COMMUTE

Traffic relief on the way for Maryland commuters

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Some promising news for Maryland commuters.

Relief is on the way for high traffic intersections impacted by Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), which includes roads near Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and National Institutes of Health in Bethesda.

On Monday, transportation officials along with state and local leaders announced a continued investment of $68 million to ease BRAC-related traffic in Maryland. One of the top priorities includes a portion of Rockville Pike and Cedar Lane.

While traffic improvements are already underway there, commuters could still see more red, before green.

"No pain, no gain," said Montgomery County BRAC Coordinator Phil Alperson.

"We want to make sure that the men and women who serve our country don't have to come back from fighting overseas, and have to fight traffic to get the healthcare that they need, and their families who are visiting them," said Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen.

Veteran, Herman Lewis Jr., is all too familiar with the large military and medical presence near this stretch of roadway, due to BRAC.

"It doesn't take a lot of time -- unless it's rush hour," said Lewis.

Part of the solution includes creating new travel and turn lanes, plus upgrading traffic signals. But getting there means temporary roadblocks starting in June.

"Cedar Lane..there will be a closure for part of the summer," said Alperson.

Similar projects will happen at Fort George G. Meade, Joint Base Andrews, and Aberdeen Proving Ground. Maryland Senator Ben Cardin said this will put even more people to work.

He said: "Maryland has gained more jobs through the BRAC process."

And as the process continues in Bethesda, estimated to last through summer 2016, Angela Matysiak will be leaving her car at home.

"I don't drive because I know the traffic is really bad," said Matysiak.

For more information on how the upcoming construction in Bethesda will impact your commute, Montgomery County is hosting a public meeting Tuesday at 6pm at the Bethesda Chevy Chase Regional Service Center.

State high administration officials will be available to address questions and concerns.

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