Maryland has chosen a team to build, operate and maintain the Purple Line in suburban Maryland. If the contract is approved by the state’s Board of Public Works on April 6, "the six-year construction project would begin late this year, and the 16-mile line would open for service by spring 2022."
In addition to the Purple Line, this project will transform and extend several trails, and create new ones. The unpaved, at-grade trail from Bethesda to Lyttonsville will be reconstructed as a paved trail with grade-separated crossings of major streets, extended to Silver Spring and rebranded as the Capital Crescent Trail. The project will also build a University of Maryland Bicycle Path and impact the Silver Spring (or Montgomery County in the P3 Documents) Green Trail, Rock Creek Trail, Metropolitan Branch Trail and the Northwest Branch Trail.
The Capital Crescent Trail - extended
The team - Purple Line Transit Partners, led by construction giant Fluor Corporation - will design and build the CCT for the 3.3 miles from Bethesda to the CSX railroad tracks in Lyttonsville and then along the west side of the tracks to the Talbot Avenue Bridge. It will cross the tracks on a new Talbot Avenue Bridge and then follow along the east side of the tracks to the Silver Spring Transit Center. The trail will be 12 feet wide with 2-foot unpaved shoulders except where physically constrained and separated from the Transitway by 10-feet landscaped buffers, except again where constrained. The entire trail will have a minimum 18 mph design speed.
From Pearl Street in Bethesda to Rock Creek the Trail will be on the north side of the Transitway, and will cross over Connecticut Avenue on a tied arch bridge (see below)
The trail will then pass under Jones Mill Road and cross Rock Creek on it's own bridge, below the Transitway bridge "to allow unobstructed views of the Rock Creek Valley." The Rock Creek Bridge will be a tri-cord, parabolic vierendeel truss (duh) that will be 16' wide at the abutments and 20' wide in the middle. An ADA compliant, switchback connection between the CCT and Rock Creek Trail will be built north of the Transitway.
From Rock Creek to Lyttonsville the trail will be on the south side of the Transitway. The trail has 22 identified connections (see Exhibit 1.4) at places like Lynn Drive and Sleaford Road. Where these connections are stairs, the stairs will include bike runnels.
The trail will have lighting at all entrances, exits and underpasses and boxes to accommodate future lighting on the entire trail length will be constructed every 100 feet.
The current documents have the CCT connecting to the Bethesda Station via a sidewalk, but that could all change if the Apex Building comes down.
Silver Spring Green Trail
The Green Trail will have to be reconstructed from Fenton Street to Cedar Street and a new segment will be built from Cedar Street to the Sligo Creek Trail. The green trail will be 8 feet wide with a 5 foot buffer except at 801 Wayne where it will be 9 feet with no buffer.
University of Maryland Bicycle Path
The construction team will design and built a bicycle path paralleling the Purple Line from the intersection of Campus Drive and Presidential Drive to US Route 1.
Northwest Branch Trail
The Northwest Branch Trail may be temporarily detoured from the eastern to the western side of West Park Drive, but access to the trail will be maintained throughout the work period.
Rock Creek Trail
The Rock Creek Trail beneath the bridges will be raised on an elevated wooden boardwalk out of the 2 year floodplain. It will be detoured as necessary and remain open during work.
Where sufficient ROW is available all MDSHA roadways will include bike accommodations at the intersections. Exhibit 1.3 identifies 10 bike lanes and 1 shared lane that will be built to connect in to the trails as well.
At Coquelin Run, a concrete culvert, with knock out panels that can be removed later, will be constructed for a future trail.
At the Silver Spring Transit Center, the Metropolitan Branch Trail will be included with the Plaza Level Design.
The project will include bike racks at several designated locations and CCTV coverage of bicycle parking at stations.
Purple Line trains will accommodate up to 8 bicycles on a maximum length train.
During construction, all existing bicycle connections and access will be maintained, and when obstructed an alternate route will be provided.
Three new bridges will replace the University Blvd Bridge over Northwest Branch and they will have 5' wide bike lanes on them.