Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Governor Announces that Purple Line will Move Forward; Funding for Three Montgomery County Road Projects Also Included in State Transportation Funding Package

Last week, Governor Hogan announced that the Purple Line, the proposed 16-mile light rail line extending from Bethesda in Montgomery County to New Carrollton in Prince George's County, will go ahead if all conditions are met. These conditions include an additional contribution, which has not been specified, from each County, and possible additional financing from the successful concessionaire. The Maryland Department of Transportation has trimmed some project costs by reassessing the design. The announced changes include reduced service frequency, from every six minutes to every 7.5 minutes. This change would initially reduce the number of railcars needed and the need for a second railcar storage site.

The Governor also announced funding for three road projects in Montgomery County. Projects two and three below were funded in 2013:
  • $100 million for all phases of the I-270 Innovative Congestion Reduction Project that will reduce congestion along I-270 from the I-270 Y-Split to I-370.
  • $30 million to construct a new, two-lane MD 97 (Georgia Avenue) highway around central Brookeville. Construction is expected to begin in Summer 2016.
  • $150 million to construct an I-270 Interchange at Watkins Mill Road. Improvements along I-270 will extend from north of MD 124 to south of Middlebrook Road. Bicycle and pedestrian improvements along Watkins Mill Road will be included to the Metropolitan Grove MARC station. Construction should begin in late 2015/early 2016.
Read the Governor’s press release and County Executive Ike Leggett’s statement about the Purple Line decision.

Montgomery County Launches "Summer of Safety" Campaign

This week, Montgomery County launched a "Summer of Safety" education campaign that will use social media and online resources to help residents stay safe all summer.  Each week until the end of August, the campaign will focus on different summer safety topics that affect everyone. Week one begins with safety tips for swimming pools, the Potomac River and the summer storm season. The campaign concludes with a wide range of back-to-school safety reminders.

During the campaign, look for MCDOT's tips on pedestrian, bicyclist and driver safety. In addition, kids who use Ride On during the summer will be reminded to cross behind the bus after exiting, instead of in front of the bus as they do when getting off school buses. Ride On has a summer discount that provides inexpensive travel options for kids.

County departments throughout the government will send daily safety message tweets using "#MoCoSafety."  Or, sign up to receive safety messages through weekly emails.

Check the Summer of Safety website for more tips about safety.

Highway to Begin More Pavement Preservation Projects

Projects that will begin in July include roadway repairs to Drumm Avenue, from University Boulevard (MD 193) to Blueford Road, in Kensington, and Tucker Lane in Ashton. Both projects will take about six to eight weeks to complete, weather permitting. Montgomery County Department of Transportation Highway Services will apply a micro surfacing material to extend pavement life. Work hours will be between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Crews will also resurface roads with hot mix asphalt in the Sandy Spring Meadows neighborhood in Olney. The project is expected to take eight to 10 weeks to complete, weather permitting. Work hours will be 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, with some Saturdays if necessary.

More information about the projects is available from MC311 by calling 311 from within the County or 240-777-0311.

Highway Services Responds to Severe Thunderstorm on June 23

Montgomery County Department of Transportation Highway Services crews were activated on the evening of June 23 when a severe storm moved through the area. The resulting heavy rain and strong wind gusts up to 45 mph caused high water and left storm debris on several roadways. Most of the storm damage was isolated to the northern and western portions of the County.

Crews removed downed trees and limbs from about 30 blocked roadways and removed debris from right-of-ways well into the following day. 

Ride On Grant Application Available Online

Recently, the Montgomery County Department of Transportation submitted a TIGER Grant application to the U.S. Department of Transportation requesting funding for a MD 355 Ride On Plus Transit Improvements Project (ROP). If funded, the project would establish an 11-mile, premium, limited-stop bus service to improve transit travel time and increase transit frequencies between the Lakeforest Transit Center in Gaithersburg and the Grosvenor Metrorail station. Funding for the ROP project would enable the purchase of 14 zero emission electric buses; related infrastructure improvements including bus stop improvements; electric charging stations; accessible pedestrian improvements; real time travel passenger information; adaptive transit signal priority improvements; and Bikeshare stations. Read the full application.

Metro Plans Public Hearing for Takoma Langley Crossroads Transit Center

 The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) will hold a public hearing on July 14 on the Environmental Evaluation and Proposal to Lease, Operate and Maintain the Takoma Langley Crossroads Transit Center in Langley Park.

The hearing will be held at the Langley Park Community Center, 1500 Merrimac Drive Hyattsville. An open house will begin at 6 p.m. and the public hearing will begin at 6:30 p.m.

Public transportation is available using Metrobus lines C2, C4, F8, J4, K6 or K9.

 More information on the project is available online

South Summit Avenue in Gaithersburg to Close for about a Week at Railroad Crossing Starting July 6

Starting July 6, South Summit Avenue in Gaithersburg will be closed to motorists to allow CSX Transportation to make repairs at the railroad crossing. MARC commuter rail service will not be interrupted. Signage on surrounding feeder roads will alert motorists to the closing, and detours will be in place directing them to the railroad crossing at Chestnut Street. Rail commuters can access the MARC Train Station via the pedestrian bridge from the Olde Towne Parking Garage and from the existing boardwalk that crosses the tracks in front of the station.  The work is expected to take about five days to complete.