Last Wednesday evening, I attended a meeting on SHA’s (the State Highway Administration) Greenbelt Metro interchange project on I-495 beltway. The 3.2 mile long project spans the portion of beltway between Rt 1 and the I-295, however the main focus of the project is to build a full interchange at the Greenbelt Metro allowing easy access between the Greenbelt Metro and east side of beltway. It appears that the interchange development is related to the proposed FBI development at Greenbelt, however the SHA is saying that the interchange project will move ahead regardless of whether FBI moves to Greenbelt or not.
As part of the plan, the SHA wants to widen the inner and outer loops of beltway in north College Park, roughly between Rt 1 and Greenbelt station. SHA plans to build one extra lane (about 10 ft wide) in both inner and outer loops. It means that the existing sound barriers will come closer to the houses in Sunnyside neighborhood, and also near Ontario Rd and Niagara Place. According to SHA, the 70% design of this project will be completed in sometime next month, however actual construction of the widening will not start in about 10 years. The widening project is in phase 2 of the larger project and its construction will start the construction of the interchange at Greenbelt (phase 1 of the project).
You can find more information about the project here on SHA’s website.
I’ll keep you posted as we hear more about the project. I’ve also requested to have a discussion at the NCPCA in February.