STATE HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION REMOVES CHOKEPOINT ALONG US 29 AT BRIGGS CHANEY ROAD IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY
New Interchange is Part of Series of Improvements to Replace At-Grade Intersections with Grade-Separated Interchanges along the US 29 Corridor, Reducing Congestion and Improving Safety
(September 10, 2007) – The traffic signal that choked traffic for decades is history along US 29 (Columbia Pike) at Briggs Chaney Road in Fairland, Montgomery County. The Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration (SHA) recently completed the $49 million US 29/Briggs Cheney Road Interchange project, delivered to the traveling public on-time and by Labor Day. Landscaping and other minor work will be completed by mid-fall, weather permitting.
When SHA began the project in late-2003, the first year of the project was largely devoted to constructing temporary ramps, traffic signals and a bridge to safely guide the more than 60,000 vehicles along US 29 at Briggs Chaney Road. The temporary roadways, bridge and traffic signal are gone—in their place is a new interchange featuring a permanent bridge that carries Briggs Chaney Road over US 29.
“We are delighted to have eliminated another chokepoint for thousands of daily commuters who travel along US 29,” said Neil J. Pedersen, SHA Administrator. “Our goal is to continue upgrade and improve the US 29 Corridor, so motorists are spending less time in their cars and more time doing things they enjoy.”
Before the new interchange was constructed, US 29 suffered significant recurring delays every morning and afternoon. The congestion along US 29 was compounded if an incident took place along I-95 or MD 295 (Baltimore Washington Parkway). The interchange project, as well as other projects along US 29 recently completed, is saving motorists up to 10-20 minutes each day.
In order to successfully construct the massive interchange, SHA lowered US 29 approximately 12 feet to create a new bridge that carries Briggs Chaney Road over US 29. Other work on the project included:
• Adding four ramps at the interchange to facilitate a greater flow of traffic;
• Widening of Briggs Chaney Road between Old Briggs Chaney Road and Automobile Drive/Castle Boulevard and Old Columbia Pike between Martello Drive and Old Briggs Chaney Road to create turn lanes onto both directions of US 29;
• Building seven retaining walls of varying lengths and proportions along US 29;
• Adding a five foot sidewalk along Briggs Chaney Road between Old Brings Chaney Road and Castle Boulevard;
• Improving storm water management systems within project limits; and
• Milling and paving of US 29, Briggs Chaney Road and Old Columbia Pike.
The US 29/Briggs Chaney Road Interchange has an average daily traffic volume of more than 58,000 vehicles per day and is expected to rise to nearly 80,000 by 2030. The project was awarded to and constructed by Concrete General Inc. of Gaithersburg.
SHA also completed construction of two additional interchanges along US 29 in December 2005 at a total cost of more than $93 million. The US 29/MD 198 (Spencerville Road) was dramatically improved by interchange construction projects that placed US 29 over MD 198 in Burtonsville. The US 29 at Randolph Road/Cherry Hill Road interchange was completed at the same time, which placed Randolph Road/Cherry Hill Road over US 29 in Fairland.