Montgomery Co. will build surface trails near Capital Crescent

Rising costs have delayed plans for a Capital Crescent Trail tunnel in downtown Bethesda, Maryland, under Wisconsin Avenue. But street level trails have been funded that would include a safe crossing at Bethesda Avenue and Willow Lane.

The surface trails will run along the northern side of Bethesda Avenue between Woodmont Avenue and Wisconsin Avenue. East of Wisconsin Avenue, the two-way separated bike lane will continue along the southern side of Willow Lane to 47th Street. A shared-use path is planned along the Elm Street Park’s 47th Street frontage.

The construction of the project will be completed in phases.

Phase One will carry the trail from Bethesda Avenue between Woodmont and Wisconsin Avenues diagonally over Wisconsin Avenue, and onto Willow Lane until you get to 47th Street. It also includes adding a cycle track along Woodmont Avenue from Miller Avenue to Montgomery Lane. Construction for this section is scheduled to start this summer, and finish by fall at an estimated cost of $1.3 million.

The second phase brings the project from the corner of Willow Lane and 47th Street up the side of Elm Street Park to the intersection of 47th and Elm Streets. People will also be able to connect to the the rest of the Capital Crescent Trail through Elm Street Park. The hope is to start construction on this phase next summer. There is no solid cost estimate yet for phase two.

The area is already seeing steady construction. The Bethesda station for the Purple Line is expected to be completed near Bethesda Avenue in two years.

The Capital Crescent Trail, when completed, will provide a continuous route from Silver Spring, Maryland, to Georgetown. Currently, there is a break in the trail from Bethesda until Woodside.

A new section of trail is planned to run along the Purple Line that would connect the two current sections of the of the Capital Crescent.

Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter turned morning anchor at WTOP News.

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