Cloverleaf to Nowhere

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The "cloverleaf to nowhere" is a bridge which carries Connecticut Avenue over Matthew Henson State Park, which is the stream valley of the main branches of the Turkey Branch of Rock Creek.


Sometime in the late 1950s or early 1960s, the Planning Board included a Master Plan element called the "Montrose Parkway" or "Rockville Facility". It was to travel from Interstate 270 at Montrose Road to intercept the "Outer Beltway" near the vicinity of the present-day Plaza del Mercado Shopping Center. The State Highway Administration acquired the rights to the main Turkey Branch stream valley between Georgia Avenue and Veirs Mill Road.

In the mid 1960s, final approval was given to the design of a bridge to carry Connecticut Avenue over the stream valley, and Connecticut Avenue was completed to the intersection with Georgia Avenue. The bridge design anticipated the completion of the Montrose Parkway, and contained design elements such as merge lanes and pullout lanes appropriate to a grade-separated intersection of a cloverleaf type.

Due to changes in both the ownership and usage rights of the stream valley lands, and due also to an amendment to the Constitution of Maryland, it is almost impossible that the Montrose Parkway will ever pass under and connect with this bridge. It remains as a testament to good engineering that looked forward to something which would never actually be built.