Reopened bridge in Silver Spring marks milestone for Purple Line

Silver Spring, Maryland, officials with the Purple Line project join Montgomery County leaders and community members to cut the ribbon on the redesigned bridge on May 24, 2024. (Courtesy Maryland Department of Transportation)

After six years of closure, the Talbot Avenue Bridge in Montgomery County, Maryland, has reopened for pedestrian and vehicle traffic, marking what officials deemed progress in the yearslong Purple Line light rail project.

Officials thanked the community for its patience while construction was underway and highlighted the significance of the project during a celebration at the bridge Friday afternoon.

“Today’s opening of the historic Talbot Avenue Bridge marks 2024’s first major milestone for the Purple Line,” Senior Project Director Ray Biggs II said in a statement.

“The Purple Line continues to advance, at more than 60% complete, including thousands of feet of completed rail track, underground utility and stormwater management systems installed, and communications ductwork for electrical wiring and telecommunications lines well underway.”

Video from the Maryland Department of Transportation showed the redesigned bridge, now equipped with safety fencing, an updated road surface and ADA-compliant pedestrian walkways.

“The bridge design includes a ramp, new curbs and 8-10-foot-wide sidewalks, making it safer and easier for cars and pedestrians to cross the existing CSX tracks and the parallel Purple Line below,” the statement said.

Talbot Avenue Bridge also connects the Lyttonsville and North Woodside communities in Silver Spring, literally bridging physical and social divides.

“The historical significance of the Talbot Avenue bridge is notable, as it connects communities once divided, not just by the old wooden-decked bridge, but also by decades of racial segregation,” officials said.

Once completed, Purple Line riders will be able to use the bridge to access the Lyttonsville station — currently under construction — and travel east to west from New Carrollton in Prince George’s County to Bethesda in Montgomery County.

Purple Line service is expected to begin by late 2027, with design and construction projects continuing through at least 2026. Purple Line trains are expected to arrive in the region later this year.

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Ivy Lyons

Ivy Lyons is a digital journalist for Since 2018, they have worked on Capitol Hill, at NBC News in Washington, and with WJLA in Washington.

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