Skip to main content

Press Releases

New I-270 Interchange Off Watkins Mill Road Now Open; Montgomery County Contributed $4.9 million to Project That Supports Economic Development and Congestion Relief

For Immediate Release: Friday, June 12, 2020

The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) this week opened a new interchange on I-270 that provides direct access from the interstate to Watkins Mill Road in Gaithersburg. The $124 million project will enhance access to Montgomery County’s technology corridor, which is home to dozens of thriving businesses and development.

The project, which includes a bridge over I-270 and ramps connecting Watkins Mill Road with I-270, will have an immediate impact as Montgomery County is reopening—and traffic volumes will be increasing—with the COVID-19 health crisis easing. Construction began on the project in 2017.

Montgomery County contributed $4.9 million for design and engineering. County Executive Marc Elrich participated in a virtual ribbon cutting hosted by MDOT SHA that can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7u4wSZLLyc&feature=youtu.be

“I am pleased to see this important transportation project finally completed,” said County Executive Elrich. “This long-awaited and much-needed interchange will help support our plans to enhance economic development and provide traffic relief in the northern portion of the County. In addition, the bridge will provide bicycle and pedestrian access from one side of I-270 to the other.  

“The I-270 Technology Corridor is an important component of our economic development plans to support dozens of thriving businesses that are industry leaders in biotechnology. It is a step toward addressing our evolving transportation needs, but more importantly, it symbolizes a bridge from our past to our future. I want to thank the Maryland Department of Transportation and the City of Gaithersburg for being great partners on this project to create a transportation solution that improves the quality of life for our residents.”

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said the project will have an impact in many ways.

“This interchange has tremendous economic benefits for the region and improves access to the Metropolitan Grove MARC Station,” said Governor Hogan. “The men and women of MDOT SHA have delivered a critical link in this employment corridor that will advance our economic recovery as we continue to reopen Maryland.”

The interchange is part of a long-term plan that envisioned Watkins Mill Road as a vital east-west transportation link. An innovative public-private partnership between the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT), MDOT SHA, the City of Gaithersburg and BP Realty Investments led to an agreement to create the link with contributions from each partner including:

MCDOT

  • Impact tax funding and construction of the extension of Watkins Mill Road on the east side of the interchange.
  • $4.9 million contribution toward the interchange.

MDOT SHA

  • Funding for the interchange.
  • Construction of the interchange

BP Realty Investments

  • Funding to construct the road on the west side of the interchange.
  • Right of way for the interchange.

City of Gaithersburg

  • Development approval authority and accelerated permitting.
  • Impact tax funding SHA.

The Watkins Mill Interchange project supports economic development and congestion relief not only along I-270, but also MD 124 and MD 355 (Frederick Road). Previously, drivers on either side of I-270 were required to use MD 117 (Clopper Road), MD 355 or MD 124 to reach the opposite side.

The new interchange provides better links to both sides of Gaithersburg, the Gaithersburg Medical Center, the Metropolitan Grove MARC Station, the Montgomery County Police Department, homes, services and businesses. The project includes access for bicycles and pedestrians.

The project also will aim to better regulate traffic flow onto I-270 with three new ramp signals. Montgomery County worked with MDOT SHA to activate the signals.

 # # #

Put the “count” in Montgomery County! Be sure to complete the Census online, by phone, or by mail. It’s safe, confidential, easy, and important. #2020Census #EveryoneCountsMCMD 


Release ID: 20-314
Media Contact: Hannah Henn 240-777-8389