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NIH Bethesda Campus Winter Safety Advisory

The winter season is almost here, and that means snow can't be far behind.

The Office of Research Facilities (ORF) Division of Facilities Operations and Maintenance is prepared to ensure safe access so that 'Snow Does Not Stop Science.' Their mission is for a safe and timely snow removal. The contractor operates heavy equipment to quickly remove snow from the Bethesda campus. While walking or driving near heavy equipment, please exercise caution and do not assume the operator can see or hear you.

On the same topic of safety, while most of the sidewalks will be free of snow and ice, melting and refreezing will most likely occur. Please exercise caution and consider wearing non-skid shoes. 

Starting the last weeks of November, you will begin to notice orange, yellow, red and blue markers throughout the Betheda campus. The NIH snow removal contractor uses these markers to minimize damage to the grass and other campus plants, help the crews avoid hydrants, and prevent collisions with other structures that could be covered by deep snow. Please help support our mission of safe and timely snow removal by keeping the markers in place. If the markers are removed, it increases the likelihood of mishaps that could injure an employee or snow removal crew member and cause property damage.

View the snow removal informational flyer complete with live traffic camera links and a snow removal priority map. Employees can determine which routes are safe inside and outside of campus. If you need special assistance during a snow event, please call the ORF Help Desk at (301) 435-8000.

Ride On extRa Expands Transit Options on MD 355 Beginning October 2

Ride On extRa is a new limited-stop service that will run on MD 355 during peak hours, beginning October 2. This new service line will make 12 stops, running every ten minutes from 5:30 to 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. between Lakeforest Transit Center in Gaithersburg and the Medical Center Metro in Bethesda. On a introductory basis, this service will be free during October to encourage use and give riders an alternative to their current daily route. The shuttles will include Wi-Fi, USB ports and padded seats. For more information, please visit: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/dot-transit/RideOnExtra.html

New Morning Traffic Patterns Begin August 9 Due to Building 10 Underground Parking Garage Repairs

After 39 years of use, the ramp connecting the P-1 level with the P-2 level of the ACRF underground parking garage in Building 10 has deteriorated to the point it needs extensive repair to strengthen the structure.

Beginning Wednesday, August 9, the aging ramp will be closed for approximately 3 months. As a result, all employee traffic parking in P-2 and P-3 must enter and exit the garage via the P-3 entrance. There is no change to patient, patient visitor, handicap and P-1 special permit holders parking on the P-1 level.

To manage the weekday morning rush of staff vehicles attempting to enter the P-3 entrance, between 5:30am – 9am, the NIH has established a new traffic pattern on Center Drive to Memorial Drive with additional queuing lanes to expedite the required inspection process. These queuing lanes will begin in front of the Clinical Research Center (north side of Building 10).

Although the P-3 entrance will continue to be open at 4:30am for entry and exiting, starting at 5:30am until 9am, P-3 becomes an entrance only to accommodate two lanes of incoming traffic entering the garage. Employees who arrive before 4:30am, or those who need to leave during the 5:30am – 9am timeframe, should park in alternative locations, including MLP-9 and Lot 10H.

For a map detailing the new 5:30am – 9am weekday employee traffic queuing pattern for the P-3 entrance, please visit: https://traffic.nih.gov/Documents/Building10_parking_reroute_employee.pdf

During the same 5:30am – 9am period, northbound traffic on Memorial Drive will terminate at the entrance to the Building 10 Loading dock and Lot 4A. There will be no access to the P-3 garage northbound on Memorial Drive and no deliveries to the Building 4 loading dock will be allowed during this time period. All commercial vehicle access to loading docks on Memorial Drive, including Building 10, will be required to use this northbound route from the Commercial Vehicle Inspection Facility (CVIF).

For a map detailing the 5:30am – 9am weekday commercial vehicle access to loading docks on Memorial Drive, please visit: http://traffic.nih.gov/Documents/Building10_parking_reroute_commercial.pdf

Signage will be posted and police will be on site, redirecting employee and commercial traffic.

What Can You Do?

NIH staff should avoid unnecessary trips and routes through the construction area. While there will be no complete road closures as a result of this project, staff should anticipate slightly longer travel times and increased traffic in the northern part of campus near Memorial Drive. Visit the NIH campus map to determine alternative routes and parking areas at: https://www.ors.od.nih.gov/maps/Pages/Employee-Access-Map.aspx. For additional resources to help with your commuting choices, visit the NIH traffic website at: https://www.traffic.nih.gov/.     

The Office of Research Facilities, the Office of Research Services and the Clinical Center appreciate your patience and understanding as we complete these important repairs to the Building 10 ACRF underground parking garage. For questions regarding construction, please contact the Office of Research Facilities Project Officer, Howard Drogin, at droginh@ors.od.nih.gov. For questions about this message, please contact the ORS Information Line at orsinfo@mail.nih.gov or 301-594-6677. TTY is available at 301-435-1908. Please tune your radios to 1660 AM for NIH traffic, parking and perimeter security advisories.

Metro New Waterproofing of Red Line Tunnels Starting July 10, 2017

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) recently announced a pilot program that could have long-term benefits for Metro Red Line riders. Beginning July 10, Metro and its contractor will test the use of a "curtain grouting" technique to add a waterproof membrane to the exterior of the tunnel walls using a proprietary polymer-based material. This pilot program will address water leaking into the tunnels. 

The majority of the pilot program will occur around the Medical Center station. Due to the nature of this pilot, it can only be conducted when trains are not running. To advance the pilot, Metro announced the following service changes:

Weeknights

Beginning Monday, July 10, and continuing every weeknight (Monday - Friday) through August 11, Red Line trains will single track between Friendship Heights and Medical Center starting at 9:00 pm.

Weekends

Free shuttle buses will replace Red Line trains between Grosvenor and Friendship Heights on the following dates:

  • Saturday, July 15 and Sunday, July 16
  • Saturday, July 22 and Sunday, July 23
  • Saturday, July 29 and Sunday, July 30
  • Saturday, August 5 and Sunday, August 6
For complete details about this pilot, including service impacts, visit:https://www.wmata.com/about/news/red-line-waterproof-pilot.cfmExternal Website.

If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact the NIH Employee Transportation Services Office at nihparkingoffice@ors.od.nih.gov or call (301) 496- 5050. 

Metro SafeTrack to Disrupt Red Line from Shady Grove to Twinbrook

Beginning June 17, the Metro's Red Line will experience the final planned phase of SafeTrack. As a reminder, SafeTrack is an accelerated work plan to address safety recommendations and rehabilitate the Metrorail system (https://traffic.nih.gov/Pages/SafeTrack.aspx).

From Saturday, June 17 continuing through Sunday, June 25, a five-mile segment of the Red Line between Shady Grove and Twinbrook will be shut down for nine days. Two stations -- Shady Grove and Rockville -- will be closed with rail service replaced by free shuttle buses running throughout the day. Customers who normally use Shady Grove or Rockville are encouraged to consider starting their trip at Twinbrook, White Flint, Glenmont or Wheaton during this period.

Elsewhere on the Red Line, trains will run at near-normal intervals:

  • Red Line trains will operate at near normal service between Twinbrook and Glenmont every 8 minutes (normally 6 minutes).
  • Additional Red Line trains will operate between Grosvenor and Silver Spring every 4 minutes (normally 3 minutes).
  • Service on Metro's Orange, Silver, Blue, Yellow and Green lines will not be affected.

The Office of Human Resources (OHR) encourages both supervisors and employees to proactively explore whether workplace flexibilities such as compressed work schedules, flexible work schedules, and telework may alleviate transportation issues for both regular metro riders and drivers who may experience increased traffic. For more information regarding work schedule flexibilities, visit:https//traffic.nih.gov/Pages/workschedule.aspx or contact WorkFlex@nih.gov.

In an effort to provide additional service, the Office of Research Services, Division of Amenities and Transportation Services (DATS) is reaching out to registered Transhare Program employees who may be impacted based on their self-reported commutes through their Transhare application. Through these targeted e-mails, DATS will provide affected employees with additional commuter options.

MD 355 (Rockville Pike) Crossing Project to Detour Pedestrian Traffic Near Medical Center Metro Station

As part of the ongoing construction of the Crossing Project at the Medical Center Metro Station (http://traffic.nih.gov/Documents/multimodal.jpg), which will establish a shallow, underground pedestrian underpass between NIH and Walter Reed and add high speed elevators connecting the Medical Center Metro Station with the Walter Reed side of MD 355, a construction work site will be located on the NIH (east) side of Rockville Pike near the Medical Center Metro Station. There will be temporary walkways on the north and south side of the work site allowing pedestrians and cyclists to detour around the construction.   

A map detailing the work zone near the metro station and the pedestrian detour can be viewed at: http://traffic.nih.gov/Documents/Work%20Site%205-31-2017.pdf. The entire area of Rockville Pike near the Medical Center Metro Station on both sides of the street is a construction zone. Please pay attention to all signs, and drive, walk or bike carefully through the area. 

The Crossing Project construction is anticipated to continue through mid-2021. To read more about the Crossing Project, visit their website at: http://md355crossing.com/External Website. For more information about traffic news in and around the NIH Bethesda campus, including the Crossing Project, visit the NIH Traffic Website at: https://traffic.nih.gov/.   

For questions about this message, please contact the ORS Information Line at orsinfo@mail.nih.gov or 301-594-6677. TTY is available at 301-435-1908. Please tune your radios to 1660 AM for NIH traffic, parking and perimeter security advisories.


Medical Center Metro Escalator Replacement

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) is beginning a major capital improvement project to replace the three escalators at the Medical Center Metrorail station. The current escalators have exceeded their useful life and will be replaced with new, reliable and durable escalators.  Metro's contractor, KONE, will install the new escalators as part of Metro's ongoing project to replace 128 escalators across the Metrorail system. The project is expected to take about 2.5 years, as most of the work will be conducted while the station is closed. During construction, one escalator at a time will be replaced, leaving access to the remaining two escalators. For more information and the full article, click here.

 

MCDOT to Close Lanes on Rockville Pike Near Medical Center Metro Station During Off-Peak Hours April 5-7 and April 9-12, 2017.

Montgomery County Dept. of Transportation will close single lanes of Northbound MD 355 (Rockville Pike) between Jones Bridge Road and South Wood Drive near the Medical Center Metro Station in Bethesda from Wednesday, April 5 through Friday, April 7, from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM. Additionally, MCDOT has announced a series of overnight dual lane closures of Rockville Pike between Jones Bridge/Woodmont Avenue and Wilson Drive near the Medical Center Metro Station during the week of Sunday, April 9 through Wednesday, April 12, from 10:00 PM to 5:00 AM. For more information on both lane closures, click here

 

Construction Complete at MD 355 and Cedar Lane Intersection

Construction on the $16.1 million Brac-related intersection improvement project on MD 355 (Rockville Pike) and Cedar Lane has been completed. The intersection improvement is expected to ease congestion and improve access to jobs, businesses, federal agencies and schools in the surrounding area. To view the Maryland Department of Transportation's State Highway Administration news release, click hereExternal Website.

 

Multimodal Crossing Project Beginning February 2017

The Crossing Project will begin construction in February 2017 and end mid-2020 and includes the construction of a pedestrian underpass (beneath Rockville Pike) from NIH to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC), deep elevators to the Metrorail mezzanine on the east side of Rockville Pike and improvements at the Rockville Pike and Jones Bridge Road intersection. Click here External Websiteto view the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) Project Construction Notice or here External Websiteto view the noise waiver certificate from the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection (MCDEP).

Other relevant links:

Crews Take First Steps on Tunnel Project To Link NIH, Walter Reed

 

New Traffic Pattern will Ease Congestion on MD 355 in Bethesda

On Friday, September 30, the Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration will activate an upgraded traffic signal at the MD 355 (Rockville Pike) / Jones Bridge Road intersection in Montgomery County. The signal will provide a double-left turn movement from southbound MD 355 to eastbound Jones Bridge Road during the afternoon weekday rush hour only (between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.). For more information, click here.

 

MCDOT Awards Contract for Pedestrian Crossing and High Speed Elevators at Medical Center Metro Station in Bethesda

Clark Construction Group will be the prime contractor for a BRAC-related design/build project to construct a pedestrian access route under Maryland Route 355 and high-speed elevators that link the Metrorail mezzanine at the Medical Center Station in Bethesda with the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.  The project also includes improvements to the intersection of Rockville Pike at Jones Bridge Road. For more information, click here External Website.