All Lanes of Rockville Pike Expected to Be Open for Thursday Morning Commute

All lanes of Rockville Pike in Bethesda, Maryland, are expected to be open for the Thursday morning commute following a major water main break Tuesday afternoon.

Crews had completed repairs to a broken 16-inch water main beneath Rockville Pike at Cedar Lane by about noon Wednesday.

At least one northbound lane and one southbound lane were kept open between Cedar Lane and Pooks Hill Road through the Wednesday evening rush hour as paving crews repaired the road, according to the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC). There are four lanes in each direction.

Drivers were advised to avoid the area Wednesday. "...[W]e need people to plan for an alternate route," WSSC spokeswoman Ayoke Blandford said Tuesday night. 

The break in the 74-year-old pipe closed multiple lanes of the thoroughfare for hours Tuesday, slowing traffic to a crawl and filling streets with a rush of muddy water. 

Crews shut down the water flow by 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, WSSC said. 

Water service was restored Wednesday to about 250 affected WSSC customers. However, the WSSC said customers may have discolored water, which is common after water main break. Those affected should run their cold water taps for five minutes to allow the discolored water to flush out. 

Walter Reed National Military Medical Center advised patients, staff and visitors to allow extra time for their Wednesday morning commutes. Hospital operations are normal, a representative said.

Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart, a Catholic college prep school for girls, opened two hours late Wednesday, with school starting at 9:50 a.m. for the lower school and 10 a.m. for the middle and upper schools, the school said online. The PSAT scheduled for Wednesday morning was postponed. 

The J2, J3 and J9 Metrobuses were detouring around the area, and some stops were not served. See Metro's website for more information.

Contact Us