Gaithersburg Mayor and Council Release Statement on Watkins Mill Interchange
UPDATED Gaithersburg city leaders are asking residents and business owners to contact Governor Larry Hogan about the importance of moving forward with the Watkins Mill Road Interchange.
On Friday, Mayor Jud Ashman and the Council released a joint statement about the project:
“Late last year the City Council and I were very disheartened and disappointed to learn that the City’s #1 transportation priority, the Watkins Mill Road Interchange at I-270, was in jeopardy. After nearly two decades of planning, a $4.9 million contribution from Montgomery County and our efforts to secure the right-of-way, the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) has placed this vital project on hold indefinitely. The decision by the SHA places this project in jeopardy, not only impacting the daily commute for thousands of people, but also hindering the economic growth and vitality of the Upcounty area.
“There are several projects contingent upon the construction of a full interchange. These include Phase II of the Spectrum development, which proposes more than 360,000 square feet of office space, 14,400 square feet of mixed use space (bank/service), 80,600 square feet of retail and restaurant space, and a 184-room hotel. There are several other projects in the pipeline that were predicated on a full interchange. These include a FedEx distribution center on the former IBM campus, which could bring 200 new jobs to the area, and the possible consideration by the Humane Society of the United States of making its Gaithersburg location its National Headquarters.
“Over the last several weeks the City has met with Maryland Secretary of Transportation Pete Rahn to convey the importance of a full diamond interchange. We are not alone in our advocacy efforts. Both the Montgomery County State Delegation and the Montgomery County Council have sent strong letters of support to Governor Larry Hogan reiterating the importance of moving forward with construction of the full interchange.
“Members of the Montgomery County Delegation were briefed this morning on the status of the Watkins Mill Road Interchange in their continued efforts to get the project back on track as expeditiously as possible.
“The City of Gaithersburg has been an active partner with the State on many high priority issues. The initiation of the Watkins Mill Interchange is now the highest priority for Gaithersburg as vital economic development and infrastructure improvement needs depend upon its full implementation. If Maryland is truly “open for business,” the interchange must be one of the roads to get us there.
“My colleagues and I will continue to push this issue at all levels of government until the interchange is completed. We ask that the residents and business owners of Gaithersburg and the Upcounty area join us in moving the Watkins Mill Road Interchange forward by contacting the Governor and their legislators. Together we can and will make great things happen!”
Pete K. Rahn, Secretary of Transportation
Department of Transportation
P. O. Box 548
7201 Corporate Center Drive
Hanover, MD 21076 – 0548
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Although the timing has been changed, Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett says state officials have indicated that the Watkins Mill Road Interchange is going forward. He said the questions that remain are the cost and the make up of the project. Find out more in this MyMCMedia Extra, video:
Here are your five things to know today, Feb. 25, in Montgomery County: 1. The Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a Government Contracting Forum at the Bethesda Pooks Hill Marriott this morning at 8 a.m. 2. The Gaithersburg City Transportation Committee will be meeting tonight at 7 p.m. The agenda includes an update on the […]
UPDATED Gaithersburg city leaders are asking residents and business owners to contact Governor Larry Hogan about the importance of moving forward with the Watkins Mill Road Interchange. On Friday, Mayor Jud Ashman and the Council released a joint statement about the project: “Late last year the City Council and I were very disheartened and disappointed […]
Here are your five things to know today, Feb. 19, in Montgomery County: 1. The Montgomery County House Delegation is scheduled to be briefed on the Watkins Mill Interchange today at 9 a.m. in Annapolis. 2. Mayor of Takoma Park Kate Stewart will be hosting a coffee meet and greet at Black Lion Grocery at 8:00 […]
The Montgomery County House Delegation is scheduled to receive a briefing on the Watkins Mill Interchange at a meeting on Friday morning in Annapolis. According to an agenda for the meeting, State Highway Administrator Greg Johnson is scheduled to be part of the briefing. Just last week, Maryland Transportation Secretary Pete Rahn met with Montgomery […]
In this MyMCMedia Extra video, County Council President Nancy Floreen says conversations are continuing with state officials about the status of the shovel ready Watkins Mill Road Interchange. Local leaders recently learned that construction of the future interchange had been delayed and that the scope of the project may be changing.
Gaithersburg Mayor Jud Ashman is scheduled to meet with Maryland Transportation Secretary Peter Rahn today, in Hanover, to discuss the future of the Watkins Mill Road Interchange at I-270. Just last month, Ashman and the five-member City Council sent a letter to State Highway Administration officials expressing concerns about proposed changes to the design of […]