Thursday, August 27, 2015
SHA to add left turn lane on River Rd. at Willard Avenue in Bethesda
Expected to take over a year to complete, the project will widen River Road along the northbound side between Baltimore Avenue and a point 150 feet west of Willard Avenue. All of the land being utilized for the project is within the SHA right-of-way; no seizure of private property is expected.
Crews will also construct sidewalk ramps for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance and new curbs and gutters. They'll also install audible and countdown display pedestrian signals at the River Road intersections with Ventnor Road, WillardAvenue/Greenway Drive and Baltimore Avenue.
Traffic signals will also be upgraded, and the road will be repaved at project's end, likely in the fall of 2016. Yes, there will be nighttime work Sunday through Thursday nights, to the delight of nearby residents who recently endured a never-ending Pepco project.
$825,000 has been budgeted for the project, and its schedule will be determined by how mild or nasty the upcoming winter is.
The SHA estimates over 17,000 cars use this stretch of River Road daily. Let's hope County planners and the SHA start discussing projects to increase capacity along River Road in light of plans for massive redevelopment in the Westbard sector plan. Of course, while widening River Road would make sense, it would narrow again to 4 lanes at the DC line, leaving a major bottleneck point. Currently ground zero for the War on Cars in America, the District is unlikely to agree to widen River Road within its jurisdiction.