SUITLAND, Md. — Soon a busy Metro station in Prince George’s County will be more accessible to drivers and safer for pedestrians.
The Maryland State Highway Administration says the new Route 5 Branch Avenue Interchange and its dedicated access road to the Branch Avenue Metro Station is about 75 percent complete.
“We are almost done with our major structure work,” says SHA Project Engineer Andrew Young.
The grading, curbs and median for a new four-lane roadway have been completed. The road, to be named Woods Way, is being threaded between the large car dealerships along Auth Road, across Auth Place and directly toward the Metro station parking lots.
“There will be a new bridge overpass connecting southbound Md. [Route] 5 to that new access road. On northbound Md. 5, the profile is being lowered to accommodate that new bridge,” he says.
Young says the new geometry of Branch Avenue’s northbound and southbound carriageways coupled with additional improvements should ease chronic delays for drivers in the nearby Capital Beltway interchange.
“The Beltway congestion relief is occurring because we are eliminating a signalized interchange that currently backs up traffic because it’s so close to the on and off ramps at the Beltway,” Young says.
At a press event to promote safe, distraction-free driving near work zones, the highway administration said the new roadway could open as soon as this autumn. The entire $61.1 million project is expected to wrap up by summer 2017.
In addition to a new option for drivers, walkers headed to the Metro will have a brand new elevated pedestrian walkway that will span the southbound lanes of Route 5.