To ease the traffic congestion that is expected to accompany the completion of the Metro stations at Nicholson and Grosvenor Lanes in the North Bethesda-Rockville area, Montgomery County officials are planning to extend four highways in the area near the stations.
The roads to be extended are:
Tuckerman lane, which now terminates at Old Georgetown Road. It will be extended east across Old Georgetown Road to Rockville Pike, traveling south of Georgetown Preparatory School and connecting with an existing portion of Tuckerman Lane at the Pike. It will then cross the Pike and circle around the Grosvenor station and parking lot, going south toward Montrose Avenue where it will again meet Rockville Pike.
Marinelli Road, now a small road off Nebel Street. It will be extended west across Rockville Road to a proposed extension of Executive Boulevard. Marinelli Road will cross the Pike south of the new Nicholson Lane Metro station but north of Nicholson Lane. Marinelli is planned as a four-lane highway.
East Jefferson Street, a north-south road which ends at Montrose Road. It will be extended south to meet the west end of Executive Boulevard.
Executive Boulevard, on its east end, will be extended across Old Georgetown Road and south to Marinelli Road and Nicholson Lane.
The price for the construction of the proposed roads is estimated at $8.4 million, although the county hopes to recapture much of the cost from the owners of land adjacent to the new roadways. Construction of Marinelli Road, for example, is estimated to cost $1.7 million, but county officials say they hope to collect $1.2 million from adjacent land owners. Where the roads cross lands owned by Metro, the county will absorb the cost, it was said.
Under a 1976 county law, when a new road is built or an old one widened, the county charges the cost of the land, construction and engineering to the adjacent non-residential landowners. The charges are based on the amount of benefit to the owners' property. That benefit is determined by private appraisers hired by the county.
Construction of the East Jefferson Street extension began several months ago and is now half finished. Officials said they hope to have the project completed in the fall.
"It will be a major improvement for people who want to go from Montrose south," said William A. Keim, assistant chief of the Montgomery County division of traffic engineering. "Right now, to get from Montrose to Wildwood, they have to come all the way out to Rockville Pike and then back to Old Georgetown Road."
The building of the Tuckerman Lane extension is scheduled to begin next spring, although the land has not yet been purchased. The Grosvenor station itself is not scheduled to open until early 1963.
The building of Marinelli Road and the extension of Executive Boulevard are not scheduled for construction until late next year or early 1980. Some of the owners of the land in the area, however, indicated at a recent public hearing that they plan to try to stop construction on those roads. The hearing was conducted by county officials.
Charles Dalrymple, an attorney for Old Georgetown Associates, said his clients plan to fight the construction of Marinelli Road "all the way." Old Georgetown Associates is now building 684 townhouses and apartments at the corner of Nicholson Lane and Old Georgetown Road. They also own appromixately 16 acres of land at the corner of Nicholson and Rockville Pike on which they plan to continue residential development.
Dalrymple said the new street would be a "detriment that's going to provide additional traffic" and that the cost to his clients for construction of the road was too high.
"We feel we're being put upon to serve Metro at our cost," he said.
The county now estimates that Marinelli Road property owners will be charged $366 per foot of frontage along the roadway, Robert Merryman, chief of the county division of transportation engineering, said in a telephone interview. The final charge will be determined after construction is complete and actual costs are known, and after an appraisal is made, he said, adding that the final figure could be lower or higher than the estimate.
Dalrymple said that at the estimated cost, his clients would be charged $594,869.
The attorney also expressed anger at Metro officials who, he told the public hearing, offered his clients $200 for two acres of land north of the proposed Marinelli Road. Metro wants to buy the property for part of a proposed parking lot, he said. Dalrymple charged Metro's offer for the land was "not be good faith" and that Metro did not intend to build a parking lot at that location.
Robert A. Passmore, assistant chief administrative officer for Montgomery County, expressed amazement at the reported size of Metro's offer. "I can't believe you'd even talk to Metro if they are offering you that," he told Dalrymple.
Marilyn Dicus, a spokeswoman for Metro, commented, "We feel that we offered the fair market value." She said Metro had already purchased land for the Nicholson station parking lot and plans to use the two-acre strip owned by Old Georgetown Associates for bus and commuter drop-off lanes.
Negotiations with Old Georgetown. Associates about the purchase price have stopped, said Dicus, while Metro appraisers take another look at the land.
Joseph Blocher, an attorney for Daniel W. O'Donoghue who owns 40 acres o land east of Rockville Pike justsouth of the proposed Marinelli Roadalso challenged the amount being charged his client for construction of the road.
"On Monday, you pay him for his property and on Tuesday you make him pay it back," he said.
Blocher also charged that the county is building Marinelli Road wider than required (60 feet wide, with 10 foot sidewalks) because it is an access road to Metro. Because the adjacent landowners must pay more for this wider road, Blocher argued, they are in essence subsidizing Metro.
Merryman said Marinelli Road will be wide because it is a relatively short road with many outlets and will require a center turning lane to keep traffic moving.