UPDATE 4:55 p.m. Police and MCFRS have reopened all lanes of the Beltway inner loop at Old Georgetown Road. Delays extend 10.5 miles from the scene.
ORIGINAL Police have closed the Beltway inner loop at Old Georgetown Road after a truck-involved wreck that requires a Hazmat team to assist with an apparent fuel spill.
The wreck occurred around 2 p.m. on Tuesday when a truck jackknifed into a jersey barrier just west of Rockville Pike.
MCFRS reported the driver side fuel tank was completely ruptured and about 75 gallons of diesel fuel was leaking toward a nearby creek. That section of the inner loop is expected to be shut down for some time.
Eight minutes into their “NINJA On The Ramps” seatbelt enforcement program on Friday night, Montgomery County Police say they issued a seat belt violation and found drugs in the car. A few minutes later, officers made their first DUI arrest.
In all, police say they teamed up with Rockville City Police and the Gaithersburg Police Department to issue 206 tickets for not wearing seat belts, stop 568 cars and issue 131 equipment repair orders to cars traveling on and off I-270 and the Beltway.
The enforcement was announced Friday afternoon. It lasted from 10 p.m. to 3 a.m. and included officials from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, who were on hand to get footage for use in a national “Click It or Ticket” ad.
The NINJA moniker comes from the program name: Nightime INJury Avoidance and police seem to have surprised a number of drivers.
Statistics released today from the enforcement include 14 DUI arrests, seven drug arrests, three warrants serviced, 33 alcohol citations, four suspended driver traffic citations and one unlicensed driver traffic citation.
Officers will be stationed at on and off ramps to I-270 and the Beltway between 10 p.m. and 3 a.m. to look for and stop all vehicles with seatbelt non-compliance. According to a MCP press release, Maryland has an overall seatbelt compliance rate of 92 percent, but that rate drops significantly at night.
Once officers pull a car over, they will issue a citation.
Gaithersburg and Rockville City Police will assist with the initiative and representatives from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will be on hand to observe and get footage for use in a national upcoming “Click It or Ticket” ad.
The NINJA moniker comes from the program name: Nightime INJury Avoidance.
UPDATE 7:45 a.m. A tractor trailer collision that requires response from county Hazmat units has closed the outerloop of the Beltway between Bradley Boulevard and River Road this morning.
The closure is causing back ups on the Beltway back to Wheaton and on southbound I-270 up to Rockville. Police are diverting I-270 traffic onto Old Georgetown Road.
MCFRS Assistant Chief Scott Graham, a spokesman, said the incident occurred shortly before 7 a.m. this morning.
All lanes of the outer loop are closed, which has already caused significant delays.
Photo via TrafficLand.com
The spill occurred on a ramp onto the inner loop from northbound Old Georgetown Road.
It does not appear to have caused much of a delay on Old Georgetown Road.
Photo via TrafficLand.com
(UPDATED: 4:00 p.m.) All lanes on the inner loop of the Beltway at Connecticut Avenue have been reopened. The accident involved four victims that were trapped in their vehicle, according to scanner traffic.
(ORIGINAL STORY: 3:20 p.m.) An accident on the inner loop of the Beltway at Connecticut Avenue has three lanes closed and is causing backups for three miles, according to Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services.
MCFRS spokesman Capt. Scott Graham said officials were on the scene.
A live traffic feed shows a lane of cars getting by on the right side, right at the on-ramp from northbound Connecticut Avenue.
Photo via TrafficLand.com
(UPDATED) A man shot and killed himself on Friday after a state trooper pulled him over for not wearing a seatbelt on northbound I-270, according to Maryland State Police.
State Police are still trying to identify the man, who they say pulled over on the right shoulder prior to Montrose Road without incident shortly after 4 p.m.
When the state trooper exited his vehicle, he heard a gun shot, police said. The trooper returned to his vehicle and requested back up, according to police. The trooper gave verbal commands to the driver but he did not respond.
Back up arrived and the troopers approached the car and found the driver dead with a gunshot wound to his upper torso and a handgun near the center console of his 1997 Ford Focus.
The subsequent investigation caused traffic backups onto the Beltway and forced traffic onto northbound Rockville Pike, as police vehicles took up the three right lanes just after the Beltway/I-270 spur.
Police said the body will be transported to Baltimore for an autopsy and the victim’s name will not be released until he is positively identified and the family is notified.
Photo via TrafficLand.com.
Winter Weather Advisory Coming Tonight — The National Weather Service says a storm system will bring a wintry mix starting tonight and continuing Saturday to Central Maryland and the greater Washington area. [National Weather Service]
Third Person Dies From Christmas Eve Beltway Crash — A third passenger in a car that hydroplaned across the outer loop of the Beltway near Connecticut Avenue on Monday night died, according to Maryland State Police. [The Gazette]
Rockville Pike Water Main Work Continues — The two left lanes of southbound Rockville Pike just north of Cedar Lane remained closed early this morning, as WSSC crews continue to repair a broken water main and sinkhole. The State Highway Administration has been doing significant underground utility work there, including the installation of a 20- to 25-foot deep hole to replace the previous WSSC sewer line. [SHA via Twitter]
Flickr photo by nori127
Maryland State Police told the Washington Post that the incident occurred around 7:40 p.m., when the driver of a Chevrolet Malibu hydroplaned on a curve and slid across the highway and spun into a Toyota pickup truck. A Chevrolet Silverado then hit the Malibu, police said.
Two passengers, a 30-year-old woman and 17-year-old male both from Silver Spring, were taken to hospitals with life-threatening injuries but later died, police said.
The 36-year-old driver of the Malibu also sustained serious injuries. All others involved had minor injuries, police said.
The crash closed all lanes of the outer loop near Connecticut Avenue on Monday night, as a light rain continued to fall in near-freezing temperaturs.
Photo via TrafficLand
The collision happened around 7:45 p.m. Two people involved have life threatening injuries, according to Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services Assistant Chief Scott Graham.
Three more people involved had serious injuries and one had minor injuries, according to a tweet from Graham around 8:30 p.m.
Authorities were diverting westbound outer loop traffic to Georgia Avenue.
Photo via TrafficLand
The 365,000 speed tickets issued by mobile speed camera units in Maryland work zones is a significant improvement from the nearly half a million tickets issued last year, though AAA Mid-Atlantic did say fewer large-scale construction projects likely had a lot to do with that number.
On the stretch of the Beltway in Silver Spring between New Hampshire Avenue and University Bouelvard, 41,641 speeding tickets were issued from January through the end of November. That’s in addition to the 30,986 speeding tickets issued there from August 2011 through December 2011.
The state was working on the Northwest Branch bridge with a posted 55 mph speed limit. Vehicles traveling 12 mph over that limit were subject to the $40 citations.
Still, AAA Mid-Atlantic said there was a noticeable percentage decrease in the number of drivers speeding in work zones. The group says its analysis of state figures shows fewer than two out of every 100 drivers were caught speeding. The state began issuing speed tickets in work zones three years ago.
Since, AAA Mid-Atlantic’s John Townsend says work zone fatalities have declined 67 percent, crashes are down 16.8 percent and the number of injured persons is down almost 12 percent.
The State Highway Administration has two Bethesda-area projects underway (the Jones Bridge Road/Connecticut Avenue widening and the Wisconsin Avenue/Cedar Lane intersection improvement). More are on the way, including Walter Reed-related projects at Jones Bridge Road and at West Cedar Lane and Old Georgetown Road.
Watch for crews and possible delays from 4:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. beneath the Bradley Boulevard bridge, just south of the I-270 spur.
Also tomorrow, watch for SHA crews on southbound Connecticut Avenue in Kensington between Saul Road and Washington Street. Workers will be building a retaining wall from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., causing the closure of one lane.
Photo via TrafficLand.com
With the state’s transportation money dwindling and the increasing population of Montgomery County causing more congestion, some county lawmakers are pushing for alternatives with a “Regional Transportation Funding Summit” in Annapolis.
Councilman George Leventhal (D-At large) of Takoma Park, County Council President Roger Berliner (D-Bethesda-Potomac) and Councilman Hans Riemer (D-At large) of Silver Spring helped organize and will attend the meeting of state politicians and transportation activists on Wednesday, Dec. 12.
Berliner announced the summit yesterday during his weekly Monday press conference.
Berliner is concerned that new high-occupancy HOT lanes on the Virginia section of the Beltway will mean a “choking point” for his constituents traveling across the American Legion Bridge. He, along with colleagues in Fairfax County, have asked the Maryland and Virginia state transportation agencies to consider using the shoulder lane of the Bridge for traffic, at least temporarily.
But according to a study last week from the General Assembly’s Office of Policy Analysis, in five years the state won’t have even enough money to maintain its existing roads and transit.
With conditions expected to worsen from Hurricane Sandy, officials are urging people to stay home today.
A tractor trailer overturned on the inner loop of the Beltway this morning, crashing into a barrier fence over Cedar Lane and causing debris to fall on to the roadway below.
The accident occurred when the truck jackknifed on the Beltway shortly before 8:30 this morning, according to scanner traffic.
Winds are expected to increase to 70 mile per hour gusts, combining with heavy rain to cause downed trees and wires that Pepco says will lead to a significant amount of power outages.
Montgomery County just announced all county parking garages and lots will be free through Tuesday.
Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner (D-Potomac-Bethesda) wants state transportation officials to consider using the shoulder lanes of the American Legion Bridge to ease traffic on a notoriously clogged section of the Beltway.
The impetus for a letter Berliner and Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Bulova sent last week to their respective state transportation agencies is the pending introduction of High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes on the Virginia section of the Beltway.
Berliner is concerned that the HOT lanes, and the seven-mile gap between them and the I-270 HOV lanes in Maryland, will cause the American Legion Bridge to become even more of a “chokehold” for Montgomery County commuters.
Those concerns set up what Berliner characterized as a historic July meeting between officials from Montgomery and Fairfax Counties.
“Montgomery County and Fairfax County have literally never sat down together,” Berliner said Monday. “We can compete for new business but we can talk together. We can work together. We have put this before the state highway leaders and said, ‘We need you to understand that by the end of the year, Virginia will have these HOT lanes and the traffic is only going to get worse.’”
The HOT lanes will run from the Springfield Interchange to just north of the Dulles Toll Road.
“This effort is designed to see if we can come up with an interim solution, not a perfect solution,” Berliner said.
The letter specifically asks the state transportation agencies to examine using shoulder lanes as exclusive bus lanes or for general HOV traffic during peak hours.
Flickr photo by raueri