Governor Announces Launch Of I-270/Watkins Mill Rd Interchange Project

Work is expected to begin next month.

Gaithersburg, Md (KM). A major construction project for  Interstate 270 in Montgomery County was announced on Tuesday. The State Highway Administration says the project, which cost $98-million, will include the building of a new interchange over I-270 at Watkins Mill Road.

Spokeswoman Valerie Burnett Edgar says it will help ease traffic congestion for motorists who travel down that highway. “Ultimately, if you’re traveling from Frederick from I-70 all the way down to 495, you’ll save 30-minutes. If you’re getting off before then, this will be another option to get off in the Gaithersburg area,” she says.

Governor Larry Hogan was on hand with other elected officials in Gaithersburg to announced the beginning of this project, which he said is one of many across Maryland to help repair the state’s crumbling roads and bridges. “After eight years of neglect and mismanagement, and after a billion dollars was siphoned from the Transportation Trust Fund and spent on things totally unrelated to transportation,” he said.

SHA says the 1.25-mile project will extend between Route 124 (Montgomery Village Avenue) and the Great Seneca Creek crossing near Game Preserve Road. The I-270/Watkins Mill Road Interchange bridge will be a four-lane span with connecting entry and exit ramps that provide direct access for interstate travelers. The interchange is expected to relieve traffic congestion at the I-270/Route 124 interchange and the Routes 124 and 355 intersection.

The Governor said this project is one of many in Maryland this year. “We’re currently have $4-billion worth of projects all across the state, 1,000 construction projects all taking place right now at the same time,” he said. “It’s unprecedented; it’s historical. It’s never happened at any point in the state’s history.”

Work on this I-270/Watkins Mill Road project is expected to be completed by the summer of 2020.

“Ultimately, combined with the Innovative Congestion Management Project, this should improve the commute for any Frederick area folks who are using I-270,” Edgar says. “And certainly, if you work in the Gaithersburg area, this will be perfect because you’ll be able to get off right at Watkins Mill Road.”

By Kevin McManus