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Comes to College Park: Six Years Road Work and Headache 1.4 mile stretch of Route 1

Luz Lazo Transport reporter covering Washington Metro, buses, Capital Bikeshare and taxis and the region's road network November 26 at…

A 1.4 mile stretch of road 1 in Prince George’s County will receive a $ 40 million face lift that includes bicycle paths and other road safety features for an area that is sensitive to crashing.

Getting a government project financed and on the verge of construction took a decade. Now it takes almost as long to get the job done. Commuters and residents along this busy stretch of Baltimore Avenue – as Route 1 is designated in College Park – should prepare for a six-year construction zone that begins next year.

The work from the entrance to the University of Maryland campus on College Avenue / Regents Drive to the bridge over Maryland 193 (University Boulevard) will take longer than building Maryland’s 16-mile Purple Line and getting it in use.

“When you put it in perspective, it’s hard to believe that we will have a purple line coming through Bethesda, 2022, and we can not even extend Route 1 during that time,” said Scott Somers, head of Maryland transport manager at a meeting in College Park City Council last month.

State Highway Managers say that six years of work are necessary to enable relocation of a lot of new infrastructure in the corridor and to accommodate requests from the University of Maryland for no construction under Greater University Events.


A Route 1 project is expected to improve pedestrian safety in the occupied corridor. (Luz Lazo / Washington Post)

Crew would be limited from working 180 days – almost half of the year – due to events at the university , said state officials.

At a meeting of the month, universities and state highway tj Envoys agreed to revisit that number. Other Futrell, a District Engineer for State Highway Administration, supervises the project, said the state is also working to expand the hours to include evenings and weekends to speed up the project.

“If we can do that, we believe this will shorten the timeline,” Futrell says.

But it may not be enough. The utilization of the tool alone will take between three and four years to complete, under what time there will be lane closures, said state officials.

It will take Pepco between 15 and 18 months to replace its toolbars and then Comcast and Verizon must move lines, Lindsey Bobian, Project Manager with State Highway Administration, said last


The College Park part of Route 1 carries as many as 36,000 vehicles a day, officials say. (Luz Lazo / Washington Post)

The project requires relocation of several circuits, including facilities that deliver Pepco’s substations and earn thousands of local customers, said Pepco spokeswoman Christina Y. Harper. Herds must isolate and disable areas along the way so they can safely carry out the work while continuing to provide service to customers.

The expansion project comprises a four-way highway with a raised median and improved bicycle and pedestrian is the first of three phases of a major reconstruction of the corridor that will add a mile to the capital Beltway. It is billed as an important upgrade to a road that has had significant development and lacks the infrastructure to accommodate all its users – many of them pedestrians and cyclists.

It will also address road safety in an area where six pedestrians have been killed in the last decade. Three of the incidents were 2014 and a year 2017. In recent years, the state has organized a massive education campaign to counteract ruthless driving in the corridor, especially at night, and urge pedestrians to stop crossing middle blocks. The state has installed a median fence and pedestrian signals.

Despite a high concentration of pedestrians and heavily dependent on transit along the road, it has narrow sidewalks and no bicycle paths. In some places, ramps are required for availability. Roadway construction – two lanes in each direction and a turning in the middle – give inevitable bottlenecks.

When the project is completed, the road will have two lanes in each direction, a raised 15-foot median with vegetation, a 6-foot wide cycle path in each direction, and a 5-foot to 8-foot wide sidewalk. Herds will also reconstruct sidewalks, edges and ramps to make them accessible to people with disabilities. The work also includes improved storm drainage.

“It will not only create an environment where cyclists and pedestrians have some protection, but it will also have many features to slow down traffic and make it safer for everyone to review it,” says Greg Slater, the state highway administrator.

Officials said the project will be divided into two segments to minimize the presence of construction along the entire road for six years. The southern part between College Avenue / Regents Drive and Lakeland Road should be completed before 2021, according to the project’s timeline. The segment includes the replacement of a large gas pipeline, state officials said. The northern part, from Lakeland to Maryland 193, will require longer completion due to the new infrastructure needed to be moved.

Work on both segments requires lane closures from 9:00 to 3:00 and overnight to avoid affecting the morning and afternoon rush hours. T jennists said tools are already working to launch relocation of lines and poles, while the big work is expected to start next year for a completion in 2024.

Unlike the Light Rail Rail Line Between Bethesda in Montgomery County and New Carrollton in Prince George & # 39; s County, on which the building began in August 2017, is expected to start transporting passengers by 2022.

Officials worry that gridlock becomes much worse during the design of the two projects. Today, only one lane finish on Baltimore Avenue creates disturbances for miles in the district and all the way north into Beltsville.

The Northwestern Prince George area is still one of the worst choke points for commuters using the corridor to get to work in the district or to major workplaces in the area, including the University of Maryland facilities. Thousands of cars traveling that part of the road near U-Md. campus – about 36,000 each day – will be affected by the construction. The number of vehicles using the road is expected to rise to 51,000 in 2040, officials say, as College Park and nearby communities continue to grow.

Private and public investment in recent years has added new academic premises, apartments, restaurants and hotels to the Route 1 corridor in College Park. At least six major development projects have been approved or under construction along Baltimore Avenue, and they will add even more hotel rooms, restaurants and apartments to the area, according to city records.

The 2024 end date shocked College Park officials, who had been impressed by the completion of the project in 2022.

“It’s ridiculous,” said Somers, the head of the city, in an interview. He said that the city will encourage commuters to search for alternative roads, use public transport, car pool or bike to get around the area.

“We know there will be consequences. We can not fool ourselves,” he said.

Those who frequent the area say they understand why work is needed: The corridor is in a tight area in College Park with many pedestrians, many of them students and a growing number of cyclists who need better infrastructure.

But it does not know that the possibility of living in a six-year construction zone is easier, they said.

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