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Smoothing out University Boulevard

"Q. University Blvd between [U.S. Route] 29 and Georgia Avenue
"Is there any chance that Montgomery County or the state will do something to fix University Blvd between 29 and Georgia Avenue? It's difficult to say the road surface has potholes when it feels, when driving this stretch, as though you've arrived in a war zone where bombs have decimated the roadway. It's been this way for years and is only getting worse!"

David Buck, spokesman for the Maryland State Highway Administration, spotted that question from my Monday online discussion. In fact, he said, the highway administration has two resurfacing projects underway to smooth out those rough spots on Maryland Route 193. And there's a third scheduled to start next year. And a fourth coming in the next few years.

Those paving plans pretty much cover University Boulevard for the five miles between the Capital Beltway and Connecticut Avenue, Buck said. He described the four phases:

(1) Maryland has a stimulus project on University Boulevard between Arcola Avenue and Veirs Mill Road. "This area encompasses most of western half of the area your reader is asking about between Georgia Avenue and U.S. 29," Buck said in an e-mail. The boulevard is being milled overnights to prepare for the final paving.

The milling began Monday and should take about two weeks. After that, a base layer of asphalt will be laid and then crews will install video/loop detectors at the intersections of Sligo Creek Parkway, Reedie Drive, Amherst Avenue and Grandview Avenue. (The detectors cause the lights to change during off-peak hours. Buck was explaining to me in a separate conversation that the state is now using video detectors to replace the older electro-magnetic sensors embedded in the pavement.)

When the detector installation is complete, the contractor will start resurfacing the roadway and installing new pavement markings. This section should be done by the end of June.

(2) Farther west, between Veirs Mill Road and Farragut Avenue, another section of University has been repaved. The final striping of the roadway was scheduled to begin Wednesday and be finished by April 28.

(3) Resurfacing and other improvements between U.S. 29 (Colesville Road) and Arcola Avenue should get underway either this fall or next spring.

(4) The section of the boulevard between U.S. 29 and the Beltway is a candidate for resurfacing in fiscal 2012, which begins in July 2011.

Here's a map of the area.

View Larger Map

By Robert Thomson  |  April 21, 2010; 9:00 AM ET
Categories:  Construction , Driving  | Tags: Dr. Gridlock, Maryland State Highway Administration  
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Dr. Gridlock, maybe you can put some pressure on DDOT to repave Missouri Ave, which is almost as bad as University Blvd. I've been e-mailing complaints to DDOT since February, and all I get are promises that never get fulfilled. You should try driving over that horrible road and see what we commuters put up with every day. Please don't hold any hot beverages as you do.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | April 21, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

And I thought I was the only one who noticed how bad University Blvd. is. Missori Ave. is also bad coming from Georgia Ave. till you get to Michigan Ave. a little pass Fort Totten Drive. Another bad stretch is New Hampshire Ave. from Sligo Creek to University Ave. I think I've seen car frames on the side of the road passing through there.

Posted by: PublicEnemy1 | April 21, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

The joke is that now that they've started ripping up the road, it's actually smoother on the gravel mess than the war-torn "road" that we've been dealing with the past couple years.

Posted by: prez61086 | April 21, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

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