The State Highway Administration recently awarded a $1.9 million contract to improve a section of a trail along Sligo Creek that is frequented by hikers and cyclists.
Work on the project began last week and is expected to be finished by the end of the year, said Christopher Bishop, a spokesperson for the State Highway Administration.
Between now and the project’s completion, crews will be closing one lane in both directions intermittently.
Walkers and cyclists will be able to use the trail throughout the construction although they may be occasionally rerouted from to time. Work is being done by Highway and Safety Services, Inc. of Gaithersburg.
William Cosgrove of Silver Spring called the pedestrian bridge set to be built over Sligo Creek by Piney Branch Road in Takoma Park “a positive thing.”
“It’s not always the safest intersection,” he added.
Cosgrove often walks his dog or runs along Sligo Creek Parkway and said he has difficultly seeing oncoming traffic along Piney Branch Road, which also is known as Route 320.
“Anything that would make it more pedestrian-friendly would be a good thing,” he said.
Sarah Toppins, who lives nearby, echoed his sentiments, saying, “I think it’s a good thing.”
The pedestrian bridge will cross over Sligo Creek and be 110-feet long, 10-feet wide and 15-feet high, said Bishop.
The work also includes realigning the path, which is part of the Anacostia Tributary Trail.
One of the safety perks of the improvement is trail users will no longer have to walk a short distance along the narrow sidewalk along Piney Branch Road.
Trail users who cross the bridge will come up to road level at the intersection of Piney Branch and Sligo Creek and will be able to walk across Piney Branch and continue their exercise.
Sidewalks and ramps compliant with the Americans With Disabilities Act and upgraded traffic and pedestrian signals at the busy intersection are also included in the project
About 22,000 vehicles use that intersection daily, said Bishop.