Chapman Avenue Project Could Start This Year


[gallery ids="15856,15857,15858"] Construction on a new road that would connect two major routes in North Bethesda and provide access for a new White Flint Fire Station could start this year. About $15 million has already gone into planning, site improvement and the purchase of land for Chapman Avenue Extended, a county road that would connect Old Georgetown Road and Randolph Road through a light industrial area east of Rockville Pike. If the project is approved as recommended in County Executive Isiah Leggett's six-year Capital Improvements Program, another $6 million would go toward the road in the next two fiscal years, about $3 million of which would pay for road construction later this year and early next year. Montgomery County Transportation Engineering chief Bruce Johnston described the Chapman Avenue design in detail at a meeting of the White Flint Downtown Advisory Committee on Tuesday morning. It would include two sharp turns, which Johnston said was necessary to avoid encroaching on any more privately-owned land. The lanes would be 12 feet wide with five-foot wide sidewalks on both sides, landscaping patches of varying width up to eight feet on each side, streetlights, storm drainage and stormwater management. Johnston said if the project is approved as part of the CIP, the county will tear down a few buildings in the road's path this summer before moving some utilities and starting construction. The road would open up to Randolph Road with a traffic signal and then continue into the Montrose Crossing Shopping Center. Chapman Avenue would also serve as a key step in the county's hopes of moving the existing Rockville Fire Station #23 (121 Rollins Ave.) to a site in the southeast quadrant of Randolph Road and Rockville Pike. That fire station would have increased capacity to deal with what's expected to be a growing White Flint population and access to an extended Chapman Avenue. From the CIP: A new station is necessary in this area due to the present and projected population density for the Rockville and White Flint area. White Flint is experiencing fast growth, and the population is expected to increase. The White Flint sector is envisioned to include a mix of housing, commercial, retail, recreation, and civic uses with the White Flint District as the focal point. Relocation of Rockville Station 23 to the White Flint area is needed to better position the station in relation to the high-density development in the approved White Flint Sector Plan and to minimize response time to the Station's highest incident call load area. The new site is of sufficient size to accommodate the construction of a larger station which can house additional needed apparatus. According to Dee Metz, the county's White Flint coordinator, initial plans for the station also include offices for a future White Flint urban district group and an unspecified number of affordable senior living units. It would cost $27.8 million, with construction starting in 2017 and ending by 2020. Diagram via Montgomery County

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