A two-lane road connecting westbound East-West Highway and eastbound Montgomery Avenue was closed to one lane today as construction ramps up at an office building in downtown Bethesda.

As construction crews prepare to start blasting to continue excavation work at the former McDonald’s site, Pearl Street was closed to one lane this morning. For the next year (or the duration of the project) the road connecting one-way East-West Highway to one-way Montgomery Avenue will be open to southbound traffic only.

Drivers hoping to take northbound Pearl Street to westbound East-West Highway, Our Lady of Lourdes Church or B-CC High School can continue on Montgomery Avenue and veer left at its intersection with East-West Highway.

Blasting is expected to begin soon on the site, which will one day be home to a nine-story, 220,000-square-foot Class A office building.

Alert Montgomery notices will be sent out to subscribers whenever blasting is to be used, according to the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Regional Services Center.

Neighbors near the Lot 31 garage and apartment construction site on Bethesda Row were startled by excavation blasting that started there in December. A representative from the developer of the project said they notified the residential and commercial properties around the site.