The combined Walter Reed Army and Bethesda Naval Medical facilities will open September 15th. With visitor numbers expected to double to a million a year, this will make a bad traffic situation on Rockville Pike even worse, residents fear.
Now, relief is on the way. On Monday, Maryland officials announced $100 million in federal funds has been secured for infrastructure improvements around the sprawling campus.
Stretches of 335 will get an additional thru lane, intersections with Jones Bridge Road and Cedar Lane will add left-turn lanes to ease bottlenecks, Connecticut Avenue near Jones Bridge will be widened to four lanes.
Pedestrians currently face a six-lane crosswalk between the Naval Center gate and Medical Center metro station, but an underground pedestrian tunnel is planned beneath Rockville Pike for better access.
One problem remains, however: the fixes will take years to finish.
"We can start immediately on those improvements. We believe help is on the way but it will not be here on day one of the opening of the facility," said Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett.