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Montgomery County Executive Elrich Joins Silver Spring Community Members as Department of Transportation Dedicates Rebuilt Park Valley Road Bridge Over Sligo Creek

For Immediate Release: Friday, November 15, 2019

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich today joined Silver Spring community members and Federal, State and local officials to dedicate the new Park Valley Road Bridge over Sligo Creek in Silver Spring. The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) managed the project that includes realignment of the nearby Sligo Creek Hiker/Biker Trail.

The bridge is located on Park Valley Road over Sligo Creek—about two-tenths of a mile from Piney Branch Road in Silver Spring

County Executive Elrich and MCDOT Director Chris Conklin talked about the significant safety improvements that the new bridge will deliver, while preserving the character of the original bridge—including its stone design. The bridge and reconfigured trail project will improve pedestrian and bicycle safety, access to the hiker/biker trail, will meet ADA standards and will improve traffic safety. 

In addition to dozens of Sligo Creek area residents, the ceremonies were attended by representatives from the offices of U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and U.S. Congressmen Jamie Raskin and John Sarbanes.

The 1931-vintage bridge was in poor condition. The new 34-foot, single-span bridge includes a 5-foot, 8-inch-wide sidewalk on the south side. An 85-foot approach roadway and an 85-foot sidewalk connector tie the bridge to the existing roadway and trail.

County Executive Elrich talked about how he often will ride his bicycle in the area and had recently ridden by the bridge while it was still under construction.

“I rode my bike down to this area about two weeks ago,” said County Executive Elrich. “Now that the project is complete, I look forward to riding my bike down here again and enjoying this outstanding completed project that will be a great benefit to this community.”

The project is an example of the County’s efforts to modify infrastructure in a manner that supports the goals of the County’s Vision Zero program, which seeks to reduce severe and fatal injuries in traffic-related collisions.

“Few things impact the day-to-day lives of Marylanders as much as their commutes, which are often mired in gridlock,” said Senator Van Hollen. “For many Montgomery County residents, the Park Valley Road Bridge is a part of their daily commute, and this badly-needed project will help reduce traffic congestion for thousands of residents. I was proud to support this federal funding to modernize our nation’s bridges, and I will continue working to invest in updates to infrastructure across our state.”

The project includes a 12-foot-wide, 65-foot-long, steel truss pedestrian bridge over Sligo Creek; a new, 10-foot-wide, 213-foot-long hard surface trail that links the new pedestrian bridge to the existing Sligo Creek Trail; a safer, reconfigured intersection at Park Valley Road/Sligo Creek Parkway with a new crosswalk and a six-foot-wide trail pedestrian/bicyclist refuge median on Park Valley Road; and a new, five-foot-wide, 190-foot-long natural surface pedestrian path along the existing hard surface trail.

 “I am delighted to open this beautiful new bridge that improves pedestrian, bicycle and traffic safety,” said MCDOT Director Conklin. “As we update our existing infrastructure, we are taking the opportunity to enhance safety for all travelers to meet our Vision Zero goals of eliminating traffic fatalities.” 

MCDOT maintained access across the bridge for pedestrians and bicyclists throughout the construction project.  The department worked closely with the community to seek input on design and to collaborate on ways to minimize construction impacts on residents and the environment.

The total project’s cost was $4.85 million. It was funded with approximately $3.5 million in federal funds and $1.3 million in local funds.

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Release ID: 19-387
Media Contact: Neil H. Greenberger, 240-777-6532