Officials Kick Off Watkins Mill Interchange Project on I-270 (VIDEO)

State and county officials broke ground Tuesday on a nearly $98 million project they say will improve traffic flow on I-270, one of the most congested commuter routes in the country.

The project, the Watkins Mill Interchange, includes a four-lane bridge over the interstate to connect two segments of Watkins Mill Road that are now divided by I-270.

The bridge is expected to relieve some of the traffic on Montgomery Village Avenue, a congested thoroughfare many motorists need to get to the east or west ends of Gaithersburg.

Gov. Larry Hogan hailed the 1.25-mile project because it provides easier access to the Metropolitan Grove MARC station on the west side of I-270 and it supports economic development projects along Montgomery County’s “Technology Corridor.”

The project is set to begin this month and it should be open to traffic by the summer of 2020 — a year earlier than previously scheduled, Hogan said.

The project isn’t without some controversy. Hogan blamed the Democrat-controlled General Assembly for a delay in the project. He said legislation that required the governor to say why certain projects were funded — which Hogan called “the road kill bill” — killed projects across the state. With the law’s repeal in the 2017 General Assembly session, this project could proceed, he said.

Here’s Hogan’s take on the delay, and a rebuttal by Del. Charles Barkley.

Hogan said 1,000 transportation projects worth $4 billion were taking place across the state. Montgomery County will see $450 million worth of projects, he said.

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Douglas Tallman

About Douglas Tallman

Reporter with 35 years experience throughout Maryland. Reach me at dtallman@mymcmedia.org or via Twitter at @MCM-Doug

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