Friday, August 24, 2012

Seasonal Road Maintenance Continues

The Department of Transportation (MCDOT) began a new road maintenance project in the Garrett Park Estates subdivision in Kensington to conduct full-depth patching, remove the older road surface, and repave the roads with hot mix asphalt. Work in is expected to take about three to four weeks.

MCDOT began a pavement preservation project along Middlebrook Road, Germantown, in which crews conduct full-depth patching of deteriorated pavement, seal cracks, and apply a micro-resurfacing material. Resurfacing of the right, eastbound lane between Great Seneca Highway and Waring Station Road is on hold until WSSC work in the vicinity and construction work at nearby Holy Cross Hospital are completed. 

For more information on resurfacing projects throughout the County, visit the Division of Highway Services’ website.   

Update on Bethesda and Woodmont avenues Parking Project

A public-private partnership project located at the intersection of Woodmont and Bethesda avenues in downtown Bethesda will more than triple the number of public parking spaces that were available on the former surface parking lot.

The primary focus of the construction team has been completion of utility work. Pile driving is occurring on the west side of the site, and drilling began this month on the east and north sides of the intersection.

Here’s an update on the progress of on-site work:

  • Capital Crescent Trail Restoration. The seeding and mulching work along the trail south of the site is about 90 percent complete.
  • Traffic Signal Modifications. A new Woodmont Avenue traffic signal pole and wiring is complete. The Pepco service connection to the new traffic signal is expected to be completed in early September.
  • Bethesda Avenue Crosswalk. Work began in early August to restore the crosswalk at Bethesda Avenue and make improvements on the north side of the crosswalk. 
Stay up to date on the project’s progress online

Maryland State Highway Administration to Resurface Portions of Rockville Pike in Bethesda

The Maryland State Highway Administration is temporarily closing lanes for nighttime resurfacing along north and southbound Maryland Route 355 (Rockville Pike) between South Drive and Jones Bridge Road in Bethesda. The work is part of a project to relocate utilities for traffic improvements related to the expansion of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

The resurfacing project began in early August. One lane of MD 355 is closed in each direction on weeknights at 7 p.m., followed by two lanes at 10 p.m.  All lanes reopen to traffic no later than 5 a.m.  The project should be completed by the end of August, depending on the weather.  

Highway Services Expands Road Sweeping Program

The MCDOT Division of Highway Services (DHS) has expanded its road sweeping operation from once a month to twice a month along 191 miles of arterial roadways.  So far this season, DHS has collected nearly 1,000 tons of debris, preventing these pollutants from reaching the Chesapeake Bay.

Supported by the Department of Environmental Protection under its stream protection program, DHS also conducts an annual sweeping of 3,900 curb miles of residential streets, typically collecting another 1,000 tons of debris. Sweeping efforts focus on areas located in more environmentally sensitive neighborhoods, many of which are part of the Anacostia watershed.  Sweeping is usually completed by July, but due to this year’s derecho, operations were suspended for a month during storm cleanup.  DHS should complete the sweeping by the end of August.

MC311 Customer Service Center Extends Hours of Operation

Montgomery County’s MC311 Customer Service Center (CSC) extended its hours of operation on August 13 and is now open 12 hours a day, beginning at 7 a.m., Monday through Friday. The CSC formerly closed at 5 p.m.

An analysis conducted last April indicated that between 135 and 175 callers tried to reach 311 between 5 and 7 p.m.  This means that an additional 700 to 800 customers a week or more than 3,000 additional customers a month could be served in the extra two hours. The MC311 CSC already remains open extra hours during weather emergencies or other significant incidents. 

Since the CSC opened, call volume has averaged 40,000 calls per month.  The 311 web portal, which allows residents to find answers and check on the status of service requests, has consistently averaged 25,000 views per month and can be accessed around the clock. 

To reach the call center, dial 311, or 240-777-0311 or TTY 240-773-3556, or visit the website.  

MCDOT Participates in American Public Transit Association Workshop

On July 30, several MCDOT employees spoke at the American Public Transit Association (APTA) Multimodal Operations Planning Workshop in Baltimore.  The conference promotes and advances the work of the country’s transportation planners and schedulers by allowing them to meet and share their work.

One session was devoted to Montgomery County.  MCDOT staff discussed what they are doing to improve the County’s public transportation system and the role that public transportation plays in land use development and commuter services.

A brief description of the conference is available on APTA’s website.  

September 22 is Regional Car Free Day

The National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board has designated Saturday September 22 as this year’s Car Free Day.  The annual event is organized and promoted by the Council of Governments’ Commuter Connections program to encourage people to use alternative methods of transportation, such as walking, biking, public transportation, or going “car lite” by carpooling.

Car Free Day benefits the region through improved air quality, reduced traffic congestion and parking demands, and conservation of energy. 

Pledge to be “car free” or “car lite” by signing up at the Council of Governments’ website.  Learn about carpooling options at MCDOT's Commuter Services’ website or call 240-773-TRIPS (8747).