Dejá Vu for Silver Spring Commuters as Fencing is Installed

It will be dejá vu for Silver Spring commuters headed for the Paul Sarbanes Transit Center as fencing is installed, cutting off some sidewalk access in preparation for Purple Line construction.

Fences are being installed this week around grassy areas at the corner of Colesville Road and Wayne Avenue, according to John Undeland, communications director for the contractors, Purple Line Transit Partners.

The enclosed area (see graphic below) will become a staging and construction site similar to when the transit center was built. The Purple Line work will include the tracks and station adjacent to the center, along with light rail and Capital Crescent Trail bridges over Colesvile Road.

“Construction will start taking place this summer,” Undeland said. “There are going to be some significant impacts.

“There’s going to be some access,” he continued. “You’re simply going to have to walk around the perimeter of [the grassy area]. That’s going to be the initial impact. It’s an inconvenience.”

The fencing should be completed in about 10 days, Undeland said, at which point the PLTP will begin moving equipment into the area.

“We’re going to stay out of the way of traffic as much as possible. Obviously, that is a very busy area,” Undeland said. “There will be times, especially bringing in large materials, when we’re going to have to take a lane.

“We’ll put flaggers out there to temporarily stop traffic to get folks in [but] we’re not going to be doing that during morning peak and evening peak [traffic],” he added.

Riders will still be able to get to the transit center’s second level via the sidewalk along the bus egress on Ramsey Avenue, or enter the uppermost level at the end of Bonifant Street.

In the meantime, the PLTP has sent email and text notices to those who have signed up for construction updates, the Silver Spring Urban District’s Red Shirts will be distributing 5,000 fact sheets (in English and Spanish), and directional signs will be in place.

The 16.2-mile project is expected to be completed in late 2022.

Photos and graphic courtesy Purple Line Transit Partners.

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