2022 | Traffic

Repair of I-270 sinkhole may last ‘up to several weeks,’ state highway official says

Officials are waiting for new pipe; Ride On has announced series of detours

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The repair of a sinkhole on I-270 in Gaithersburg that has plagued motorists since last week could last “up to several weeks,” according to a spokesman with the State Highway Administration (SHA).

The sinkhole formed the night of June 15 in the far-right lane on the southbound side of the interstate, prior to the I-370 interchange. The cause of the hole’s formation was a broken 6-foot drainage pipe, according to state officials.

Two traffic lanes have been closed since, causing traffic delays in the area.

Charlie Gischlar, an SHA spokesman, told Bethesda Beat on Tuesday that the agency has found a pipe with the correct dimensions to replace the broken one. The pipe must transported to Montgomery County and then it will be installed, he said.

“They’ve already dug up the ground where the actual issue took place,” he said.

Once the pipe is installed, the hole must be backfilled with soil and stone, Gischlar said. Then the concrete barriers must be removed to reopen the two lanes.

Gischlar said traffic on I-270 backed up for 5 miles traffic the first day after the sinkhole formed. Since then, the delays have been less severe, he said.

“I think a lot of people are adjusting their commute,” he said.

On Tuesday, Montgomery County’s Ride On bus system announced a series of detours for its routes, which the county’s transportation department says could last up to two weeks. The detours are:

Route 70: To Bethesda Station only. Buses will stay on Germantown Road, turn left on Middlebrook Road, turn right on Great Seneca Highway, turn left on Sam Eig Highway, and proceed back to their route.

Route 71: To Shady Grove Station only. Buses will stay on W. Diamond Avenue (bypassing exit to I-270 south), then turn right on Muddy Branch Road, turn left on Diamondback Drive and then turn left on I-370 to the station.

Route 73: To Shady Grove Station only. Buses will stay on Frederick Road (MD-355), then turn left on Shady Grove Road to the station.

Route 78: To Shady Grove Station only. Buses will stay on W. Diamond Avenue (bypassing exit to I-270 south), then turn right on Muddy Branch Road, then turn left on Diamondback Drive and then turn left on I-370 to the station.

Route 79: To Shady Grove Station only. Buses will stay on Frederick Road (MD-355), then turn left on Shady Grove Road to the station.

Route 100: To Shady Grove Station only. Buses will stay on Germantown Road, then turn right on Frederick Road (MD-355) and then turn left on Shady Grove Road to the station.

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com