Rockville Receives Federal Grant to Advance Twinbrook Bridge Planning

The City of Rockville has announced it has received a $568,000 federal grant to advance a proposed bridge that would connect Twinbrook with Rockville Pike.


Per the news release: Rockville was awarded $568,000 through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Reconnecting Communities and Neighborhoods Grant Program. The grant will be used to evaluate and design a pedestrian and bicycle crossing over the Metrorail and CSX railroad tracks to connect Twinbrook to retail and employment areas along Rockville Pike, including the Twinbrook Quarter development, which is under construction. Residents along Rockville Pike would be connected to parks, trails and the Twinbrook Community Recreation Center.

“Planning for a Twinbrook pedestrian and bicycle bridge is a first step in addressing historical barriers and disparities,” Mayor Monique Ashton said in a statement thanking the city’s congressional delegation for their support of the project. “The vision for the Twinbrook bridge goes beyond the structural plan. It has the opportunity to help reconnect our communities to services and economic opportunity, as well as improve pedestrian and bike safety.”

Construction of the Twinbrook Metro station in 1984 eliminated an at-grade crossing of the tracks, separating the community from the commercial corridor — the city’s largest.

Included in the city’s Comprehensive Plan and Vision Zero Action Plan, the bridge would improve east-west mobility and pedestrian and bicycle safety. It is also in line with the city’s ongoing efforts to address equity. The city’s congressional delegation of Sens. Benjamin L. Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin wrote a letter supporting the city’s grant application that cited the neighborhood as a historically disadvantaged community and Twinbrook Elementary School’s status as a Title I school with 70% of students receiving free or reduced-price meals.

“The project aims to mitigate the longstanding impacts of existing transportation infrastructure by providing a new, safer connection for pedestrians and bicyclists to nearby community destinations,” the delegation wrote in a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

The grant will help the city evaluate feasibility of four potential crossings, identify a preferred alternative for the project, prepare a cost-benefit analysis, support public engagement, develop a 30% engineering design and create strategies to prevent displacement and benefit the entire community.

While the grant is a big step forward, much remains to be done before the bridge becomes a reality. As a condition of the grant, the city must match 20% of the funding, kicking in an additional $113,600 for the feasibility planning. The city’s Capital Improvements Program appropriated $387,250 for the project in Fiscal Year 2024, which ends June 30. That covers completion of an initial feasibility study of two crossing locations and development of a final scope and estimated timeline for the project.

For more information, see the FY24 adopted budget and CIP at www.rockvillemd.gov/budget.

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17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Now in its 17th year, the Kensington Day of the Book Festival is a family-friendly street festival featuring 150+ renowned authors, poets, and literary organizations. Enjoy live music on five stages, special guest speakers, military veteran writers and comedians, poetry readings, cookbook demos, children's program, and much more.

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17th Annual Kensington Day of the Book Festival

Sunday, April 21, 2024, 11am-4pm (held rain or shine!)

Howard Avenue, Kensington, MD 20895

www.dayofthebook.com

Instagram: @kensingtonbookfestival

Contact: Elisenda Sola-Sole, Festival Director

[email protected]

301-949-9416 (text preferred)

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