Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Metro Board Advances New Entrance at Medical Center Station

A project to build a new entrance at the Medical Center Metro station and a pedestrian crossing under Wisconsin Avenue to the east side of Rockville Pike (Maryland Route 355) was approved by the Metro Board of Directors this month. The Maryland Route 355 Crossing Improvements project will help accommodate increased transit ridership resulting from the expansion of the Navy National Medical Center by enhancing pedestrian access and safety.

Four new escalators and two new elevators will access the pedestrian tunnel from street level. Three new high-speed elevators will connect the pedestrian tunnel with the station mezzanine level. 

Montgomery County Executive Ike Legget, U.S. Senators Barbara A. Mikulski and Ben Cardin and U.S. Congressman Chris Van Hollen announced funding for the project in August 2012. Under the arrangement, the Department of Defense and the Federal Highway Administration will fund the $68 million project. The funds will be paid to Montgomery County, which will have responsibility for designing and constructing the new entrance starting this spring.

This project is part of the County’s effort to relieve traffic congestion resulting from the Base Realignment and Closure Act (BRAC) that moved the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington DC to the campus of the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, adding about 2,500 employees to the area and potentially doubling the outpatient visits to nearly one million annually. 

More information about BRAC is available on the County’s website.