Route 4 and Suitland Parkway construction underway
Have you ever sat in heavy traffic on the Beltway near Joint Base Andrews and Forestville only to find that the delay was caused by a backup on the ramp to Pennsylvania Avenue? The traffic signals at Westphalia Road and Suitland Parkway beyond that exit were the likely culprits. But an effort to keep traffic moving through that cloverleaf interchange on the Beltway is underway.
Last week, utility crews relocated power poles and a 36-inch waterline along Md. Route 4 (Pennsylvania Avenue) to carve out space for a new bridge. The often congested at-grade intersection for Suitland Parkway and Route 4 will be replaced with a new diamond interchange.
Although the work to build the new overpass above Route 4 is only in the early phases of construction, the Maryland Department of Transportation hopes the improvements will relieve existing congestion, enhance safety, improve mobility and accommodate increasing traffic volumes.
The right-of-way and wayside work is complex with the project's close proximity to Joint Base Andrews. The small bridge that carries Suitland Parkway over the air force base's access ramps is being widened as a part of the project. But the new design requires that a jet fuel line first be relocated. This excavation and other activities have required single lane closures and brief stoppages of traffic at the eastern end of Suitland Parkway over the past several months.
On Route 4, paving of temporary travel lanes is expected to begin by the end of the year. Northbound traffic will eventually be shifted onto the new pavement to accommodate the construction of the overpass.
The work on Route 4 is one of several projects nearby in addition to the bridge replacements and rehabilitation on and above the Beltway at Suitland Road, Suitland Parkway, Temple Hill Road and Central Avenue.