If the Apex Building at 7272 Wisconsin Ave. is demolished to build a better Bethesda Purple Line station, the Capital Crescent Trail could be rebuilt in its own tunnel under Wisconsin Avenue.
And—for those who don't like tunnels—the trail also could be routed across Wisconsin Avenue at street level, according to the county planning department's draft plan for the Purple Line Station Minor Master Plan Amendment, which the planning board approved last Thursday.
Currently, the trail runs along an abandoned railroad track that runs under the Apex Building and Wisconsin Avenue, connecting Woodmont Plaza and Elm Street Park.
The planning department and board recommend, in the draft plan, that the trail tunnel crossing under Wisconsin Avenue consist of:
- A 15-foot-wide trail on the south side of Elm Street to the east of Wisconsin Avenue (to 47th Street), with ADA-compliant transitions from street level to tunnel level.
- A new tunnel (at least 10 feet tall and 16 feet wide) under Wisconsin Avenue south of the Purple Line station.
- A trail (to the west of Wisconsin Avenue, and at least 16 feet wide) between Wisconsin Avenue and Woodmont Plaza.
The crossing of the trail at the level of Wisconsin Avenue would include "a safer and more convenient protected crossing at the intersection of Wisconsin Avenue, Willow Lane and Bethesda Avenue," the draft plan adds.
The planning department's draft plan for the Purple Line Station Minor Master Plan Amendment is with the county executive and county council for review. The council will hold a public hearing on the draft plan on Jan. 14, 2014, and the council's Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee will discuss the draft plan on Jan. 27, 2014.