Groundbreaking for Randolph Road Interchange at Georgia Avenue (PHOTOS)

georgia1Transportation Secretary James T. Smith, Jr. and Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett were joined by other state and local officials on June 4 to break ground on a $74.8 million interchange project to replace the existing MD 97 (Georgia Avenue) at Randolph Road signalized intersection in Montgomery County.

Montgomery County provided more than $14 million to advance the interchange project, which was one of their top transportation priorities.

“Thanks to strong Federal and Local government partnerships, we are delivering an innovative transportation project that will relieve congestion, improve safety and create jobs,” said Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley. “This project also will help us meet our goals of doubling transit ridership by 2020 and reducing Maryland’s greenhouse gas emissionsby 25 percent by 2020 by extending the Glenmont Greenway Trail to provide cyclists and transit users easier access to the Glenmont Metro Station.  I want to thank County Executive Leggett for contributing County funds to help us move this project forward.”

This project involves constructing a new interchange to replace the existing MD 97 (Georgia Avenue)/Randolph Road signalized intersection by lowering Randolph Road nearly 25 feet to allow through traffic to go under Georgia Avenue.  New turn lanes and ramps will provide turning movements.  The project also includes adding one additional through lane along Georgia Avenue for a total of three through lanes in each direction.  Additional improvements include extending the Glenmont Greenway Trail on the west side of Georgia Avenue an additional 900 feet past Randolph Road to Mason Street and adding new sidewalks

“MD 97 and Randolph Road are both critical roadways in Montgomery County, used by 86,000 drivers each day, and constructing this new interchange will improve safety and allow families to spend more time together and less time stuck in traffic,” said Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown. “By working with our partners in both local and Federal governments, we’re making the investments in our infrastructure that allow us to create jobs, reduce congestion, and support Maryland’s growing economy.”

“This interchange was Montgomery County’s top transportation priority and I applaud the Governor and Lt. Governor for making this project a reality,” said Leggett.  “Montgomery County is contributing $14 million to this project that will make a real difference in getting vehicles where they need to go more efficiently – and just as importantly, provide safe crossings for pedestrians and bicyclists.”

“A reliable and well maintained infrastructure is vital to create jobs today in construction and jobs tomorrow through economic growth,” said U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski, Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “Smart funding for Maryland’s roads lays the groundwork for our future. This new interchange at MD 97 and Randolph Road will ease congestion and improve safety for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians in Montgomery County. I’m proud to put funds in the federal checkbook for projects like this that create jobs and improve the quality of life for all Marylanders.”

“Robust federal investments in Maryland’s roads, part of our critical infrastructure, are investments in job creation and economic development across the region,” said U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Transportation Infrastructure Subcommittee. “Marylanders currently waste too much time, money and gas in gridlock. I’m proud that the federal government continues to partner with Maryland and Montgomery County to modernize and improve the safety of one of our region’s busiest east-west business corridors.”

“Sitting in traffic is a waste of time, money, and energy, and this project is great news for Montgomery County commuters who will benefit from reduced congestion,” said Congressman Chris Van Hollen. “Marylanders can breathe a bit easier knowing that improved traffic flow through this interchange and safer access to the Glenmont Metro Station for bicyclists and pedestrians will reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as gridlock.”

The project will reduce congestion and improve traffic safety by separating through traffic by lowering Randolph Road nearly 25 feet under Georgia Avenue, which will remove traffic conflict points and provide free-flow traffic on Randolph Road through the interchange.  The additional through lane on Georgia Avenue also will reduce traffic congestion and improve traffic operations for commuters, pedestrians and cyclists.  Extending the Glenmont Greenway Trail will enhance access to the Glenmont Metro Station, helping to increase transit ridership.  The construction cost for this project is $44.4 million and the project should be complete in winter 2016, weather permitting.

“Today’s Georgia Avenue interchange groundbreaking is another major milestone in the O’Malley-Brown Administration’s ongoing efforts to create jobs and to enhance Maryland’s economic competitiveness,” said Transportation Secretary Smith.  “Thanks to ongoing support and funding from the county and our federal partners, we are able to move critical projects forward that improve safety for those walking, biking and driving through the area.”

“I am pleased to witness the groundbreaking of this key transportation improvement in the District 18 community,” said Senator Richard Madaleno.  “This interchange will deliver on the promise of improved traffic flow and safety along the Georgia Avenue corridor, enhancing travel and commerce and alleviating congestion.  I applaud Governor O’Malley and County Executive Leggett for working so closely with the legislature to secure funding for this critical transportation project.  The outcome of our successful partnership should yield immediate and direct benefits for both the community and travelers of this intersection.”

“Getting routinely stuck in traffic at this very intersection made me decide to run for office,” said Delegate Sam Arora.  “I could not be more pleased to see the efforts of our strong state and local partnership move the Glenmont project forward in such a crucial way.  Severe traffic congestion threatens the quality of life for working families and hurts our environment.  With Montgomery County’s continued population growth, we must continue to invest in infrastructure and smart-growth strategies for the future.”

“We waited for this for a long time, it will provide much needed congestion relief to one of the County’s most congested interchanges,” County Council Vice President George Leventhal.  “It is needed for Glenmont revitalization and we are grateful to Governor O’Malley and the State Department of Transportation for moving this forward.”

“The Georgia Avenue (MD 97) /Randolph Road Interchange is an exciting project that will ease traffic congestion in Glenmont,” said County Councilmember Nancy Navarro.  “The County and State are working together to lay the groundwork for revitalizing Glenmont with the start of this key road project, the recently approved Glenmont Sector Plan, and the newly designated state Enterprise Zone. This project is a key step in an ongoing effort for Glenmont to reach its full potential.”

“Transportation remains the top priority for Montgomery County residents who are tired of being stuck in traffic,” said County Councilmember Nancy Floreen. “That’s why I am so pleased the County is working with our federal and state partners on this project. Residents stand to benefit not only from congestion relief but also improved traffic safety and enhanced economic development. This project is an all-around win.”

“This is a long awaited and much needed road improvement that will reduce congestion in the Glenmont area,” said County Councilmember Phil Andrews.

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