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by Aaron Kraut — April 22, 2015 at 12:25 pm 161 1 Comment

Hillandale Road culvert replacemnt project, via MCDOT

Work to replace a culvert that collapsed under Hillandale Road in Bethesda last year has reached the excavation phase.

The photo above, provided by MCDOT’s Division of Highway Services, shows the failed storm drain culvert that led to part of the road sinking last October.

Hillandale Road between Little Falls Parkway and Willett Parkway has been closed off to traffic ever since. 

Workers began the culvert replacement project in late March with the goal to have the new culvert installed and the road reopened in early May.

The section of the Willett Branch walking trail that crosses Hillandale Road is also closed.

Access to the Bethesda Swimming Pool remains on Little Falls Parkway.


by Aaron Kraut — April 15, 2015 at 4:10 pm 1,074 2 Comments

School bus-involved collision on River Road, Via TrafficLand.comUpdated at 5:05 p.m. – A collision involving two school buses caused at least four injuries and had part of River Road blocked Wednesday afternoon.

MCFRS spokesperson Pete Piringer said 10 people were evaluated and four were transported to hospitals after the crash, which according to emergency scanner traffic involved two buses from the Bullis School in Potomac.

Piringer said the two students and two adults taken to the hospital had non-life threatening injuries. Two other vehicles were involved in the incident, which appeared to be a chain of rear-end collisions.

Both lanes of River Road were blocked between Bradley Boulevard and New Bridge Drive shortly after the accident happened around 4 p.m.

Police remain on the scene to assist with traffic control.

Via TrafficLand.com

by Aaron Kraut — April 15, 2015 at 12:35 pm 256 0

The 2013 Annual Pike's Peek 10K (file photo)An annual 10K race on Rockville Pike will shut down two lanes of the road for much of the morning of Sunday, April 26.

The Pike’s Peek 10K takes runners from the Shady Grove Metro station to Marinelli Road. It’s set to start at 7:50 a.m. and will include post-race festivities at the finish line near the White Flint Metro station.

From 6:30 a.m. until after the last runner passes, the two center lanes of Rockville Pike from Gude Drive in Rockville to Marinelli Drive will be closed to traffic.

Traffic will be allowed in the right lanes at all times, though drivers won’t be able to cross to the other side of the Pike when runners are on the course. Each intersection will be staffed with county or City of Rockville police officers.

From 8:15 a.m.-9:15 a.m., northbound traffic on Rockville Pike will be diverted to eastbound Nicholson Lane to accommodate the post-race festival. Drivers can go east on Nicholson Lane, make a left on Nebel Street and then a left onto westbound Old Georgetown Road to return to the Pike.

The finish area will be stocked with food, family activities and music.

Registration is still open for the event.

by Aaron Kraut — April 10, 2015 at 10:15 am 1,027 1 Comment

The Capital Beltway at River Road (file photo)Road work on two major area roads will mean lane closures in non-rush hour periods over the next few months.

The State Highway Administration is resurfacing the road, replacing damaged sidewalks, upgrading curb ramps and improving signals at several intersections on East-West Highway between Wisconsin Avenue and Connecticut Avenue.

The project is set to begin later this spring, according to the county’s Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center. The completion date is to be determined.

The work will mean temporary lane closures in each direction between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. and 5 a.m., Sunday through Thursday. The SHA says overnight lane closures will be necessary to complete the resurfacing work toward the end of the project.

The SHA will also continue its $3.1 million project on River Road from the Beltway to Goldsboro Road.

The safety and resurfacing project began last year and was originally planned for completion in late spring. Completion was pushed back to late summer because of inclement weather.

Single lane closures on the affected section of eastbound River Road could happen from 5 a.m.-7 a.m. and 10 a.m.-9 p.m. on weekdays and overnight (9 p.m.-5 a.m.) seven days a week.

Lane closures on westbound River Road could happen from 5 a.m.-1 p.m. and 6 p.m.-9 p.m. on weekdays and overnight every day.

by Aaron Kraut — March 26, 2015 at 1:05 pm 151 0

Highway crews clean up gravel spill on I-270 on Thursday, via TrafficLand.comGravel that spilled onto the roadway is blocking two lanes of southbound I-270 near Bethesda on Thursday.

Highway crews are out cleaning up the mess, which has temporarily closed the two right main lanes just south of Montrose Parkway.

Via TrafficLand.com

by Aaron Kraut — March 24, 2015 at 11:10 am 545 7 Comments

Work to replace a culvert that collapsed under Hillandale Road in Bethesda started this week and should take six weeks to complete.

The Highway Services division of the Montgomery County Department of Transportation is managing the project. Part of the culvert fell apart in October, bringing down part of the road and leading the county to close it for an estimated six months.

On Tuesday, crews were removing guard rails on either side of the road between Willett Parkway and the Bethesda Swimming Pool.

The road will remain closed between Willett Parkway and Little Falls Parkway during the culvert work.

The Bethesda Swimming Pool, an outdoor county swimming facility, is set to open in May. The facility does have access to Little Falls Parkway.

by Aaron Kraut — March 18, 2015 at 9:40 am 367 0

Rockville Pike lane shift at Cedar Lane and West Cedar Lane in Bethesda

Just as a new traffic pattern goes into effect at Cedar Lane and Rockville Pike, local commuters can expect new construction to start soon at nearby West Cedar Lane and Old Georgetown Road.

The delayed lane shift of Rockville Pike just south and north of its intersection with Cedar Lane went into full effect overnight Monday, according to the State Highway Administration’s Christopher Bishop.

The SHA finally got a long enough stretch of decent weather to put down new lane markings to shift northbound lanes to the west, which will allow crews to build a new culvert for a stream that passes under the roadway.

That means drivers will no longer be able to turn left from northbound Rockville Pike to westbound West Cedar Lane until the end of the entire culvert project, which could be late summer 2016.

In an update to the county’s BRAC Implementation Committee on Tuesday, Bishop also announced SHA just got its Notice to Proceed on its intersection improvement project at West Cedar Lane and Old Georgetown Road, on the other side of the NIH campus.


by Aaron Kraut — March 6, 2015 at 2:25 pm 0

A Connecticut Avenue homeowner put up pothole victims along his fence last year. The pothole claimed at least nine tire rims.

The winter storms are (hopefully) over and temperatures could hit 50 degrees over the weekend and into Monday.

But the thawing from Thursday’s snow storm is likely to create a new problem, the potholes that traditionally show up as the freezing weather stops and spring approaches.

Montgomery County allows residents and drivers to report potholes online by creating a service request. The county says it will generally inspect and repair a reported pothole within three business days.

Keep in mind that the State Highway Administration is responsible for filling potholes on numbered state roads, such as MD 355 (Wisconsin Avenue), MD 185 (Connecticut Avenue) and MD 187 (Old Georgetown Road).

You can create an online pothole request with the SHA too.

by Aaron Kraut — March 5, 2015 at 2:10 pm 227 0

Snow plow progress on Thursday afternoon, via MCDOT

Plow truck operators were trying to keep main roads as clear as possible as heavy snow fell throughout the area on Thursday afternoon.

Between 1 and 2 inches of snow was falling per hour during the heaviest periods of the snowfall, with 3.5-5 inches reported throughout the Bethesda and Chevy Chase area around 2 p.m.

Montgomery County plow crews haven’t started plowing primary neighborhood or neighborhood roads. The Highway Services Division’s plow progress can be monitored on MCDOT’s website.

Officials are urging residents to stay off the roads if possible. If you must drive, MCDOT has a warning:

Montgomery Avenue near Pearl Street Old Georgetown Road near Tilden Middle School
River Road and Wilson Lane Old Georgetown Road, Arlington Road and St Elmo Avenue

by Aaron Kraut — March 4, 2015 at 1:25 pm 4 Comments

The Rockville Pike lane shift that’s been delayed four times because of winter weather is now scheduled for Tuesday, March 10, with an inclement weather date of March 11:

It will be the State Highway Administration’s latest attempt to move traffic lanes to the west on the busy stretch around Cedar Lane in order to replace a stream culvert under the roadway.

The SHA removed the median on the road to accommodate the shift, though the move has been pushed off multiple times because of snow, ice and cold temperatures that prevent crews from putting down new lane markings.

by Aaron Kraut — March 3, 2015 at 9:40 am 1 Comment

The lane shift slated for a busy section of Rockville Pike near Cedar Lane has been delayed for the fourth time, thanks to the wintry mix of precipitation forecasted for later today.

The State Highway Administration said it will re-issue an updated traffic alert as soon as it has a new date for the shift.

“Our project engineering team will meet with the contractor performing the work and advise of a new date for the traffic shifts.  SHA will re-issue an updated traffic alert concerning the change as soon as new dates for the work become available,” read a SHA statement.

The SHA said the lane shift would’ve started at 7 p.m. Tuesday:

by Aaron Kraut — February 24, 2015 at 10:20 am 0

Stream flows under Rockville Pike and Cedar Lane near NIH campus, photo via J.D. Mack

The lane shift slated for a busy section of Rockville Pike near Cedar Lane has been delayed for a third time, this time because of freezing temperatures.

The State Highway Administration said the lane shift would start at 7 p.m. Tuesday. But according to Montgomery County, the record-low temperatures mean the SHA can’t put down new pavement markings necessary for the shift:

The SHA removed the median along Rockville Pike just north and south of its intersection with Cedar Lane/West Cedar Lane. The removal of the median was to allow traffic officials to shift the six thru-lanes of Rockville Pike slightly to the west, allowing for the first portion of an underground culvert replacement project on the east side of the road.

The lane shift was originally supposed to happen in January, but weather issues moved it back to last week. Snow last week moved it back to Tuesday. Now the freezing temperatures have moved it back to March 3, according to Montgomery County.

Sidewalks will remain open and turning movements from West Cedar Lane onto Rockville Pike won’t be impacted. But turns from northbound Rockville Pike to West Cedar Lane will be restricted for the rest of the year and probably well into 2016.

In the late spring or early summer, the SHA expects to shift traffic again as a second phase of culvert work starts under the middle portion of the road. Northbound traffic will move back to the right and southbound traffic will remain where it was during the first phase.

There will be a third phase a few months after that during which crews replace the culvert on the southbound side of Rockville Pike. Southbound traffic lanes will shift back to the east.

Photo via J.D. Mack

by Aaron Kraut — February 18, 2015 at 4:05 pm 0

The lane shift coming to Rockville Pike near Cedar Lane will have to wait until next week.

The shift was originally scheduled for last month before being pushed to Tuesday. The State Highway Administration says inclement weather has again pushed the new traffic pattern back, this time to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 24.

In case of inclement weather, the SHA will put the shift in place on Wednesday, Feb. 25.

PDF: Rockville Pike Lane Shift Delayed

by Aaron Kraut — February 18, 2015 at 1:20 pm 356 0

Snow on Woodmont AvenueState Highway officials say a fast-moving but heavy batch of snow forecasted for this evening will likely make the P.M. rush hour a mess.

“We’ve seen it before and it is the same every time — one inch becomes a nightmare for commuters and our salt trucks if the snow falls during rush hour as predicted,” SHA administrator Melinda Peters said in a press release.

Montgomery County Public Schools has cancelled all school-sponsored after school activities. Community use of school buildings will be allowed as scheduled.

The area is under a Winter Weather Advisory ahead of the snow squall, which could dump a coating to about an inch of snow on roads that were just cleared of Monday night’s snowfall.

The weather front will also bring another blast of Arctic air, which officials say will cause snow to accumulate quickly on pavement. The NWS forecasted the snow squall will hit the area from 3 p.m.-8 p.m.

“While it might be sunny and clear at 2 or 3 p.m., this storm will move fast and before you realize it, you may not have time to make your commute home. Please monitor the weather throughout the day and if you cannot leave early, consider staying late or using transit to avoid driving,” Peters said. “We need motorists to be part of the solution. Leaving work at your normal departure time could significantly add to your commute. We implore drivers to alter their travel plans to be safe and avoid extensive delays in frigid temperatures and bad weather.”

by Aaron Kraut — February 17, 2015 at 12:05 pm 218 2 Comments

State Highway Administration (file photo)State Highway crews did immediate inspections of 69 bridges similar to one from which loose concrete fell on a woman’s car last week in Prince George’s County.

Three of the bridges included on the list were in the Bethesda-Chevy Chase area: The Bradley Boulevard bridge over I-495, the I-495 bridge over Connecticut Avenue and the nearby I-495 bridge over Kensington.

The two I-495 bridges both required some concrete removal, according to a State Highway Administration press release on Saturday. Crews completed their work that day.

Following the incident in Prince George’s County, Acting State Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn directed SHA engineers to immediately inspect 27 bridges of similar age and condition.

“In an abundance of caution,” SHA engineers and district maintenance personnel picked out 42 more similar bridges to inspect outside of the normal two-year schedule.

“With these actions, we want to assure the traveling public that we are committed to making sure this never happens again,” Rahn said Saturday.

The SHA said 17 of the 69 bridges “had been under review by SHA for patching, rehabilitation or replacement.”


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