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BRAC town hall tonight

A year from now, thousands of military jobs in Northern Virginia are slated to shift locations as part of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) plan), including 6,400 to the Mark Center site in Alexandria.

However, officials, including Rep. Jim Moran (D.-Va.) who has been vocal in expressing his concerns, fear that traffic will overwhelm the area as transportation improvements haven't been made to handle the potential volume. An environmental dispute stalled plans to buuild a new off-ramp from Interstate 395 to the Mark Center, and officials are still looking for a solution, but are running out of time.

Moran will hold a town hall tonight to discuss the issue. Panelists include Moran and officials from the Defense Department, the Virginia Department of Transportation, Alexandria and Fairfax County.

The event will be held from 7:30 to 9:30 tonight at Francis C. Hammond Middle School, 4646 Seminary Rd. in Alexandria.

Washington Post coverage:

House approves plan to slow BRAC moves

Rushing against time

How do you think the BRAC shift will affect traffic in Alexandria -- and around Fort Belvoir? Weigh in by posting a comment below.

By Michael Bolden  | September 16, 2010; 10:52 AM ET
Categories:  BRAC, Commuting, Northern Virginia, Virginia  
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Comments

Ft. Belvoir has been working in advance to ease the pressure that will be caused by the thousands of personnel arriving each day. The Post is investigating alternative transportation as well as the possibility of internal bus routes that would meet with public transportation at various points around the Fort. They are doing what they can to mitigate transportation issues.

The problem is larger outside the Fort. Route 1, Telegraph Road and the Parkway which services both these roads are already crowded. Bus transportation, while clean, does not always run on time due to delays on Rte 1, 95 and elsewhere. Metro is too far away and VRE only runs North in the AM and South in the PM - not allowing commuters to use the Lorton and Springfield Stations and the 331,332 (30-45 minutes to and from DLA) and 171 buses (7minutes to DLA) efficiently.

More must be accomplished (and fast) on getting to the Fort. Belvoir itself will effectively handle what's going on on it's property.

Posted by: Mt62534 | September 16, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I live near the Mark Center site. Some road improvements to the Seminary/Beauregard intersection are underway, but I see no other sign that the area will be ready to handle a huge influx of commuters. I hope we are able to move out of there before the new buildings open.

Posted by: jcflack1 | September 16, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

I don't know why they haven't considered an HOV ramp at Seminary that would be a northbound off-ramp in the morning and a southbound on-ramp in the afternoon (essentially, the same design as the existing HOV ramp on the north side of that interchange). Commuters going to and from the Pentagon are some of the biggest users of the HOV facility on Shirley Highway, including a thriving slug line system at the Pentagon, and I'm sure the new Mark Center building would be similar if there were a way for HOV traffic to get there without having to use the local lanes all the way from Newington to Seminary. It would seem that the environmental issue wouldn't be a problem, either, because the ramp would be within the existing highway footprint.

Posted by: 1995hoo | September 16, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

From what I have read they can't build a ramp there because there is a nature reserve next to the whole DoD building that the ramp would interfere with. I live off of Seminary close to Skyline and am dreading this whole building because Seminary already is overcrowded during rush hour already...And anything the DoD says about 40% of employees using alternative methods to get to work is BS. Nobody will wait in line to take a bus to his building.

Posted by: bryan579 | September 19, 2010 2:03 AM | Report abuse

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