorail to reach the Hospital must cross six lanes of Wisconsin Avenue.

The campus will be renamed the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda.


Phase II Construction in Full Swing Along MD 355 at Montrose/Randolph Road - back to top

By Fall of 2010, drivers using the new Montrose Parkway should have a direct connection to Maryland Route 355. That's when the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) anticipates the new interchange they are building will be completed. This interchange is an essential element in the County's plans to build a new east-west connector road in the County.

During May, SHA crews continued working on the new curb and gutter installation along the south side of the existing Park and Ride lot. Work on a new sidewalk at the cul-de-sac at the end of "Old" Old Georgetown Road began, as well as storm drain placement along eastbound Montrose Road.

Montrose Parkway West opened in 2008 and is a four-lane divided road that is expected to reduce traffic volume on Montrose Road between the Parkway and East Jefferson Street by nearly 50 percent. The next step, once the Montrose/Randolph Road interchange is completed, is building Montrose Parkway East, which will connect Parklawn Drive with Viers Mill Road.

Last edited: 5/29/2009