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At-Grade Intersection Improvement MD Route 97 Georgia Avenue at Randolph Road

Skill Set Recommendations

3.1 Construction

The construction skill set offered the following recommendations:

Social and Environmental Issues

  • Evaluate using 4f properties for temporary construction activities
  • Pedestrian mobility

Public Relations

  • Community liaison
  • Community meetings
  • Project Web sites


  • Think "outside the box" for retaining wall design/bridge design and MOT with the intent for reducing project and phase duration

Advanced Construction Contract

  • Utilities
  • Storm drain/roadway reconstruction to be completed at Judson and Sheraton Streets
  • Advertise utility contract, hold roadway construction contract
  • Subsurface utility engineering

Reduce Congestion within Work Zone

  • Explore detour options
  • Bus route alternatives (Public Transit/School Buses)

Right of Way

  • Advanced right-of-way acquisitions
  • Monitoring Wells for the purpose of identifying possible contaminated soils

Innovative Contracting

  • Incentive/disincentive at critical path milestones
  • Design/build
  • A+B

Construction Management

  • Use of construction management and inspection contracts
  • Use of conventional SHA administration and inspection of project

Agency Coordination and Public Involvement

  • Start discussions with organizations early
  • Restrictions on design and construction must be coordinated into plans

3.2 Geotechnical Engineering Utilities

The geotechnical engineering/accelerated materials testing skill set discussed the strength of the clay and the potential instability of various slopes along MD-97 before offering their recommendations:

3.3 Public Relations/Public Involvement

The public relations/involvement crew centered their recommendations on the "Identify, Involve, and Inform" model:

  • Key Concepts
  • Budget for public information activities
  • Comprehensive community outreach
  • Reach a diverse audience
  • Informational vs. promotional
  • Elected officials support

Public Relations Skill Set Recommendations

  • On-site community liaison
  • Informational public meetings
  • Establish database for outreach
  • Project Web site
  • Community outreach
  • Media outreach
  • On-site community liaison
  • Hire a public relations consultant at the outset of the project
  • Funding must be set aside out of the construction budget
  • Located at project field office.
  • Informational public meetings
  • Pre-meeting with local officials
  • Several months prior to construction host one or more open houses.
  • Regular update meetings throughout life of the project

Establish Database for Outreach

  • Set up a database of all stakeholders, interested parties, and individuals that need to be informed about the project
  • Ability to provide updates through e-mails, phone messages, and text messages
  • Disseminate timely information to a mass audience
  • Project Web site
  • Communicate project news and changes on SHA's Traffic Management website (CHART) and Montgomery County's Traffic Management Center
  • Purchase domain names
  • Web site must be kept current

Community Outreach

  • Fliers, door hangers, newsletters (print and electronic), brochures, giveaways
  • Speakers bureau (project staff, local officials)
  • Information on city and county web pages,
  • Drop-in center, kiosks,
  • Advertising for display at transit facilities (i.e. METRO, bus) and on grocery bags
  • TAR/VMS, static project information signs

Media Outreach

  • Limited media attention from DC-area T.V. and radio
  • local cable access programs
  • Press releases, traffic reports, blogs, radio/TV/print interviews, PSAs, letters to the editor, editorials
  • Coordination with traffic reporters
  • Outreach to Hispanic organizations, Spanish language radio stations (99.1 El Zol)

3.4 Roadway/Geometric Design

The roadway/geometric design group reviewed the Value Engineering study completed in May 2004 and concluded that the proposals presented are valid design items, noting that they do not appear to accelerate construction or significantly reduce costs. The team then offered the following recommendations:

Roadway/Geometric Design

  • Change of utility relocation
  • Original plan to relocate along Sheraton and Judson
  • Proposed: relocate along MD 97 and Randolph Rd


  • Possible 4F issue to be created
  • Purchase of residence on northwest corner of the existing intersection. The property is currently for sale.

Other Details

  • There are still some utilities to be relocated at Sheraton and Judson
  • The house on main intersection could be offered as 4F mitigation

Roadway/Geometric Design

  • Hold existing vertical (MD 97)
  • Keep MD 97 at the current elevation


  • While MOT may be simplified, Randolph Rd. may need to be lowered


  • Roadway/Geometric Design
  • Geometrics
  • Eliminate the jug-handle and the tunnel left turn lane.
  • Provide the left turn lane from eastbound Ramp B.


  • Need for advanced signing
  • Modification of the vertical curve to shorten the walls on the east end


  • Eliminates impact to police lot
  • Walls are parallel


  • Structures, traffic, and construction


The structures team offered the following recommendations:

Figure 1: Proposed elevated structure for Randolph RoadFigure 2: Typical retaining walls that may be used in trenching Randolph Road
Figure 1: Proposed elevated structure for
Randolph Road
Figure 2: Typical retaining walls that may be used in
trenching Randolph Road

Viaduct Bridge for Randolph over MD 97

  • Minimize utility impacts (no underground relocations)
  • Reduce right-of-way impacts (eliminate some total takes)
  • Lanes can be tucked under structure
  • Carrying heavier traffic movements, improving Level of Service (LOS)
  • Less impact on residents


  • Significant time savings for construction
  • Reduce construction stages
  • Minimize hazardous material impacts
  • Minimize impacts to surrounding structures
  • Saves money (ROW/Utility impacts)


  • Visual intrusion
  • Long-term maintenance costs
  • Planning process will require revisiting
  • Possible conflicts with WMATA Metro Tunnel (foundations)

Accelerated Construction of Current Designed Bridge

  • Weekend Closure to Construct Bridge
  • Install foundation elements during short term lane closures. Cover with steel plates.
  • Close intersection for weekend.
  • Excavate as required depth over the bridge area.
  • Install pre-cast abutment caps.
  • Place pre-cast superstructure elements.
  • Place temporary waterproofing membrane and HMA wearing surface.
  • Open to traffic

Accelerated Construction of Current Designed Bridge


  • Minimize MOT phases
  • Shorter construction time frame
  • Less temporary pavement
  • Potentially less ROW/Easements


  • Closes intersection for a weekend


  • Coordinate foundation with WMATA tunnel
  • Superstructure types
  • Extensive Public Awareness campaign required
  • Dependent on amount of work, could be expanded to two weekends
  • Staging area will be needed close by

Secant/Tangent Wall (Top Down)


  • Can be constructed using lane closures
  • May not require tie-backs
  • Can be used for a vertical load carrying element at bridge


  • Requires special details at WMATA crossing
  • High costs - $110 to $150 per SF
  • Potential challenges removing decomposed rock material

Accelerated Construction of Retaining Walls

Soldier Piling/Lagging (Top Down Driven H-Piles)

  • Lower costs
  • Less caisson drilling


  • More extensive MOT
  • Requires special details at WMATA crossing (tie-backs)

Soil Nail

  • Lowest cost


  • Longest construction time
  • Possible conflicts with drainage and tie-backs
  • Long term durability concerns (soil PH requires investigation)
  • Other structure Issues

Shift Bridge/Md 97 Alignment East

  • Less phases for construction
  • Less impact to traffic


  • 4f impacts associated with temporary roadway in Greenway
  • Issues with temporary roadway intersecting vertical grade of Randolph Road


  • Self-consolidating concrete (drilled shafts)
  • Automated computer control of concrete placement operations
  • High-performance overlays
  • High-performance rebar
  • Utilizing pre-cast elements

3.6 Traffic Engineering/Safety/ITS

Challenges of current design

  • Signing
  • Shifts congestion to adjacent intersections
  • Utility relocations along Judson Road and Sheraton Street
  • Length of construction period
  • Redirection of local roadway traffic
  • Median nose impeding turning movements
  • Access management issues
  • Growth of shopping center
  • Redirect of Inner-County Connector traffic

Skill set goals

  • Reduction of construction time and cost
  • Minimize impact to traffic during construction
  • Provide safe pedestrian access through construction phasing
  • Keeping stakeholders (system users, TMC, adjacent residents, businesses, etc.) Informed of traffic and construction conditions
  • Real-time monitoring and conveying that information to the public
  • Maximize the benefit of the ultimate facility
  • Minimize crashes during maintenance of traffic

Reduction of construction time and cost

  • Consider two- or three -lane tunnel with reversible lanes for peak direction
  • Reconsider alternative  grade widening – consider pedestrian bridge/tunnel with elevators
  • Consider short term closures for certain activities to reduce construction time and phasing need to perform modeling to determine impact

Minimize impact to traffic during construction

  • Signal timing at adjacent intersections within the area network
  • Additional traffic monitoring equipment beyond the project limits. Need to determine what Montgomery County currently has in place.
  • Reduce or eliminate conflicting turning movements in work zone

Provide safe pedestrian/bicycle access during construction

  • Provide positive protection
  • Pedestrian/bicycle detours
  • Signing
  • Local information outreach
  • Reduce construction phasing
  • Coordination with WMATA and consider moving bus stops
  • Provide acceptable riding surface for cyclists
  • Maintain adequate lighting

Keeping stakeholders informed of traffic and construction conditions

  • Maintain open line of communication with media
  • Coordinate closures with property owners and businesses
  • Community liaison
  • Coordination with ICC construction and other nearby construction projects
  • Maintain accurate traffic control devices
  • Real-time monitoring and conveying that information to the public
  • Provide and maintain monitoring and its devices throughout the area network and include in project cost
  • Coordinate construction phasing and signal timing with Montgomery County traffic management center (TMC)
  • Coordinate construction activities with WMATA bus operations
  • Use existing resources to provide real-time data (WMATA, WTOP, Mont. Co., etc.)
  • TAR – travel advisory radio

Maximize the benefit of the ultimate facility

  • Simulation modeling of ultimate facility for traffic flow improvements
  • Access management to village center
  • Remove Randolph Road left turn lanes to Village Center
  • Consider second cut and cover at Glenmont Circle and Randolph Rd
  • Consider impacts of ICC
  • Provide additional left-turn lane out of the shopping center

Minimize crashes during maintenance of traffic

  • Clear and accurate use of traffic control
  • Routine WZTC inspection
  • Reduce or eliminate conflicting turning movements in work zone
  • Provide contractor incentives for maintaining safe work zone
  • Remove vehicles quickly in the event of a crash or incident – consider performance specifications for contractor
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Updated: 10/27/2015
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000