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NOVA Lawmakers: BRAC Ain't Over Yet

Webb, Warner, Moran and Connolly question DoD Transportation Management and Occupation Plans for Mark Center property

Today, U.S. Reps. Jim Moran (D-8), Gerry Connolly (D-11) and Democratic Senators Jim Webb and Mark Warner sent a letter of concern to Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. They're worried that Interstate 395 will be a traffic-choked mess because of inadequate transportation planning at the Mark Center by the Department of Defense.

The Base Realignment and Closure move at the Mark Center property near I-395 and Seminary Road, is home to Washington Headquarters Services, which will receive 5,000 of its 6,400 total relocated employees by this December.

Known as BRAC #133, the project has been viewed with skepticism.  "We are concerned that the Department’s occupation plan is not being adequately coordinated with appropriate transportation improvements and mitigation measures," the letter said. "In particular, we were disappointed to learn that the DOD has decided to reduce the number of shuttle routes from Metro to the Mark Center from five to four, in clear contravention of the Department’s July 2010 Final TMP." 

The letter asked that DoD provide continual updates on the its Transportation Management Plan and to publish traffic impact figures online for public comment. "With no direct access to a Metro station, the occupancy plan calls for the DOD to fully utilize 3,800 parking spaces available at the Mark Center complex. Multiple studies have found that this will cause unacceptable levels of traffic on local roadways and intersections and for the 200,000 commuters who travel on I-395 each day," the letter said. 

The lawmakers also asked the DoD to: 

  • Provide a list of any changes and their justification that have been made to the July 2010 BRAC #133 Transportation Management Plan
  • Present Full briefings to each Congressional Representative's office on efforts the DoD will take to lessen the traffic impact
  • Implement mandatory traffic-mitigation measures, like telecommuting and staggered work schedules for WHS employees
RJ September 29, 2011 at 03:57 PM
I heard the same from other people. A lot of hype and fear, but none of it is materializing.
Marta D. Saltus September 29, 2011 at 04:21 PM
I'm a DOD civilian and can assure you BRAC did nit "start" 5 years ago. Different services have been BRACed for years now. The particular BRAC effort related to the Mark Center became official in 2005, giving DOD, the state and the county plenty of time and opportunity to plan for what occurred this month. Personnel have not all been transferred yet to the Mark center or other locations because the office space is not ready. That's why who haven't seen any traffic changes, but you will by the end of the year!
RJ September 29, 2011 at 05:06 PM
Yes BRAC 133 started in 2005. Mark Center wasn't selected until October 1, 2008.
Marta D. Saltus September 29, 2011 at 05:15 PM
By the way, the personnel moving to Ft. Belvoir are nit all there either. The bumper to bumper traffic at the intersection if the Fairfax County Parkway and Telegraph Rd. will be multiplied many times by the end of the year as well. People might have to helicopter in to be able to get in and out if the post in a timely manner!
RJ September 29, 2011 at 05:21 PM
This is about 395...not about FFX Parkway.

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