This project provides for Facility Planning, Phase I and preparation of an environmental document to evaluate alternatives providing congestion relief and improving vehicular, pedestrian, and bicycle mobility for the corridor east of I-270, more specifically between existing Midcounty Highway and future Snowden Farm Parkway (A-305) at MD 27. The study will also evaluate widening Middlebrook Road east of MD 355.
Since the 1960s, Midcounty Highway has been an element of the transportation master plan for Montgomery County. Over the years, the County has built and opened to traffic the segment of Midcounty Highway from Shady Grove Road to Montgomery Village Avenue. As well, the extension north toward Clarksburg has undergone planning and right-of-way has been dedicated for portions of the master plan alignment.
In December 2003, the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) began a planning study as the first step toward evaluating the need and feasibility for the remainder of the Midcounty Highway master plan alignment. As part of the planning process, the County determined the purpose and need for the extension of Midcounty Highway and examined the environmental features in the master plan alignment corridor. These findings and the proposed purpose and need were presented at a public workshop in November 2004.
Following the public workshop, concerns were raised by state and federal environmental resource agencies that the purpose and need for the Midcounty Highway extension should be further defined. The agencies also requested other alternatives be evaluated in addition to the master plan alignment.
Accordingly, the MCDOT has invested additional resources to provide greater analysis, and the result of the new direction is the broader Midcounty Corridor Study (MCS). The Midcounty Corridor Study expands the scope to a larger region and evaluates more alternatives with different alignments and with traffic improvement measures for the corridor east of I-270 between Clarksburg and Gaithersburg.
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|January 2004||Midcounty Highway, Facility Planning Phase I commences|
|November 2004||Public Workshop #1, Midcounty Highway Purpose and Need presented|
|April 2006||The Midcounty Highway is expanded to reflect a broader project called the Midcounty Corridor Study (MCS) and is required to follow the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process|
|January 2007||Midcounty Corridor Study Purpose and Need approved|
|December 2007||Public Workshop #2, 11 Preliminary Alternatives presented|
|February 2011||Alternatives (6) Retained for Detailed Study (ARDS) approved|
|June 2012||Public Workshop #3, Detailed Studies presented|
|May 2013||Publish Draft Environmental Effects Report (EER) and submit Joint USACE/MDE Permit Application|
|August 2013||USACE/MDE Joint Public Hearing on Draft EER and Permit Application|
|February 2014||Respond to the USACE and MDE Information Request Letters|
|March 2015||Submit Draft Preferred Alternative / Conceptual Mitigation Report (PA/CM)|
|WE ARE HERE!||Pending SHA/MTA’s MD355 BRT Study from Clarksburg to Bethesda, results anticipated early 2016|
|Summer 2016||Complete MCS/MD 355 BRT Study from Shady Grove Road to Redgrave Place|
|Fall 2016||Submit Final PA/CM|
|Winter 2016||USACE/EPA/MDE concur with PA/CM|
The MCDOT is performing the Midcounty Corridor Study to: relieve projected congestion on roadways between Gaithersburg and Clarksburg; improve mobility east of I-270; improve safety and efficiency; improve vehicular, pedestrian, and bicycle access to destinations within the study area; and to develop these improvements in an environmental sensitive manner.
The identified needs for the project are based on current and projected traffic congestion and accident history. The needs for the project include:
Purpose and Need Statement - January 2007
US Army Corps of Engineers Concurrence (pdf, 69kb)
Maryland Department of the Environment Concurrence (pdf, 948kb)
US Environmental Protection Agency Concurrence (pdf, 71kb)