Since 2016 drivers along Md. Route 5 have endured lane closures and detours but the big road project north of the U.S. 301 junction is in its final stages of construction.
Have you seen the new overpass above Branch Avenue? They're calling it a "spine road" which sounds sinister but the Maryland Department of Transportation's intentions are pretty straightforward.
"We've already started putting the turning movements from Accokeek Road and Brandywine Road over top that [spine road] and that will span Md. 5 to take away that conflict point there ... so it's going to be more free flow," said Charlie Gischlar with MDOT SHA.
The convoluted at-grade intersections for Accokeek Road and Brandywine will be permanently eliminated soon. The traffic signals for Brandywine Road have already been deactivated. Over the next few weeks, crews will be carefully taking steps to retire the Accokeek Road intersection.
Drivers should be prepared for a big traffic pattern change scheduled to go into effect by the second week of April when all east-west traffic will cross Branch Avenue by using the new overpass.
The bridge is distanced from the old pair interwoven intersections. A service road for the new overpass will parallel Route 5. A roundabout for traffic on Accokeek Road and the service road will be located on the west side of Branch Avenue.
A new park and ride will be opening north of the new bridge soon as well. The entire project is on track for completion this winter.