Bids are expected to go out next month for the planned construction of a 1.7-mile extension of Ritchie Parkway that will connect Seven Locks Road to Rockville Pike. Construction could begin by the end of the summer, and parts of the roadway could be ready by March 1991, city officials said.

The new road is intended to relieve heavy traffic in the area, especially along Rockville Pike.

The project is estimated to cost $21.6 million for purchase of the land, construction of the four-lane roadway and an eight-foot bicycle path, and the creation of 6.1 acres of new wetlands elsewhere to replace existing wetlands lost to the Ritchie Parkway construction.

The new roadway will weave through the Tower Oaks development north of Montrose Road and west of I-270, travel near Woodmont Country Club and behind Wintergreen Shopping Center, and end at Rockville Pike opposite the First Street underpass.


Takoma Park has sent an invitation to Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev to visit the "nuclear-free zone" city during his Washington area summit trip, which began yesterday and ends Sunday.

The invitation was sent to the Soviet Embassy last month. As of early this week, Takoma Park had not received a response from the embassy or Gorbachev.

In 1983, Takoma Park adopted its ordinance banning the city government from doing business with companies involved in the sale or manufacture of nuclear weapons. For example, the city does not buy General Motors vehicles because of that firm's defense-related contracts.