MD 355 Crossing
At Naval Support Activity Bethesda’s South Gate (Gate 2) on Maryland 355 (Rockville Pike), pedestrian traffic is heavy. Thousands of people cross the road every week transiting to the base from the Medical Center Metro Station and back. The heavy foot traffic is one of the elements that makes the intersection one of the busiest in the area.
MD 355 stays tremendously busy with patient, employee and visitor vehicular traffic for the base, Metro Station traffic and normal passthrough traffic.
To help relieve congestion, and as one of the last remaining projects from the Base Realignment And Closure plan, a pedestrian tunnel is being built to allow foot traffic to cross directly under MD 355 without the worry of vehicle traffic or signals. Another tunnel, accessible through the mezzanine level of the metro and an elevator on the east side of MD 355 will allow commuters to avoid having to cross MD 355 as well.
The project is scheduled for completion sometime in 2020.
When the project is done, there will be elevator access on both sides of MD 355, and a new passageway that will have been expertly positioned in a tight space near existing utilities and infrastructure. What exists now was built with no anticipation of future underground additions.
During the work, those who work and live in the area should expect occasional traffic adjustments and reroutes.
Despite the minor inconveniences it may cause, the NSAB Installation Transportation Officer encourages people to continue using their normal commute patterns.
The benefit is the ability of the base to accurately anticipate manning for security and traffic control requirements.
For more information on the project, updates, and traffic alerts, you can visit the Montgomery County website dedicated to the 3-year project at www.md355crossing.com