New Md. 355 bridge to bring flood relief, delays this week

Md 355 bridge hyattstown
A new bridge on Maryland Route 355 in Hyattstown is being built over the Little Bennet Creek. (WTOP/Neal Augenstein)

Near the nation’s capital most drivers are all too familiar with hellacious traffic on Maryland Route 355, where it’s known as Wisconsin Avenue and Rockville Pike.  But up where Route 355 is known as Frederick Road, drivers should expect temporary stoppages, this week for the construction of new bridge over Little Bennet Creek, in Hyattstown.

The bridge is being built in place of a 90-year-old existing bridge on the two-lane stretch of road in Hyattstown, near the border between Montgomery and Frederick counties. It will be three feet higher, to minimize erosion at times when water levels rise along the creek below.

A temporary bridge and roadway, adjacent to the original, is carrying Route 355 traffic during construction.

On Tuesday, huge precast concrete beams will be trucked in on flatbed trucks to the site. Periodically, flagging crews will stop traffic in both directions to enable a crane to remove the beam from the truck and swing it into place.

The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration said crews will try to keep traffic stops to a minimum wait time.

After the bridge beams are in place, Maryland highway officials expect construction of the new deck to begin come September.

In addition to the bridge work, crews have provided more channels for water to be diverted when Little Bennet Creek swells after heavy rains.

Daily construction is expected to wrap up by 3 p.m. to minimize delays during afternoon rush hour.

Neal Augenstein

Neal Augenstein has been a reporter at WTOP since 1997. Through the years, Neal has covered many of the crimes and trials that have gripped the region. Neal's been pleased to receive awards over the years for hard news, feature reporting, use of sound and sports.

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