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First Test Blast for MD 355 Crossing Project scheduled for Wed. July 19, between 10:00 and 11:00 AM

Please note that the first controlled test blast for the MD 355/Rockville Pike Crossing Project at the Medical Center Metro Station is scheduled for Wednesday, July 19, between 10:00 and 11:00 AM.

Traffic on MD 355 will be halted between Jones Bridge Road and South Wood Drive approximately ten minutes prior to the single blast, and alarms will sound five minutes prior to the blast. Roads will re-open shortly after the blast and an ” All Clear” horn has sounded.

Alarms will be heard, and minimal blast vibrations may be felt, by people in the immediate vicinity of the blast.

Controlled blasting will be used for the excavation of a deep elevator shaft on the Navy side of Rockville Pike that will connect to the Metrorail mezzanine.  The Crossing Project will also include a shallow pedestrian tunnel beneath Rockville Pike to provide safe and efficient crossing for bus and carpool riders and neighborhood pedestrians and bicyclists.


Excavation Blasting for the MD 355/Rockville Pike Crossing Project at the Medical Center Metro Station

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July 7, 2017

This is an advance notice about blasting related to the Crossing Project at the Medical Center Metro Station that is currently anticipated to begin the week of July 17. The first test blast will take place on or about Monday, July 17, weather permitting.

  • TEST BLASTS: Controlled test blasts will begin the week of July 17, weather permitting. There will be three test blasts, one blast per day. We anticipate test blasts to take place between 9:30 AM and 3:30 PM. Specific test blast dates are not yet confirmed.
  • LONG-TERM BLASTING SCHEDULE: When the tests have been concluded, blasting through mid-2018 will occur up to 4-5 times per week (2-3 per week for the elevator shaft, 4-5 per week for the underground tunnel connecting the elevator to the Metrorail mezzanine).
  • NO RUSH HOUR BLASTING: Blasting won’t occur during peak traffic hours (between 5:30 and 9:30 AM, and 3:30 and 7:30 PM), but could take place during non-peak hours in the daytime or during overnight hours. Advance notice of nighttime blasting will be provided.
  • NO WEEKEND BLASTING PLANNED: No weekend blasting is currently planned, but may be necessary under special circumstances. Advance notice of weekend blasting will be provided if necessary.
  • MINIMAL VIBRATIONS: Very minimal ground vibrations may be felt by some persons.
  • TRAFFIC CLOSURES FOR BLASTING: It is anticipated that intermittent traffic closures will only be necessary for the initial 4-5 weeks of blasting. The need for further traffic closures will be closely monitored during this 4-5 week period. Advance notice will be provided if it is necessary to continue the traffic closures beyond the 4-5 week period following the start of blasting.
  • BLAST WARNING HORNS AND TRAFFIC CONTROL:
    • There will be 5 long signals 5 minutes before the blast, and 10 short signals 1 minute before the blast.
    • It is anticipated that only individuals in the project vicinity will hear blast warning horns.
    • 5-10 minutes prior to blast, vehicle and pedestrian traffic will be stopped along Rockville Pike, between Jones Bridge Road and South Wood Drive (Navy Gate #2).
    • An “All Clear” short horn signal will sound after blasting.
    • 1 minute after blast, normal traffic resumes.

    This blasting is part of the ongoing construction of the Crossing Project at the Medical Center Metro Station, which will establish a shallow pedestrian underpass between NIH and Walter Reed, and deep elevators on the Navy side of MD 355 to the Metrorail mezzanine. Construction of the Crossing Project is anticipated through mid-2021.

    The area of Rockville Pike near the Medical Center Metro Station, NIH and Walter Reed is a construction zone. Please pay attention to all signs, and drive, walk or bike carefully through the area.


MCDOT Announces FIVE WEEKEND LANE CLOSURES in July and August on Rockville Pike in Bethesda at NIH/Walter Reed

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 June 30, 2017

The Montgomery County Dept. of Transportation will close lanes of Rockville Pike (MD 355) between Woodmont Avenue and Wilson Drive, near the Medical Center Metro Station, NIH, and the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center at Naval Support Activity Bethesda.

Weather permitting, these lanes will be closed for FIVE WEEKENDS IN JULY AND AUGUST:

  • 10:00 PM Friday, July 7 thru 5:00 AM Monday, July 10 — Two Northbound Lanes.
  • 10:00 PM Friday, July 14 thru 5:00 AM Monday, July 17 — Two Northbound Lanes.
  • 10:00 PM Friday, July 21 thru 5:00 AM Monday, July 24 — Two Northbound Lanes and One Southbound Lane.
  • 10:00 PM Friday, July 28 thru 5:00 AM Monday, July 31 — One Northbound Lane and Two Southbound Lanes.
  • 10:00 PM Friday, Aug. 4 thru 5:00 AM Monday, Aug. 7 — Two Southbound Lanes.

These lane closures are part of the ongoing construction of the Crossing Project at the Medical Center Metro Station, which will establish a shallow pedestrian underpass between NIH and Walter Reed, and deep elevators on the Navy side of MD 355 to the Metrorail mezzanine. Construction of the Crossing Project is anticipated through mid-2021.

The area of Rockville Pike near the Medical Center Metro Station, NIH and Walter Reed is a construction zone. Please pay attention to all signs, and drive, walk or bike carefully through the area.


Daytime Lane Closure on Rockville Pike in Bethesda at NIH/Walter Reed: 9:00 AM thru 3:00 PM, Monday-Friday for up to four weeks, from June 19 thru July 14, 2017

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June 16, 2017

The Montgomery County Dept. of Transportation will close ONE SOUTHBOUND LANE of Rockville Pike (MD 355) between Woodmont Avenue and Wilson Drive, near the Medical Center Metro Station, NIH, and the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center at Naval Support Activity Bethesda.

Weather permitting, ONE SOUTHBOUND LANE will be closed between 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM, Monday through Friday, for up to four weeks, from June 16 through July 14, 2017. No lane closures are planned for June 30 through July 5 in observance of the Independence Day Holiday.

These lane closures are part of the ongoing construction of the Crossing Project at the Medical Center Metro Station, which will establish a shallow pedestrian underpass between NIH and Walter Reed, and deep elevators on the Navy side of MD 355 to the Metrorail mezzanine. Construction of the Crossing Project is anticipated through mid-2021.

The area of Rockville Pike near the Medical Center Metro Station, NIH and Walter Reed is a construction zone. Please pay attention to all signs, and drive, walk or bike carefully through the area.