Cone Zone: Updates on D.C.-area work zones

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Cone Zone: Updates on D.C.-area work zones

  • Watkins Mill Road project at I-270

    Exit 12 doesn’t exist on Interstate 270 yet, but that’s expected to change in the coming years.
     
    The drive between Gaithersburg and Germantown on I-270 has changed dramatically over the last several months. A large bridge is taking shape above the northbound and southbound lanes and a few of the muddy paths along the edges of the highway outline future off-ramps. 
     
    Despite the wet and icy winter weather, crews successfully welded the steel framework for an overpass that will eventually carry Watkins Mill Road above I-270.
     
    "We put 80 girders up for this new interchange at I-270 at Watkins Mill Road so that was a monumental accomplishment by our crews and our contracting crews," said Charlie Gischlar, spokesperson for the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration. The work began in early February. 
     
    The setting of the structural steel necessitated temporary stoppages of overnight traffic between the Montgomery Village Avenue and Middlebrook Road exits but Gischlar said, with the overhead work largely completed, late night traffic holds will not occur very often throughout the rest of the project.
     
    The lane closures often set up around 8 p.m. which can lead to congestion during busier, later rush hours. 
     
    "There will still be some lane closures overnight as we fill the deck pans up with the bridge deck which will be the new driving surface but it won't be nearly as impactful for overnight travelers," Gischlar said. The lane single and double lane closures for the deck pan installation and other assorted work will take place overnights for several months. 
     
    When it opens by early next fall, MDOT SHA hopes the four-lane overpass and the diamond-shaped interchange will enhance economic opportunities for middle and northern Montgomery County and lessen backups on nearby roads like Route 124 and Route 355 by giving drivers more options.
     
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