Winter Weather Advisory In Effect Until Noon — A mix of freezing rain, sleet and snow is expected to continue this morning with accumulations of less than one inch. [National Weather Service]
Valentine’s Day Open House At Woodmont Triangle Boutique — Recent Woodmont Triangle arrival Take 5 Boutique (4920 Fairmont Ave.) will host a Valentine’s Day open house from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 9 with free champagne, chocolate, light fare and style tips. [Take 5 Boutique]
Flickr photo by eddie.welker
Red Line trains will single track between the Medical Center and Friendship Heights stations on the Glenmont-bound track for what Stewart said should be a short period of time. Metro crews are repairing the cracked rail.
As temperatures drop, cracked rails aren’t uncommon Stewart said.
Freezing temperatures force the rails to contract and can lead to cracks.
The Washington Examiner reported last week that Metro is still waiting on state elevator inspectors to clear its rehabilitation work and allow the transit system to put the elevator back in service.
As we reported early last week, Metro officials say their work on the project is completed and all that remains is the inspection.
The delays have caused headaches for some Bethesda Metro customers, especially the disabled or those who don’t wish to use the station’s three escalators. At 212 feet, the escalators are the second longest in the Western Hemisphere. The project was supposed to be completed in October, but was delayed for what was supposed to be three weeks after workers messed up the sequencing of work.
Metro officials told the Examiner they hoped the elevator would be open by this Friday.
Unforeseen factors with the Bethesda Metro station’s elevator rehabilitation project will delay the reopening of the elevator for about three weeks, a WMATA spokesperson said Thursday.
The lone street-to-platform elevator to one of Metro’s deepest underground stations was scheduled to be back in service in October. The elevator has been out of service since the project started in late May.
WMATA spokeswoman Caroline Lukas said two developments have extended the length of the project: Technicians realized they needed certain components that were not immediately available and workers did not realize the correct sequencing of work for one of Metro’s deepest elevators until after the project began.
The 106-foot-deep elevator is a bigger project than most elevator rehabilitation jobs on the system, Lukas said. It’s also the first time the elevator has been modified since the Bethesda Metro station opened in 1983.
“We know that the elevator is important to customers who use Bethesda Station,” Lukas said, “and be assured that we are working to return the elevator to service as quickly and as safely as possible.”
Since May, Metro has offered free shuttle service to the Medical Center station for disabled customers or other passengers unable or unwilling to use the station’s escalators, which at 212 feet are the second longest in the Western Hemisphere.
In September, WMATA spokesman Dan Stessel said Metro had a technician assigned to the station to quickly deal with any escalator issues because of the out-of-service elevator.
The escalators are also scheduled to undergo major work. Metro wants to begin the tricky and time-consuming process of replacing the three escalators in early 2014, though Montgomery County officials were hoping for an earlier start date.
The length and complexity of the escalator replacement project is why Metro elected to undertake the elevator rehabilitation project first, Stessel said.
Montgomery and Prince George’s County construction manager Kevin Nowak detailed the progress of a few projects meant to mitigate Wisconsin Avenue traffic, and a separate project closer to the Washington D.C. line:
Wisconsin Avenue near Cedar Lane: The utility installation and resurfacing project just north of the Wisconsin Avenue and Cedar Lane intersection is scheduled to be completed in late spring of 2013.
The SHA dug a 20- to 25-foot deep hole to place a new Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission sewer line under Wisconsin Avenue. That work caused much of the most noisy work, Nowak said, and is “90 to 95 percent done.”
Other advanced utility work on that section included gas line installation and Verizon cable line work.
Nowak said crews will pave temporary patches on spots that are now covered by steel plates before winter, in part to protect snow plows from the uneven surface. The project was supposed to be completed this fall, but crews will have to hold off on final paving work until the spring, Nowak said.
Connecticut Avenue southbound near the Beltway: The project, which calls for the creation of a dedicated right-hand turn lane extending from the Beltway exit to Jones Bridge Road, will allow Walter Reed National Military Medical Center commuters to more quickly access the south side of the campus.
It should also be done by next spring, Nowak said. Crews will leave the existing sidewalk curb in for safety purposes as they create the new lane on what is now the sidewalk.
They hope to take the curb out for paving by the end of the year.
Wisconsin Avenue “Green Mile”: The 1.2-mile stretch of road stretching to the Washington DC border was supposed to have been repaved, upgraded to meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards and given a more effective traffic signal at the Bradley Boulevard intersection by the end of summer.
Nowak said because of a late WSSC request for installation of a new 800-foot section of pipe, paving on that project won’t be completed until spring of next year.
Rockville Pike from Cedar Croft Lane to Strathmore Avenue: One project moving swiftly is the resurfacing of a 3.3-mile stretch of Rockville Pike from just north of Cedar Lane across the Beltway and I-270 interchange into North Bethesda.
Nowak said the paving on the project should be done by the end of the year.
The Maryland State Highway Administration is upgrading sidewalk ramps on the east side of Wisconsin Avenue between Old Georgetown Road and North Brook Lane to meet Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards.
But a spot in front of Charleston Alexander Diamond Importers and patches near the CVS pharmacy, Chevy Chase Cars Acura dealership and Bank of Georgetown remain unfinished, almost a year after the project was scheduled to be completed.
“It’s certainly been an inefficient process,” said Laurie Williams, general manager of Charleston Alexander.
Williams estimated that before the jewelry store opened in 2005, it paid $50,000 to have red brick installed that matched the rest of the sidewalk.
Crews removed the brick to make way for the ADA improvements, but that work remains uncompleted.
Last Friday, a section of the sidewalk in front of the store was dug up and closed off with orange traffic markers. Since, crews have poured asphalt to smooth over the hole and reopen the sidewalk. But the red bricks that line the rest of the stretch are still missing.
“It doesn’t look good to anyone walking by. It gives the appearance that we are closed or inaccessible,” Williams said.
A few members of the Woodmont Triangle Action Group, an advisory committee of residents, developers and business representatives, expressed frustration with the project at last Friday’s monthly meeting.
SHA community liaison Christopher Bishop said he believed the delay stems from finding the proper brick to replace the brick that was taken out, but he would contact the project manager for a more thorough explanation.
The ADA improvements are just one part of the project, which also included the grinding and resurfacing of all lanes between Old Georgetown Road and North Brook Lane, installing new pavement markings and replacing concrete curbs and gutters.
The ADA portion of the project began in August. The entire project, which began in spring 2011, does not appear on a SHA list of Montgomery County projects.