washingtonpost.com  > Metro > Columnists > Dr. Gridlock > Prince George's

Closed for Winter: Beltway Resurfacing

Thursday, March 17, 2005; Page PG06

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

The offramp from the inner loop of the Beltway onto Route 1 north in Prince George's County was scraped several months ago but was not resurfaced. The bare concrete is laced with numerous large holes and is a mess.

Is there any credible reason why this ramp has not been restored to a more drivable condition?

Verne F. Noyes

Silver Spring

The Maryland State Highway Administration milled that interchange last fall and planned to complete the resurfacing work before the winter. However, an unexpected drop in temperature made it impossible to proceed, said Chuck Gischler, spokesman for the MSHA.

When temperatures rise above 50 degrees consistently, the work can proceed, he said. The project will take about a week to finish.

Danger for Drivers?

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

Yesterday there was another tragic scene on Route 198 in West Laurel. Two helicopters responded to an accident that resulted in one fatality.

The area at issue is the stretch of Route 198 from the intersection of Old Gunpowder Road to Riding Stable Road and farther up to McKnew Road, where two teenagers were killed last year.

My wife and daughter came across a fatal motorcycle accident seconds after it happened at the Old Gunpowder Road intersection a couple years ago. Last year I came across three accidents at one time between the stretch of Old Gunpowder Road and McKnew Road. And I routinely hear emergency response teams rushing to that area.

People driving too fast along Route 198, drivers misjudging the speed of oncoming vehicles at the intersections, limited sight distances for cars entering or exiting Riding Stable Road, sharp curves and steep grades are all ingredients for accidents waiting to happen.

This area is also along the northern alignment for the intercounty connector, and though I'm not a supporter of this alignment, straightening out the road, adding rumble strips or installing flashing signals to warn people to slow down may save lives.

Chip Gribben

CONTINUED    1 2 3    Next >

© 2005 The Washington Post Company