All indoor and outdoor aquatic facilities will be open and county liquor stores will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Some Montgomery Parks will be open, but check the Montgomery Parks website for specific schedules.
County offices, libraries, senior centers and community recreation centers will be closed. So will the Gaithersburg Transfer Station, TRiPS Commuter Stores in Silver Spring and Friendship Heights, MCPS and State offices and courts.
Trash and recycling collection will be provided one day later than regularly scheduled for the rest of the week. Parking at public garages, lots and curbside meters will be free.
Ride On, Metrobus and Metrorail will all run on Sunday schedules.
Flickr photo by davidyuweb
Development, and the construction that comes with it, is an aspect of everyday life for residents and businesses in downtown Bethesda.
With an intense new wave of projects under construction or in the pipeline, that won’t change anytime soon.
Here are seven of the ongoing or upcoming construction projects that are changing traffic patterns, closing sidewalks and requiring a little patience from those who call Bethesda home.
Bethesda Row Cinema (7235 Woodmont Ave.) will close tomorrow for about a month of renovations that will include a new bar area.
Some work has already begun at the theater, which serves as one of the key anchors of the Bethesda Row shopping and restaurant district. Landmark Theatres, which operates Bethesda Row Cinema, says the theater will be closed from tomorrow until Friday, May 3.
We’re waiting for comment from a Landmark representative, but last year the company’s senior vice president of real estate and development told The Gazette renovations would include a bar area, larger, more comfortable seats in the eight theaters and a new lobby with sitting areas, tables, sofas and “the feel of a contemporary lounge.”
The theater will also unveil a new menu and craft beer choices. Movie-goers will be able to reserve seats online or at the box office.
The move comes as the upscale movie theater competition around Bethesda Row gets tougher. The arrival of luxury movie house iPic in White Flint is expected next summer or fall. It too will offer the pre-reserved seat option and full bar and food menus.
Another luxury theater was planned for new development at Rockledge Drive, but that project hit a snag last year.
Bethedsa-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center director Ken Hartman said the county was still working on a maintenance of traffic plan with Brookfield Properties, which wants to redo the private parking garage under its Three Bethesda Metro Center office building. That project would mean the bus bays above must close for the duration of the approximately two-year project.
Without access to the bus bays, buses connecting many Montgomery County riders to the Bethesda Metro will be re-routed and may stop on Woodmont Avenue and Edgemoor Lane.
Hartman said the county has made continued pedestrian access from Edgemoor Lane to the Metro station escalators a requirement.
In January, a Brookfield spokeswoman said the project would include improvements to the bus bays, though she did not elaborate on what those improvements might be.
The shutdown is expected to start this year.
3:06 p.m. The National Weather Service has called off the Winter Storm Warning for today after a big projected snowstorm never materialized:
…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 PM EST THIS EVENING…
…WINTER STORM WARNING IS CANCELLED…
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS ISSUED A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA AND PORTIONS OF MARYLAND AND VIRGINIA…WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 9 PM EST THIS EVENING. THE WINTER STORM WARNING HAS BEEN CANCELLED.
* PRECIPITATION TYPE…SNOW.
* ACCUMULATIONS…ADDITIONAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF ONE TO TWO INCHES IS POSSIBLE THROUGH THIS EVENING.
* TIMING…SNOW MIXED WITH RAIN WILL CONTINUE THROUGHOUT THE LATE AFTERNOON…THEN TAPER OFF DURING EVENING.
* TEMPERATURES…IN THE LOW TO MID 30S.
* WINDS…NORTH 15 TO 25 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 35 MPH.
* IMPACTS…SLUSHY TO SNOW COVERED ROADS COMBINED WITH TEMPERATURES AROUND FREEZING WILL PRODUCE ICY AREAS. DRIVE WITH CAUTION.
2:16 p.m. Montgomery County will keep its 311 Call Center open until 7 p.m. today and it will reopen tomorrow at 6 a.m. Residents can reach MC311 for help finding services at 240-777-0311 or any time online.
12:44 p.m. About 130 Pepco customers are without power this afternoon in the Rock Creek Forest neighborhood on the edge of Chevy Chase and Silver Spring, according to the Pepco outage map.
The outages were reported about 45 minutes ago and were caused by high winds. Estimated restoration is today at 4 p.m.
County offices, schools, libraries and liquor stores will be closed as well as Montgomery County Public Schools administrative offices and state offices and courts.
Parking at public garages, lots and curbside meters will be free and trash and recycling collection provided on Monday will be provided on Tuesday. Collection will be provided one day later for the remainder of the week, ending on Saturday, Feb. 23. The county’s transfer station and dump in Gaithersburg will be open.
Metrobus will operate on a Saturday schedule with supplemental service, Metrorail on a Saturday Holiday schedule.
The TRiPS Commuter Store in Friendship Heights will be closed.
For holiday operating schedules of Montgomery Parks facilities, including Cabin John Regional, visit MontgomeryParks.org.
The company seeking approval for a garage renovation that would shut down the Bethesda Metro station bus bays for as long as two years said the project will also improve the bus facilities.
A spokesperson from Brookfield Properties, which wants to redo the private parking garage under its recently purchased Three Bethesda Metro Center office building, also said the company is working with WMATA to determine construction schedules and ways to mitigate effects on bus service.
“The Bethesda Metro Center garage project aims to repair and improve the current garage and bus station,” the spokesperson said. “We are working closely with WMATA to determine the construction schedule and mitigation plan to allay impacts to bus service during the renovation. These plans are still in progress so the phasing and the timeline have not been determined yet.”
It’s unknown what improvements would come to the bus bays.
Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Director Ken Hartman last week said Brookfield recently submitted its traffic mitigation plan to Montgomery County and that a two-year closure of the bus bays would be “a major hassle.”
WMATA and the county would have to find alternate locations for the buses to go. Hartman suggested the project could start later this year.
An underground garage renovation could force another long term closure in one of Bethesda’s busiest areas.
Four months into the Lot 31 project at Bethesda Row, Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center Director Ken Hartman said the Bethesda Metro station bus bays might be shut down for two years to accomodate the private garage project of office building owner Brookfield Properties.
Brookfield bought Three Bethesda Metro Center in 2011 for $150 million and has submitted a traffic mitigation plan to Montgomery County because they would like to redo the garage for that building that lies under the bus bays.
According to Bethesda Patch, that construction could start as soon as this year, though at a Friday meeting of the Woodmont Triangle Action Group, Hartman said the county is “methodically” going through the traffic mitigation plan.
“It would be a major hassle for at least two years,” Hartman told the group of residents, developers and others.
A representative from Brookfield has not responded to a request for more information on the nature of the garage project.
The closure of the bus bays would force the county, WMATA and others to find alternate places for buses to go.
At Long Last, Bethesda Metro Elevator Reopens — The delayed elevator rehabilitation project passed state inspection and reopened yesterday. Next up: The replacement of the station’s three 212-foot escalators, a more intensive project expected to begin sometime in 2014. [Robert Dyer @ Bethesda Row]
Southbound Wisconsin Avenue Lanes Remain Closed — Two of three southbound lanes on Wisconsin Avenue south of Bradley Boulevard remain closed this morning as WSSC crews continue work on a water main break from last night.
Montgomery County Courthouse Hosts First Same-Sex Marriages — Five couples were among the first same-sex marriages in Montgomery County yesterday when they were married in the county courthouse. [The Gazette]
Flickr photo by eddie.welker
The Chevy Chase Library reopened today after nearly a month because of a broken heating system.
The Montgomery County Public Library branch (8005 Connecticut Ave.) was closed on Dec. 10 to allow for county facility and maintenance workers to replace a deteriorated piping system that meant a non-functioning HVAC system.
THe Library, built in the 1960′s, did not have heat or cold air since the summer. MCPL and the county’s Department of General Services decided in November that Dec. 10 to Jan. 2 was the best time to close the branch.
Photo via MCPL
After 60 years, the Bruce Variety store in Bradley Shopping Center is closing.
The supply shop known for its vast collection of crafts, fabrics and other assorted items you probably didn’t even know existed is having a clearance sale today. Everything is half off.
A sign in the window says the store will be moving. An employee said the store will likely close in a week or two and will be open on New Year’s Day. The owner was not available.
The store, at 6922 Arlington Rd. next to Strosniders Hardware, stocked hairnets, cotton underwear, even bras.
Blogger Robert Dyer reported the store is closing because of rent increases.
Now, fans of the store have started an online petition asking the shopping center owner to allow Bruce Variety to renegotiate its lease. More than 140 people have signed:
Like all of you I have loved Bruce Variety in downtown Bethesda for years. Walking into that store lets me take a trip back in time to when the world seemed like a gentler, simpler, more civilized place. It would be so sad for Bethesda to lose that vestige of the past.
I am wholeheartedly a supporter of the free market, but I also support individual’s rights to show their support (or boycott!) for a shopping center based upon strong community desires. Bruce’s is more than just a store; it’s a unique atmosphere in this day and age that brings a wonderful vibe to the otherwise largely cookie-cutter corporate stores that surround us.
Assagi Mozzarella Bar (4838 Bethesda Ave.), Bangkok Garden (4906 St. Elmo Ave.), Benihana (7935 Wisconsin Ave.), Bethesda Crab House (4958 Bethesda Ave.), Brasserie Monte Carlo (7929 Norfolk Ave.), City Lights of China (4820 Bethesda Ave.), Golden House (8100 Wisconsin Ave.), Legal Sea Foods (7101 Democracy Blvd., Westfield Montgomery Mall), MayFlower Chinese (7925 Norfolk Ave.), North China Restaurant (7814 Old Georgetown Rd.), Passage to India (4931 Cordell Ave.), Positano Ristorante Italiano (4948 Fairmont Ave.), Ruth Chris Steak House (7315 Wisconsin Ave.), Sala Thai (4828 Cordell Ave.), Shanghai Village (4929 Bethesda Ave.), Sushi Ko (5455 Wisconsin Ave.), Tara Thai (4828 Bethesda Ave.) are some of the spots that will be open tomorrow.
Some are reservation only and some will open for dinner only, so call ahead.
Bethesda Row Cinema (7235 Woodmont Ave.) and the Regal Bethesda 10 movie theater (7272 Wisconsin Ave.) will be open as usual for any who have a movie-going Christmas Day tradition.
Bethesda’s three Giant grocery store locations (7142 Arlington Rd., 10400 Old Georgetown Rd. and 5400 Westbard Ave.) will be open until 7 p.m. today and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Christmas Day. Safeway (7625 Old Georgetown Rd., 4701 Sangamore Rd.) will be open until 8 p.m. today and from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Harris Teeter grocery store in White Flint (11845 Old Georgetown Rd., North Bethesda) will be open until 7 p.m. today and closed tomorrow, same with the Whole Foods Market at 5629 River Rd.
Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said the elevator is going through state inspection and “it is our hope that it will be done later this week and placed back into service.”
The elevator project has been closely watched since it started in May, especially by those who can’t use the station’s three escalators (at 212 feet the second longest in the Western Hemisphere.)
County leaders pressed for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to speed up the escalator replacement process, since they often go out because of old age. But Metro will proceed with its scheduled replacement of the escalators in 2014.
The escalators have been the lone entry and exit point at the Bethesda station since the elevator was closed for rehabilitation.
Last Thursday, Metro reported the escalators went out around 2:30 p.m. and they were back operating at 3:11 p.m.
Bethesda: All entrance escalators are out of service due to a mechanical problem. Shuttle service requested. The station remains open.
— @wmata (@wmata) December 20, 2012
Bethesda: All entrance escalators are temporarily out of service. A technician is en route, currently on a train 4 stops away.
— @wmata (@wmata) December 20, 2012
Bethesda: Escalator service has been restored.
— @wmata (@wmata) December 20, 2012
Still, it’s caused headaches for some riders. On Nov. 1, Metro said the scheduled reopening of the elevators in October had been pushed back three weeks. On Nov. 28, Metro officials told The Gazette the elevators could be reopened as soon as the next week, depending on the availability of state inspectors.
County offices, libraries, recreation centers, MCPS offices and state offices and courts will all be closed on both days. Trash and recycling collection will not happen on those days, but be provided one day later than residents’ usual day.
Ride On, Metrobus and Metrorail will all use Sunday schedules. Rode On will close early on Christmas Eve with last trips departing terminals at around 10 p.m.
Parking will be free at the county’s garages, lots and curbside meters.
County liquor stores will be closed on both Christmas and New Year’s Day but will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.
All recreation centers will be closed Dec. 24 through Jan. 1 and senior centers will be closed Dec. 23 through Jan. 1.
Richard Jackson and Bill Herrmann, with the facility management division of the county’s Department of General Services, said part of the piping system in the library’s HVAC system deteriorated because it was built into concrete when the library was built in the late 1960′s.
“Metal poured into concrete is not a good mix and will deteriorate in time,” Jackson said. “We’re going to say this is partly due to poor application back when this building was designed.”
Jackson did not know the cost of the project, but said the library (8005 Connecticut Ave.) was able to get by in the summer by using temporary window air conditioning units.
The Department of General Services coordinated with Montgomery County Public Libraries to determine the Dec. 10 to Jan. 2 period was the best time to replace the piping system.
That decision was made about three weeks ago, Herrmann said. The Chevy Chase Library calendar still lists events for after Dec. 10. News of the closing came Monday in an email from the Friends of the Library, Chevy Chase Chapter.
Photo via Montgomery County Public Libraries