Maryland road projects to watch in 2014


Orange and yellow barrels a mark work zone on the University Boulevard Bridge over the Capital Beltway. (Robert Thomson/The Washington Post)

The biggest transportation stories of 2014 will include the opening of the Silver Line Metrorail extension, the D.C. streetcar line, and the completion of Maryland’s Intercounty Connector. But the D.C. area’s commuting patterns are so complex that many travelers will experience none of the projects and programs that I offered for my top 10 list in Sunday’s Post. So I’d like to begin a set of postings mentioning developments below the marquee level for the region that will have a great impact on thousands of commuters.

This is about Maryland’s many road projects in the D.C. suburbs.

University Boulevard bridge over the Capital Beltway. The bridge deck replacement and rehabilitation affects traffic on two major commuter routes. Though the project began in the summer, the effects — orange cones and lane closings — became more pronounced as the work advanced. And there’s still a long way to go. Full completion is scheduled for spring 2015. Meanwhile, watch for temporary traffic shifts in both directions on University Boulevard between Indian Spring Drive and Lexington Drive from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekends and overnights, and from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m Sunday through Thursday. Use caution on the Beltway, as well. There, drivers may encounter overnight lane closures Sunday through Thursday in both directions between University Boulevard and Colesville Road. Though this is a continuing project, I want to highlight it because of the high impact on commuters.

Route 355 at Cedar Lane. This intersection improvement project, adding turn lanes and through lanes, is scheduled to start in the spring and be done in fall 2015. The Cedar Lane intersection is on the northwest corner of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and the project is one of several meant to ease traffic stemming from the federal base consolidations. The work is likely to have a moderate to high impact on traffic, said David Buck, a spokesman for the Maryland State Highway Administration.

Interstate 370 between Interstate 270 and Route 355. This resurfacing project is scheduled to begin in early summer and be done by late fall. The single-lane and double-lane closings at off-peak hours probably will have a moderate impact on traffic. This is one of many resurfacings the State Highway Administration plans for this year in Montgomery County. Among the others in Montgomery County are projects on Routes 355, 185 and 28.

Capital Beltway between Glenarden Parkway and Route 50. This moderate to high impact resurfacing project is underway in Prince George’s County and is scheduled to wrap up in the summer. Watch for single lane closings during off-peak hours of the day, and closings of one to three lanes overnights. (That’s the high impact part.)

Pennsylvania Avenue over Woodyard Road. This bridge replacement project got underway in the spring and is scheduled to be done in fall 2015. Compared to other jobs, this should have a relatively low impact on travelers.

Martin Luther King Jr. Highway between Route 450 and 92nd Avenue. This resurfacing project is scheduled to start in the spring and be done by spring 2015. Single- and double-lane closings are likely to have a moderate impact on traffic. (This is one of several projects advanced on the schedule because of the extra money flowing from the increase in state gas taxes.)

Queens Chapel Road between Hamilton Avenue and East West Highway. This is a streetscape project, making various enhancements in safety and appearance along the road. Drivers will encounter single lane closings during the day before the project wraps up in spring 2015.

Route 29 between Seneca Drive and Route 175. This road widening project in Howard County, also financed with new revenue from the gas tax increase, is scheduled to begin in the summer and be done in the summer of 2017. The impact of lane closings on traffic will be moderate to heavy.

Next: Projects and programs in D.C. and Virginia.

 

Robert Thomson is The Washington Post’s “Dr. Gridlock.” He answers travelers’ questions, listens to their complaints and shares their pain on the roads, trains and buses in the Washington region.

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Mark Berman · January 7, 2014

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