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ROCKVILLE – Prepare for evening road delays this month on I-270 in Gaithersburg.
Work to create a new interchange at Watkins Mill Road and I-270 will cause lane closures and total stoppages during February so that structural support beams can be laid.
This work marks the halfway point for the $84-million project, which is expected to cut down on travel times.
Construction began last summer on the new interchange, which should be finished during the summer of 2020, according to the State Highway Administration.
The interchange includes a new four-lane bridge over I-270, with connecting entry and exit ramps onto that highway.
“The work is part of a major construction relief project that will improve one of the state’s most heavily traveled roadways in Montgomery County,” said a spokesperson at the SHA. “Once complete, the new interchange will relieve congestion” along I-270 between the Route 124 and 355 intersections.
The goal of the project is to relieve congestion on this busy part of I-270, which runs for 1.25 miles between Montgomery Village Avenue, also known as MD124, and the Great Seneca Creek crossing near Game Preserve Road in Gaithersburg.
The area is known as the county’s technology corridor.
Once the project is completed, drivers will be able to use Watkins Mill Road to travel to and from businesses in the area as well as the Metropolitan Grove MARC Station and the Gaithersburg Medical Center.
“The new interchange will enhance economic opportunities by connecting these locations,” the spokesperson said.
When work is complete, Watkins Mill Road will run over the highway. Montgomery County contributed $4.9 million for the design and engineering phases. During February, construction crews are preparing to set structural support beams.
The work will be performed during the evening and early-morning hours. Lanes will be closed between 7 p.m. through 5 a.m.
During the hours of 7 and 9 p.m., only one lane will be closed at a time. During the next two hours, two lanes will be unusable, and, at various times between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., three lanes will be closed at one time.
The entire section of I-270 may be closed for up to 20 minutes when necessary.