Two road work projects down, more to go in Bethesda -- Gazette.Net


Work is finishing up on a few road construction projects on Rockville Pike in Bethesda — work that will make progress on future projects possible.

Christopher Bishop, a community liaison for the State Highway Administration, said the agency had recently finished a utility relocation project along Rockville Pike and improvements on the intersection of Jones Bridge Road and Connecticut Avenue. Some signs and signals need to go up at Jones Bridge Road, he said, but the project was essentially complete, despite the recent snowy weather.

“As you can imagine, it’s been a rough, rough couple of weeks, the last two weeks in particular,” Bishop said.

The projects were part of a slew of road work items planned for the area around the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda. An act of Congress called the Base Realignment and Closure Act, or BRAC, brought many additional military resources and personnel — with their cars, bikes and Metro passes — into the area. Bishop spoke at a Tuesday meeting of the BRAC Integration Committee.

Kellie Boulware, a spokeswoman for the administration, said the recently completed Jones Bridge Road intersection work cost about $4 million.

“We still have some pavement work we need to do this spring and some signal work,” she said, which may involve some lane closures.

The State Highway Administration has two more projects on the horizon that will involve lane closures. The administration plans to install a retaining wall on Rockville Pike at the National Institutes of Health near Wilson Drive, Bishop said. To do that, one southbound lane will close to allow workers access to the construction area. Work will take place during the middle of the day, he said, and should finish in March or April, depending on the weather.

Boulware said closures will affect a single lane on the far right between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

Boulware said the retaining wall is being built and utility work was completed in advance of improvements to the intersection of Rockville Pike and Cedar Lane. The work there is expected to involve additional turn lanes, signal upgrades and drainage improvements. About $9 million worth of work has been completed so far, she said.

More information on daytime closures is expected to be available closer to when the project starts.

“We’re looking to kind of kick things up this spring,” Boulware said.

Bishop said that no date for the start of work on the Cedar Lane intersection had yet been set, but it would probably be sometime in June.

For more BRAC news, visit