Work has begun to complete the intersection of Waters Road and Germantown Road. The intersection, when completed will lie between Dawson Farm Road and Wisteria Drive on Germantown Road/MD-118, just north of the railroad overpass.
The connection will join Waters Road with Bowman Road near the MARC Train Station parking lot. Waters Road currently ends in a cul-de-sac. The Planning Board approved the realignment of Waters Road right-of-way at the January 2016 meeting.
Now that building is completed on the Alta Liberty Mill apartment complex on Waters Road, construction has started on connecting Waters Road to Germantown Road. In 2013 the County approved the residential development on the condition that Waters Road be connected to Germantown Road. According the Planning Board Staff Report on the matter, “The required construction of realigned Waters Road to Germantown Road will be done as a business district road based on a cross section approved by MCDOT including four total lanes (48 feet of pavement), a seven foot wide sidewalk, and a four foot wide green panel with street trees across the property’s frontage.”
“The intersection of Waters Road with Germantown Road (MD 118) will be built as a full access intersection, directly opposite Bowman Mill Drive, as approved by MDSHA,” said the report.
The proposed plan will have Waters Road curve slightly to line up with Bowman road creating a fluid intersection, which may have a traffic signal in the future.
In February of 2015, Benjamin Berbert, a senior planner with the Montgomery County Planning Department told the Germantown Pulse, “Based on the signal warrant study submitted for review to State Highway, it shows the warrants for a traffic signal are projected to be met.”
Berbert said that the Master Plan for the Germantown area envisions this as an intersection with a traffic light in order to provide safe pedestrian crossing from the north side of Germantown Road to the MARC station on the south side.
“The warrants will need to be re-tested after the intersection is open to traffic without a signal before State Highway will allow the signal to be installed. If the actual traffic is less than predicted and the warrants are not met for a signal, the intersection may remain unsignalized for a time. If unsignalized, the signal warrants will be re-tested when the other properties in the vicinity submit development applications and perform traffic studies, which may add additional pedestrian or vehicular traffic to the intersection,” said Berbert.
In terms of how much the new connection and intersection will effect travel on Germantown Road, Berbert said, “Based on the information provided in the signal warrant study, the morning delay along the MD 118 corridor would increase by an average of only five seconds, and the afternoon delay traveling along the corridor would actually decrease because the signal when coordinated with the surrounding signals can actually do a better job of metering traffic.”
He added that Montgomery County DOT would work to keep the possible Waters Road signal coordinated with the Wisteria Drive and Dawson Farm Road to ensure traffic moves along Germantown Road as smoothly as possible.
Caption: Earth moving equipment has been working to begin construction of a road that will connect Waters Road and Germantown Road near the MARC Train Station in Germantown.
Photo by Germantown Pulse.