SILVER SPRING, Md. — Purple Line construction has hit Silver Spring, and with it comes closures, detours, and delays for those traveling through Montgomery County.

The Maryland Department of Transportation has been working on the new light rail Purple Line since 2017. The 16-mile-long line is supposed to connect Bethesda in Montgomery County to New Carrollton in Prince George's County.

Beginning Sunday, January 5, a 0.1 mile stretch of Colesville Road will be closed from Wayne Avenue to East-West Highway from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. on weekdays and some weekends. 

Purple line bus stop
Commuters will have to use temporary bus stops like this one in Silver Spring during Purple Line construction.
Jesse Varner

Drivers heading southbound will have to take a detour via Georgia Avenue:

  • Turn left onto Georgia Avenue
  • Turn right onto East-West Highway
  • Turn left onto Colesville Road

Those driving northbound will have to take a longer detour via East-West Highway:

  • Turn left onto East-West Highway
  • Turn right onto 16th Street 
  • Turn right onto Georgia Avenue
  • Turn left onto Spring Street
  • Turn left onto Colesville Road 
Purple Line detour Silver Spring
Drivers taking Colesville Road through Silver Spring will face detours for the next five months because of Purple Line construction.
MDOT

"It’s a long way because most of those places there are no U-turns, so most of those places take a long time, especially because big cars," Hafiz Ahmed said, laughing.

During the daytime, MDOT said two lanes should be open in both direction on Colesville Road.

Many bus riders will see their bus stops moved outside and their routes changed.

Metrobus routes Z2, Z6, Z7, Z8, Z11, J1, J2, J4 (westbound only), S2, S4 and S9 will face changes during construction. 

Ride-On buses 2, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 9 and 129 will move from the transit center's lower level to stops on Colesville Road between Wayne Avenue and Georgia Avenue. Route 8, 21, 22 and 28 will also move to stops on the street. Those using Ride-On routes 1, 11 and 16 will find their new stops on the upper level of the transit center.

Purple Line
Metrobus and Ride On bus riders will face bus stop changes during Purple Line construction.
MDOT

Shante Smith, who rides the bus daily, said the new line could really help people who rely on public transport.

"This is sort of a big inconvenience because the Giant is like about a block or two away," Smith said. "To get on the bus we have to walk all the way over here just to catch the bus."

"A lot of people are getting lost because they been working and the holidays, and they are just coming back," Smith said. "They don’t even know what’s going on."

Pedestrians will also be re-routed around the construction until April 2020. 

The Purple Line, complete with 21 stops, is slated to open at the end of 2022.

RELATED: Purple Line construction green lighted to begin this week

RELATED: Crews lay first tracks of Purple Line in Maryland

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