Project to Improve Intersection of MD 355 and MD 118 to Begin Soon;County’s Participation Accelerates 10 State Projects to Reduce Traffic Congestion The Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA), in partnership with Montgomery County’s Department of Transportation (MCDOT), recently began a series of intersection improvements on state roads. . MCDOT is helping to fund these enhancements to reduce traffic congestion at selected bottlenecks and improve vehicular and pedestrian safety because state roads carry the heaviest traffic volumes in the County. The County’s 50 percent contribution of $3.2 million for the design, right of way acquisition and construction costs of these projects has allowed the improvements to move forward more quickly. “As Maryland’s economic engine and its most populous county, it is critical that Montgomery County continues to partner with the State on infrastructure projects,” said County Council President Valerie Ervin. “It is essential that we expedite road and sidewalk improvements to keep pace with transportation demands.” “These important transportation projects, along with our efforts to improve transit options that are also underway, should relieve traffic in some of the most congested parts of our County,” said Councilmember Roger Berliner, chair of the Council’s Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committee. “They will also make these busy intersections safer.”The intersection improvements are part of a list of priority transportation projects developed by Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett and the County Council. Funding for the projects was approved by the County Council as part of the County’s project for State Transportation Participation that began in fiscal year 2007.“With nearly the longest commute times in the nation, our area’s gridlock is rapidly eroding not only our quality of life but also the health of our economy,” said Leggett. “Even small changes can have a tremendous impact, and that is why we are moving forward, in partnership with SHA, to make the improvements that will keep our County moving.” The Maryland State Highway Administration is designing and constructing the improvements.“The Department of Transportation appreciates the County’s funding support for the 10 intersection improvements,” said Maryland Transportation Secretary Beverley K. Swaim-Staley. “Partnership is key as the State looks to address congestion and improve safety along main corridors in Montgomery County. By working together, Maryland is able to continue addressing critical infrastructure needs that support economic development, address congestion and improve safety.”The 10 intersection projects and their status are:1. Maryland routes 355 and 118, which will extend the existing left-turn lane along southbound Route 355. Under construction. 2. Maryland Route 27 at Sweepstakes Road. Installation of an exclusive right turn lane on northbound Route 27. Under construction.3. Maryland Route 650 at Adelphi Road. Widen southbound Route 650 to accommodate additional through lane, widen Adelphi Road to accommodate double left turn lanes. Under construction.4. Maryland Route 355 at East Middle Lane. Extend southbound Route 355 left turn lane. Under construction.5. Maryland Route 198 at Dino Road. Widen westbound Route 198 at Dino Road to provide a truck apron to accommodate U-Turns. Under construction.6. Maryland Route 107 at Partnership Road. Widen spur to accommodate two lanes. Widen eastbound Route 107 to provide a 10-foot shoulder/bypass lane. Under construction.7. Maryland Route 118 at Wisteria Drive and at Middlebrook Road. Extension of northbound left turn lanes. Under construction.8. Maryland Route 182 and Norwood Road. Install signal and exclusive left and right turn lanes onto Norwood Road. Construction bids opened. Construction to start October 2011.9. Maryland 108 at Bowie Mill Road. Install full signal extension of hiker/biker trail along northbound Route 108. Construction bids opened. Construction to start December 2011.10. Maryland Route 185, Washington Street to Saul Road. Construct new sidewalk on southbound Maryland Route 185. Right–of-way acquisition underway. Construction to start March 2012.