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New Bridge Opening on Rockville Pike

Commuters have been watching this construction since last summer on heavily-traveled Route 355 in Montgomery County. Over the next two weekends, the Maryland State Highway Administration is scheduled to shift traffic from the nearly year-old detour route onto the bridge, which will take vehicles over Randolph Road/Montrose Road.

The switch over will affect southbound traffic first, starting this Friday night into Saturday. Northbound traffic will begin using the new bridge the following weekend, Sept. 18-19. During these times, consider using Interstate 270 as a route around traffic delays.

During the week of the traffic shift, motorists who travel along East Jefferson Street will be detoured to Executive Boulevard and back to the northbound pike.

This starts the final phase of the Rockville Pike/Montrose Parkway /Randolph Road project, the State Highway Administration says. The $47.2 million interchange project will move Randolph Road slightly south to align with the new Montrose Parkway and with the interchange under construction on the pike at Montrose Parkway.

The rebuilt portion of Rockville Pike will have six lanes and the relocated Montrose /Randolph Road will have two lanes in each direction. The interchange project is scheduled to be done by late-fall 2010,

Details on Traffic Switch
Watch for the variable message boards directing drivers through the work zone. The southbound switch will require crews to work between 8 p.m. Friday and 5 p.m. Saturday, removing barrier walls, grinding asphalt and removing and installing pavement markers, The pattern will repeat for the northbound traffic on the following weekend.

By Robert Thomson  |  September 9, 2009; 1:40 PM ET
Categories:  Commuting , Construction , Driving  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Maryland State Highway Administration, Rockville Pike  
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Comments

This is a story where a picture is worth more than 1,000 words. Can you sketch a picture of what's going to happen, both in the short term and in the long term? I see some construction in the area, especially in the NW corner of the Montrose/Rockville Pike intersection, that I just can't explain. It looks like they're building a parking lot in the middle of an interchange! Why not just plant some trees...

Anyway, I can't seem to find any detail construction plans and am wondering what will happen to the intersection when all is done.

Posted by: bennt1 | September 10, 2009 8:04 AM | Report abuse

@bennt1: I thought this was part of that whole "master plan" to de-strip mall Rockville Pike, from White Flint all the way to the Town Center. And for what it's worth, trying to cross the Pike eastbound at Montrose has ALWAYS been a disaster, so I'm happy about a flyunder.

Posted by: info_stuporhighway | September 10, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse

As someone that lives off of E. Jefferson Street between Rollins Ave and Halpine Ave, I'm curious about the detour. Traffic southbound on 355 is a mess today, and a lot of people are trying to use E. Jefferson as a detour. It's clogging traffic quite a bit, since it's pretty narrow until you get to Rollins Ave. I'm particularly confused by the statement "motorists who travel along East Jefferson Street will be detoured to Executive Boulevard and back to the northbound pike." Do you mean people can't turn east on to Montrose Road at E. Jefferson St, so they're instead routing people down Executive to get them back on to the pike (going *south* bound). It doesn't look like that's happening, butI really don't understand what that statement means if you really were talking about northbound traffic.

I'm also a little confused by the overall plan. There's apparently a park and ride lot going in by the new Montrose/3555 interchange, but I doubt it will get used. And it looks like it will still be a while before the eastern-most section of Montrose Parkway is opened up.

Posted by: reggie14 | September 12, 2009 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Actually, it sounds like the Executive Boulevard detour refers to people traveling east on Montrose Road that want to turn northbound on 355. Those people will probably be diverted onto Montrose Parkway, Executive Boulevard and either Marinelli Road or Nicholson Ln. But, I'm sure many people will end up turning left on E. Jefferson Street getting on 355 using Halpine Road. Some people will probably try Rollins Ave, but you can't (legally) turn northbound onto 355 at that intersection.

Posted by: reggie14 | September 12, 2009 5:24 PM | Report abuse

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