A $10 Million Road Project Will Make Branch Avenue More Pedestrian Friendly

The Maryland State Highway Administration is kicking off a $10 million road project that will enhance access for pedestrians and cyclists along Branch Avenue in Prince George’s County.

The work on Branch Avenue (MD route 5), between Curtis Drive and Southern Avenue, includes the construction of nearly two miles of sidewalk, improved medians and islands, upgrades to the drainage system and road widening to allow for bike lanes.

Some lane closures will be necessary during the more than two years of work in the busy commuter corridor bordering the District.  The work is expected to be completed in spring 2017.

Through early winter, crews will be relocating a water line and will temporarily close Naylor Road from Good Hope Road to Branch Avenue Sunday through Thursday, between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. A detour route will be in place.

Transportation officials say no lane closures are expected along Branch Avenue until spring. During the construction, crews will be allowed to close one lane on northbound and southbound Branch Avenue on weekdays between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m., as well as in both directions of Naylor Road on weekdays between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.

More than 50,000 vehicles use this section of Branch Avenue every day.

As part of the project, crews will widen parts of Branch Avenue and Naylor Road to create space for bicycle lanes and will add 9,200 linear feet of sidewalks and sidewalk ramps along both state roads to enhance pedestrian safety and access in the area.

The work also includes the reconstruction of traffic signals, improving concrete medians and traffic islands, upgrading the roadway drainage, and resurfacing Branch Avenue and Naylor Road.

“This project improves safety for pedestrians, cyclists, transit riders and drivers, while supporting transit-oriented development and Prince George’s County regional efforts,” SHA administrator Melinda B. Peters said.

The corridor has long been known for its unsafe and incomplete sidewalks, and for years transportation officials and county planners have talked about improving pedestrian circulation in the area.

This project is covered with funds from the state’s major transportation funding bill approved in 2013. About two miles away, the state is also working on a $37 million project at the Branch Avenue Metro station in Suitland, where there are plans for a new pedestrian bridge and better access for drivers and pedestrians at the rail station.

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