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Walter Reed intersection improvements in Bethesda funded by feds

Maryland received $18.3 million in federal funds Tuesday to add a turn lane at the heavily congested intersection at Connecticut Avenue and Jones Bridge Road in Montgomery County, several members of the state’s congressional delegation said.

The work is designed to help the intersection accommodate additional traffic from the recently expanded Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda. The intersection also carries commuter traffic between the Capital Beltway , the District  and downtown Bethesda.

The $18.3 million will be used to buy private property to widen Jones Bridge and to build a third left-turn lane from eastbound Jones Bridge to northbound Connecticut to alleviate afternoon and evening back-ups on Jones Bridge, state officials said. That construction is scheduled to begin in fall 2014 and finish in fall 2016.

Construction currently underway at the intersection will add a right-turn lane from southbound Connecticut south of the Beltway onto westbound Jones Bridge. Workers are also carving out room for a new through lane on northbound Connecticut from south of Jones Bridge to the Beltway. The $4.3 million cost for the work already underway is covered by state and other federal funding, state officials said. That work, which began in the spring, is scheduled to be finished by fall 2013.

Federal money also has previously been awarded to improve access to the Medical Center Metro Station and move traffic through the intersection at Old Georgetown Road and West Cedar Lane, Montgomery County officials said.