Construction begins on Watkins Mill Road extension in Gaithersburg
Highway will connect to Frederick and Clopper roads
Construction has started on Watkins Mill Road Extended, a planned six-lane highway connecting the existing road that dead ends east of Interstate 270 at Maryland 355.
The extension is the first step in a process to connect both ends of Watkins Mill Road with a bridge over I-270. The state eventually will build an interchange at I-270 and Watkins Mill Road to relieve congestion in the area, according to a county press release.
The Montgomery County Department of Transportation's Division of Transportation Engineering has begun work on the roadway, but the bridge and interchange will not be built until later, said Greg Ossont, Gaithersburg's director of Planning and Code Enforcement.
BP Realty Investments, which owns the land, built a four-lane portion of Watkins Mill Road from west of I-270 to an existing section east of Clopper Road. The developer is paying almost 25 percent of the cost for the project, and the county and city of Gaithersburg are funding the rest. The developer also has set land aside for the interchange and a new 6th District County Police Station.
Construction is expected to take about six months.
Watkins Mill Road Extended will be a six-lane highway that includes a sidewalk, bike path and street lighting, according to a county press release. The Humane Society of the United States has helped create a wildlife management plan to move vulnerable animals away from the path of the project.
The road should be completed next summer at a cost of $7.7 million.