Organizers of Sunday’s Pike’s Peek 10K say participants and spectators will notice extra police presence at this year’s race, though Montgomery County Police are saying they have no information regarding threats to the event.
The 18th Annual 10K will see about 3,000 runners make their way from the Shady Grove Metro station south along Rockville Pike to the finish line at White Flint Mall. The race typically attracts about 350 volunteers and includes a brunch, activities and a Fun Run for kids in the parking lot in front of the mall.
The beefed up security is a precaution the race and police are taking after Monday’s Boston Marathon bombings:
While we, and the country, keep all those involved in the most horrific tragedy in Boston in our prayers, we work closely with our partners, Montgomery County and the City of Rockville, to conduct a safe and enjoyable event. Safety is first and foremost with any road racing event and you will notice additional police presence in place at all aspects of the event this weekend. We ask for your patience and understanding during this time of heightened security measures.
On Sunday from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., avoid northbound Rockville Pike between Rockville and White Flint. Those lanes will be closed. The southbound lanes will be open, but crossing streets on Rockville Pike won’t be accessible. Traffic will be allowed to cross Rockville Pike after the last runners have past.
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
UPDATE 6:45 a.m. All WSSC customers are under mandatory water restrictions because of last night’s 54-inch water main break in Chevy Chase, which has northbound Connecticut Avenue shut down with downed trees and utility poles.
The break to one of the WSSC’s transmission mains happened at about 8 p.m. at the intersection of Connecticut Avenue and Chevy Chase Lake Drive and sent water shooting about 30 feet high, according to WSSC.
The mandatory restrictions mean WSSC’s 1.8 million customers in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties must limit flushing toilets, put off washing clothes, limit the use of dishwashers, take shorter showers and turn off faucets after washing hands and while brushing teeth.
WSSC lost an estimated 60 million gallons of water from the break and wants to make sure fire departments and hospitals have adequate water service.
“Please don’t hoard water,” WSSC general manager Jerry N. Johnson said in a statement. “We’re not running out. But if everyone can cut their water use by 10 percent we should be OK. We appreciate everyone’s understanding and cooperation.”
The break occurred in a Pre-stressed Concrete Cylinder Pipe (PCCP), WSSC said. It went into operation around 1980 and WSSC said it was unable to determine the cause of the break. There are no customers without water service.
Montgomery County Police this morning said Connecticut Avenue between Jones Bridge Road and East-West Highway would remain closed in both directions until Pepco clears power lines that came down and the area is deemed safe.
The southbound lanes open around 7 a.m.
WSSC said a violation of the mandatory water restriction carries a fine of up to $500.
UPDATED at 12:35 p.m. A 59-year-old man was hit by a car near the intersection of southbound Old Georgetown Road and Alta Vista Road around 9:37 a.m. and is now in serious condition, according to Montgomery County Police.
A witness to the incident said the man, who police have identified as William George Cole of an unconfirmed address, appeared to be holding a book while stepping into southbound traffic from the curb near the Wyngate Medical facility.
“I just looked in my rearview mirror and I saw a man take a step off the curb and he appeared to be holding a book. And the car hit him very hard and he was just airborne and very, very badly injured,” said Elizabeth Riel. “All I saw was him holding a book in his hand, he took a step off the curb and the car immediately hit him. It was just very quick. It happened very quickly.
“[The driver] was very concerned and tried to help,” she said. “Labored breathing, face down, barely moved.”
The driver, 52-year-old Remy Jean Pascal Bosselut of the 6000 block of Chatsworth Lane in Bethesda, stayed on the scene and is cooperating with police, Police spokesman Capt. Paul Starks said. Starks said it appears the pedestrian was crossing not at a crosswalk but mid-block through six lanes of traffic. The investigation is ongoing.
Cole remains in serious condition and is undergoing treatment, police said in a press release this afternoon.
Southbound Old Georgetown Road was closed between Alta Vista Road and Beech Avenue and has since been reopened.
It is the second pedestrian collision in Bethesda in two days and the fourth in Montgomery County in two days.
A two-lane road connecting westbound East-West Highway and eastbound Montgomery Avenue was closed to one lane today as construction ramps up at an office building in downtown Bethesda.
As construction crews prepare to start blasting to continue excavation work at the former McDonald’s site, Pearl Street was closed to one lane this morning. For the next year (or the duration of the project) the road connecting one-way East-West Highway to one-way Montgomery Avenue will be open to southbound traffic only.
Drivers hoping to take northbound Pearl Street to westbound East-West Highway, Our Lady of Lourdes Church or B-CC High School can continue on Montgomery Avenue and veer left at its intersection with East-West Highway.
Blasting is expected to begin soon on the site, which will one day be home to a nine-story, 220,000-square-foot Class A office building.
Alert Montgomery notices will be sent out to subscribers whenever blasting is to be used, according to the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center.
Neighbors near the Lot 31 garage and apartment construction site on Bethesda Row were startled by excavation blasting that started there in December. A representative from the developer of the project said they notified the residential and commercial properties around the site.
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: 3:00 p.m.) Montgomery County firefighters put out a series of brush fires that began along the right side of northbound I-270 this afternoon and threatened nearby townhomes.
The fires began at about 1 p.m. and stretched almost half a mile from the Beltway and Rockville Pike exits onto I-270 to Old Georgetown Road. At 2:50 p.m, MCFRS officials reported a fire near townhomes on Englishman Drive had been completely put out.
The fires have caused a significant traffic delay as all three lanes of I-270 North and the ramp from Rockville Pike remain closed. Cars are getting by in a single lane of traffic on the right shoulder.
MCFRS officials on the scene requested the fire marshall to help investigate what started the fires. There were no reported auto fires along I-270 at the time the fire started.
There were fires on each side of the Grosvenor Lane overpass. Firefighters requested an ambulance unit as a precaution, but nobody was reported injured.
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
Nearly 883,000 Marylanders, less than a half percent increase from last year, are expected to travel 50 miles or more round trip between tomorrow and Sunday, according to AAA Mid-Atlantic.
“This year it appears short-to-moderate distance holiday trips primarily by auto are replacing long-haul trips by air,” said Ragina Averella, manager of public and government affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic.
The forecast predicts 61,600 Marylanders will travel to their Thanksgiving destinations by air, an almost two percent decrease from last year. It also predicts 18,000 will take buses, trains or boats, an almost 14 percent bump.
The State Highway Administration is promoting its 511 information system as a way to stay current with any Thanksgiving travel updates.
AAA Mid-Atlantic says part of the reason for the predicted flat travel rate is gas prices, which on average in Maryland are above the national average despite falling from peak prices in September.
Locally, watch for Thanksgiving closures on Wisconsin Avenue from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. between Pooks Hill Road and Commerce Lane because of the annual Turkey Chase race.
A Red Cross Bloodmobile caught fire last night while traveling on River Road, according to Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services.
A Hazmat team was on the scene and “removing contents,” from the vehicle, according to Fire and Rescue Services spokesman Capt. Scott Graham.
There were no injuries. There was no apparent cause of the fire as of last night, Graham said.
The incident and clean-up closed both directions of River Road between Wilson Lane and Beach Tree Road for much of the night. Police diverted drivers going to and coming from the nearby Beltway into surrounding neighborhoods.
The weather is getting colder, which Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission officials say means more incidents like today’s on Bradley Boulevard between Burdette and Burning Tree Roads.
WSSC got the call for a water main break there at about 6:26 a.m., spokesman I.J. Hudson said. Crews have been digging to a 16-inch pipe under the road to repair a one-inch leak since then.
Hudson said they will likely be there through the afternoon rush hour, meaning drivers will be redirected around the closure.
Drivers on westbound Bradley Boulevard will be detoured on Burning Tree Road to Hillmead Road to Burdette Road and then back on to Bradley. Eastbound drives will be redirected on the opposite route.
The cast iron pipe was installed in 1962, Hudson said, emblematic of the aging water pipe infrastructure across the region. The WSSC hasn’t seen a huge increase in water main breaks to date with the arrival of colder weather this week.
Temperatures in the 60′s hit the area over the weekend before dropping on Tuesday.
“When the temperatures go back down a couple of days later that’s what happens. When they go back up, it’s the same thing. It’s the expansion and contraction and those brittle pipes give way,” Hudson said. “And Bethesda has some old pipes.”
The WSSC must rehabilitate where possible its entire sanitation system — much of which was built in the 1940s and 1950s — by 2017 by order of an Environmental Protection Agency-enforced lawsuit settlement.
That system includes 5,600 miles of fresh water pipeline and 5,400 miles of sewer pipeline in Montgomery County and Prince George’s County.
Bethesda appeared to suffer much less significant damage than officials had predicted for Sandy, which made landfall in South New Jersey last night.
About 1,830 Pepco customers were without power in nine Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Kensington and North Bethesda zip codes at 9 a.m. The utility company had predicted perhaps hundreds of thousands of customers in its Montgomery County, Prince George’s County and Washington D.C. coverage area would lose power.
There was significant tree damage in the 5900 block of Grosvenor Lane. Power has been shut off in that neighborhood as crews work to untangle a mess of downed trees and power lines just east of Old Georgetown Road.
A traffic light came down at the intersection of East-West Highway and Waverly Street around 11:30 p.m. Monday, though it didn’t appear to cause any further damage.
Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services reported 324 dispatches countywide between 5 p.m. and midnight. The peak period came between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., when MCFRS units were dispatched 156 times. From midnight to 4 a.m., MCFRS units were dispatched 47 times.
The most significant incident in Montgomery County came in Silver Spring, where a downed tree on an apartment caused a gas leak that displaced 19. There were no injuries.
Power Outages Linger As Sandy Dies Down — About 4,707 Pepco customers were without power at 6:30 a.m. in nine Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Kensington and North Bethesda zip codes, down from a peak of 7,105 at 11 p.m. The worst of Sandy hit New Jersey and New York, where historic flooding caused massive power outages and at least seven deaths in the region. A fatal car collision Monday morning in Clarksburg was deemed a weather-related incident. [Pepco] [New York Times] [Washington Post]
MoCo, D.C. Region Shuts Down For Second Day — MCPS is closed for the second day. So is the federal government, Montgomery County government and Bethesda Circulator. The Montgomery County Council meeting scheduled today will be rescheduled for Nov. 6. WMATA says it will make a decision around noon on whether to reopen Metro for the afternoon. [WTOP via Twitter]
Number of Roads Remain Closed — Wisconsin Avenue between Willard Avenue and River Road remained closed this morning because of downed trees. Kensington Parkway was closed between Beach Drive and Glenmoor Drive, Little Falls Parkway closed between River Road and Massachusetts Avenue, Beach Drive closed from the D.C. line to Grosvenor Lane because of high water. [Montgomery County DOT]
D.C. Region Economic Hit An Estimated $35 Billion — With damage and the expected loss of two days of business, University of Maryland economist Peter Morici predicted the region’s economic losses at $35 to $45 billion. [Washington Business Journal]
Flickr photo by jmharman73
Bethesda’s biggest event is tomorrow, which means drivers should avoid Woodmont Triangle for most of the day.
Before an estimated 45,000 people descend onto Norfolk, Fairmont, St. Elmo, Cordell and Del Ray Avenues for the Taste of Bethesda, workers from the Bethesda Urban Partnership will close down the roads to set up tents and stages for more than 50 Bethesda restaurants and a number of bands.
The preparation starts early.
Norfolk Avenue will be closed from 2:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. all the way through to Wisconsin Avenue.
The bulk of the set up will take place from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. Saturday morning, with BUP maintenance staff, the tent vendor and volunteers in full gear. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Street parking spots in Woodmont Triangle are being used for tasting booths, so plan to park in a public parking garage (the Bethesda Circulator will be making stops at the garages) or take Metro.