Maryland Route 185

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Maryland Route 185

Connecticut Avenue
Maryland Route 185 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by MDSHA
Length8.30 mi[1] (13.36 km)
NHSEntire route[1][2]
Major junctions
South endConnecticut Avenue in Washington, D.C.
Major intersections
Randolph Road in Wheaton
North end MD 97 in Aspen Hill
CountryUnited States
Highway system
MD 182 MD 186

Maryland Route 185 (MD 185) is a state highway in the U.S. state of Maryland. Known as Connecticut Avenue, the state highway runs 8.30 mi (13.36 km) from Chevy Chase Circle at the Washington, D.C., border north to MD 97 in Aspen Hill. MD 185 serves as a major north-south commuter route in southern Montgomery County, connecting the District of Columbia with the residential suburbs of Chevy Chase, Kensington, and Wheaton.

MD 185's history can be divided into two segments. The portion south of Kensington was included in the state highway system by 1927 as an extension of Connecticut Avenue out of the District of Columbia and was the westernmost stretch of MD 193. The Chevy Chase to Kensington stretch was expanded to a divided highway in the 1950s. The segment of MD 185 between Kensington and Aspen Hill was built as a divided highway on a new alignment in the 1960s and designated MD 185. The MD 185 designation was extended south of Kensington, replacing MD 193, in the 1970s. Construction projects in the 1980s and early 1990s completed MD 185 as a six-lane highway.

Route description

MD 185 northbound at MD 410 in Chevy Chase

MD 185 begins at Chevy Chase Circle on the border of the District of Columbia. Connecticut Avenue continues south into the Chevy Chase neighborhood of Washington, D.C., on the south side of the circle, while Western Avenue intersects the east and west sides of the circle.[3] MD 185 heads north as a six-lane divided highway through an affluent residential area in Chevy Chase Village.[1] After passing Chevy Chase Country Club to the west, the state highway intersects MD 191 (Bradley Lane) and leaves Chevy Chase Village.[1] MD 185 continues due north, passing the headquarters of 4-H and intersecting MD 410 (East–West Highway).[3] After crossing MD 410, the state highway passes Columbia Country Club.[1][3] MD 185 enters a commercial area where it crosses the Capital Crescent Trail at-grade and intersects Manor Road. Manor Road fills the missing movements at the following five-way intersection with Jones Bridge Road and Kensington Parkway, where left turns are prohibited from both directions of MD 185 and westbound Jones Bridge Road.[3]

After crossing Jones Bridge Road, MD 185 continues north through residential areas and intersects Interstate 495 (Capital Beltway) at a partial cloverleaf interchange.[3] Immediately after the interchange, the state highway crosses Rock Creek and intersects Beach Drive within Rock Creek Park.[3] MD 185 leaves the valley of Rock Creek and enters the town of Chevy Chase View.[1] Upon entering Kensington and the Kensington Historic District, the state highway veers to the northwest and back to the north ahead of the intersection with MD 547 (Knowles Avenue), where the highway enters a commercial area.[3] After crossing CSX's Metropolitan Subdivision railroad line and MARC's Brunswick Line, MD 185 crosses MD 192 (Plyers Mill Road).[3] As the road turns northeast, the state highway meets MD 193 (University Boulevard). While MD 193 continues northeast toward Wheaton, MD 185 veers left to continue due north. The next intersection, Perry Avenue, is used to complete the movements between MD 185 north and MD 193 east.[3]

View south along MD 185 from I-495 in Chevy Chase

After leaving the town limits of Kensington, MD 185 becomes a six-lane divided highway with partial control of access, passing between residential subdivisions.[1] After crossing a tributary of Rock Creek, the state highway intersects MD 586 at an acute intersection.[3] MD 185 then becomes lined with service roads ahead of and after the intersection with Randolph Road.[3] Beyond Weller Road, the state highway crosses Turkey Branch and then a bridge over Matthew Henson State Park.[3] MD 185 then enters Aspen Hill and intersects Aspen Hill Road within a commercial area.[3] The state highway meets its northern terminus at MD 97 (Georgia Avenue). Connecticut Avenue continues as a county-maintained highway north across Bel Pre Road into Rossmoor, home of the Leisure World retirement community.[3]

MD 185 is a part of the National Highway System as a principal arterial for its entire length.[1][2]


MD 185 was constructed and designated on two different segments of the current state highway at different times. The first section to be built was between Chevy Chase and Kensington as an extension of Connecticut Avenue into Montgomery County, which was designated MD 193.[4] The section between Bradley Lane and Kensington was paved by 1927.[5] The segment south of Bradley Lane was paved as a county road by 1930.[6] By 1936, the segment of Connecticut Avenue south of Bradley Lane had come under state control.[7] The grade crossing of the railroad tracks in Kensington was eliminated by the construction of a bypass and bridge in 1936 as well.[8] The section of MD 193 south of MD 410 was marked as US 240 Alternate by 1946, a designation it retained until the 1960s.[9][10] The segment from the D.C. line to north of MD 410 in Chevy Chase was expanded to a multi-lane divided highway in 1950.[11] The remainder of the route to Kensington was expanded to a divided highway between 1957 and 1960.[8][12]

The section of highway between Kensington and Aspen Hill was built on a new alignment as a four-lane divided highway in stages in the 1960s and given the designation of MD 185. The highway was completed from Kensington to MD 586 in 1963.[8] The remaining section north to Aspen Hill was completed in 1969.[8][10] Immediately north of the crossing of Turkey Branch is a bridge that was to be MD 185's overpass of the Washington Outer Beltway. Ramp stubs exist next to the bridge for the partial cloverleaf interchange with this cancelled freeway.[3] By 1980, the MD 185 designation was extended south from Kensington south to the D.C. line.[13] The state highway was expanded to six lanes to Beach Drive in 1986 and through Kensington in 1991.[8]

Junction list

The entire route is in Montgomery County.

Chevy Chase Village0.000.00Western Avenue NW / Connecticut Avenue NW southDistrict of Columbia border; Chevy Chase Circle; southern terminus
MD 191 west (Bradley Lane)
Eastern terminus of MD 191
Chevy Chase1.382.22 MD 410 (East–West Highway)
2.223.57Jones Bridge Road / Kensington ParkwayNo left turns from MD 185 (use Manor Road)
2.624.22 I-495 (Capital Beltway) – Silver Spring, Baltimore, Frederick, Northern VirginiaExit 33 on I-495
2.834.55Beach Drive
MD 547 west (Knowles Avenue)
Eastern terminus of MD 547
MD 192 east (Plyers Mill Road)
Western terminus of MD 192
MD 193 east (University Boulevard)
Western terminus of MD 193; no direct access from MD 193 to northbound MD 185 or from southbound MD 185 to MD 193
Wheaton5.929.53 MD 586 (Veirs Mill Road)
6.3210.17Randolph Road
Aspen Hill8.3013.36 MD 97 (Georgia Avenue) / Connecticut Avenue northNorthern terminus; road continues north without designation
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Highway Location Reference: Montgomery County" (PDF). Maryland State Highway Administration. 2008. Retrieved February 11, 2010.
  2. ^ a b National Highway System: Washington, DC-MD-VA (PDF) (Map). Federal Highway Administration. October 1, 2012. Retrieved January 10, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Google (February 12, 2010). "Maryland Route 185" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved February 12, 2010.
  4. ^ Map of Maryland (PDF) (Map) (1939 ed.). Maryland State Roads Commission. Retrieved February 12, 2010.
  5. ^ Map of Maryland (Map) (1927 ed.). Maryland State Highway Administration. Archived from the original (JPG) on August 26, 2008. Retrieved February 12, 2010.
  6. ^ Map of Maryland (JPG) (Map) (1930 ed.). Maryland State Roads Commission. Retrieved February 12, 2010.
  7. ^ Map of Maryland (PDF) (Map) (1936 ed.). Maryland State Roads Commission. Retrieved February 12, 2010.
  8. ^ a b c d e Svirsky, Alexander. "National Bridge Inventory Database". Retrieved February 12, 2010.
  9. ^ Map of Maryland (PDF) (Map) (1946 ed.). Maryland State Roads Commission. Retrieved February 12, 2010.
  10. ^ a b Map of Maryland (PDF) (Map) (1970 ed.). Maryland State Roads Commission. Retrieved February 12, 2010.
  11. ^ Map of Maryland (PDF) (Map) (1950 ed.). Maryland State Roads Commission. Retrieved February 12, 2010.
  12. ^ Map of Maryland (PDF) (Map) (1960 ed.). Maryland State Roads Commission. Retrieved February 12, 2010.
  13. ^ Map of Maryland (PDF) (Map) (1980 ed.). Maryland State Highway Administration. Retrieved February 12, 2010.

External links