Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Fawsett Road Improvements Completed

The Division of Transportation Engineering recently began making improvements to Fawsett Road in Potomac to bring it up to current standards. It is the first road to be upgraded under the Dedicated but Unmaintained County Roads policy, adopted by the County Council in 2009. The policy allows homeowners who live on roads that are not maintained by the County to vote to pay 90 percent of the cost of upgrades. The County pays the other 10 percent. Once the upgrades are completed, the Montgomery County Department of Transportation takes over maintenance of the road, including road repairs and snow removal. There are about 60 roads originally built by developers that did not meet County standards and were never accepted for maintenance by the County.

Fawsett Road is about .29 miles long and located east of 1119 Fawsett Road. Currently a gravel road, it will be paved and a storm drain system will be installed. The road’s 18 homeowners will each pay $28,000 over a 20-year period for the improvements.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Leggett, Officials Break Ground for Expanded Colesville Depot

County Executive Leggett (center), MCDOT Director Art Holmes (second from left) and Highway Services managers participate in groundbreaking ceremony

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett joined Department of Transportation (MCDOT) and Department of General Services (DGS) officials at a groundbreaking ceremony for an expanded Colesville Highway Maintenance Depot, which provides snow removal, road maintenance and other services to southeastern Montgomery County. Managed by DGS, the project will extensively renovate, enlarge and modernize the 1981 facility to meet the growing needs of the east county. MCDOT staff will continue current operations at the site from trailers.

In addition to increasing available work space, the project will bring the building up to modern safety and accessibility standards and is designed to achieve a silver LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating. Improvements will be made to the stormwater management system and other sustainable features include preferred parking for fuel-efficient vehicles, reflective roofing materials to reduce the heat-island effect, maximizing the amount of vegetated open space and a bike rack to promote alternative transportation.

The new building will have 12,505 square feet compared to its current 5,596 square feet. The depot is located on 11.5 acres adjoining Colesville Park and Paint Branch Park on Cape May Road. The first phase of the project was completion of a 160- by 80-foot salt storage barn in 2013. The entire project should be completed in winter 2015.

Keep up to date on the project’s progress on the County’s website.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

County Launches Pedestrian Safety Campaign Aimed at High School Students

The YOLO (You Only Live Once) education program to reduce teen pedestrian crashes was launched at Seneca Valley High School in Germantown where, in October 2012, 15-year-old Christina Morris-Ward was struck and killed as she distractedly crossed the street on her way to school. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, about half of students ages 15 to 19 say they use a cell phone when walking to school.

The YOLO campaign is a joint project of the Montgomery County Department of Transportation and Montgomery County Public Schools.

Attending the kick off was Christina’s mother Gwendolyn Ward and Seneca Valley High School students. Ward is working to prevent another tragedy from befalling any other teen by helping to educate students about the dangers of crossing the street while texting, listening to music or being otherwise distracted.

The event also highlighted the projects conducted this past school year under the “Walk Your Way” program that encouraged teens to apply for $2,000 grants to create and implement their own pedestrian safety campaigns at their school. More about the YOLO campaign is available online.

Adopt a Road Volunteer Program Posts Gains in Litter Pickups

Adopt a Road and Adopt a Spot volunteers who clean roads and locations throughout Montgomery County increased the amount of trash collected by 17 percent and the number of cleanings by 26 percent since last fiscal year. Less than half the volunteer groups reported on their activities, but those that did conducted 654 cleanings, collecting the equivalent of 2,654, 50-gallon bags of trash.

Adopt a Road Volunteers at Work

The program is administered by the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) in cooperation with the Keep Montgomery County Beautiful Task Force and has more than 2,500 volunteers who routinely clean about 380 County road segments.

Activity peaked this spring in connection with Earth Month. During April, 43 groups reported conducting 62 cleanings, collecting 19,575 gallons of trash (the equivalent of 435, 50-gallon trash bags).

Visit the MCDOT’s website for more information about adopting a road segment or a spot, and obtain an application. Or, call MCDOT's Office of Community Outreach at 240-777-7155.

Three Bridge Repair Projects Completed

                                        Completed East Deer Park Bridge
Two Whites Ferry Road bridges and the Gaithersburg East Deer Park "Humpback" Bridge have now reopened to traffic. East Deer Park Road, between Central Avenue and Railroad Street, is also open. 

CSX train contractor Clark Civil completed structural modifications to bring the East Deer Park Bridge up to current standards.

Update on Road Maintenance Projects

The Department of Transportation’s Division of Highway Services (DHS) is resurfacing residential roads using hot mix asphalt that preserves pavement for many years. Repaving is underway in the Goshen Estates neighborhood, Gaithersburg and Avery Village, Derwood in September. Both projects will take two to three weeks to complete, weather permitting. Work hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Resurfacing with hot mix asphalt is also underway in Kensington Heights. The project is expected to take eight to 10 weeks to complete Work hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

For projects to preserve pavement, DHS will complete full-depth pavement patching; seal cracks; apply a micro surfacing material; sweep residual stone; and repaint lane markings. The first phase of work in the Rivers Edge neighborhood, Potomac, began in August and will take about four weeks to complete. Resurfacing will occur in summer/fall. Work hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Old Georgetown Village, North Bethesda, is underway and expected to take four weeks to complete. Work hours are 8 p.m. to 5 a.m., Monday through Friday.

Full-depth, permanent patching projects using hot mix asphalt are underway this month in Old Georgetown Estates, Rockville, Greenhills Farm, Gaithersburg and Northwest Park, Silver Spring. The repairs should take five to 10 days. Work hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Preservation is also underway on Middlebrook Road, from Frederick Road to Great Seneca Highway, Germantown. The project will take about five weeks to complete and will be conducted from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Other pavement repair projects begun in August are resurfacing Black Rock Road, from Darnestown Road to Burdette Lane, in Germantown, and Notley Road, from New Hampshire Avenue to Bonifant Road, in Colesville.. DHS will complete full-depth pavement patching; seal cracks; apply a chipseal surfacing material; sweep residual stone; and repaint lane markings. Work will take about four to five weeks to complete and will be conducted from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday on Black Rock Road and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday on Notley Road.

For more information on resurfacing projects throughout the County, visit the Division of Highway Services’ website or call 311 (outside Montgomery County, call 240-777-0311; TTY, call 301-251-4850), Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Montgomery County Launches One-Week Social Media Campaign to Improve School Bus Safety

A weeklong Twitter campaign using #PassItOn is educating drivers about the importance of stopping for school buses to improve the safety of the County’s school children. Montgomery County, Police and public schools are reminding drivers that Maryland law requires them to stop for stopped school buses with activated flashing lights and stop arms. More information about the campaign is available online.