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DOD to probe Mark Center move

By Christy Goodman

The Defense Department Inspector General's office is investigating the plan to move 6,400 defense employees to the Mark Center, at I-395 and Seminary Road in Alexandria, according to U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.).

"This is potentially the worst transportation crisis in Northern Virginia," Moran said Wednesday. "It is worse than construction of HOT lanes and Dulles rail combined if this takes place without adequate mitigation measures. It will basically halt traffic on I-395 and Seminary Road during rush hour."

The investigation, which is being conducted by an outside party since the inspector general's office is slated to move to the new building, will examine why no comprehensive impact analysis was conducted for the site and how the Army Corps of Engineers concluded that there would be no significant traffic impact, Moran said.

The Defense Department Inspector General's office "agreed with us that it deserved more than a quick, superficial study of the impact. They agreed with us that it was not a rational conclusion that it would have no significant transportation impact," Moran said.

The congressman, who has repeatedly called the analysis flawed and has included parking limitations and this investigation in legislation, said he "wouldn't be surprised" if the inspector general's report due in February mandates a lengthy environmental impact study and transportation infrastructure.

The Virginia Department of Transportation will discuss six areas for traffic improvement Wednesday night at Alexandria's BRAC-133 Advisory Group meeting.

By Christy Goodman  | November 17, 2010; 1:17 PM ET
Categories:  BRAC, Congestion, Construction, Transportation Politics, Virginia  
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Comments

Let's hope the IG report also investigates the roles played by Moran and by Alexandria city government in this mess. The Defense Dept. wanted to move to Springfield, but Moran pressured them to move to Alexandria instead. City officials rubber-stamped the Mark Center property owner's misleading traffic analysis, to bolster that proposal. And when the Mark Center location was finally selected, the property owner made a large contribution to Moran's campaign.

Posted by: jrmil | November 17, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Are we really supposed to believe that Rep. Moran woke up one morning and, Golly Gee, there's a major federal project going up in my district and I didn't know anything about it? The liberals who voted for him may believe his playacting, but any real investigation of this would reveal the role Moran played in getting this property sited in its current location. I hope the IGs get it done.

Posted by: eemcgee | November 17, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

The previously proposed Eisenhower Ave site(s) also fell within Alexandria and Jim Moran's district, so the Mark Center wasn't necessary for a Moran and Alexandria "win". Belvoir and the Springfield GSA Warehouse location also are in Moran's district.

In any event, Moran pushed for the Springfield location, not against it. You can't rewrite history.

Any citation for the claim that Duke Realty Corporation made a large contribution to Moran's campaign? They don't show up on Opensecrets.org.

Posted by: hitpoints | November 17, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

I live two stops down from this.

It's going to be an f'in disaster there in the morning. You're talking about thousands of cards trying to flood into that facility on a road that is already bombarded with traffic.

Whomever thought building that monstrosity not near metro is a dope.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | November 17, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

I was a member of the Technical Joint Cross Service Group BRAC team. We provided scenarios to the BRAC commission. We never looked at the Mark Center because it violated a fundemental precept - get out of leased space and onto existing government real estate.

Moran worked hard to change the rules after the fact and was completely in the loop on this decision. No surprise - passionately holding two opposing views simultaneously is a key indicator of insanity...

Posted by: dprpl | November 17, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

no force protection study done??? imagine a truck bomb from I395. We're sure are the best security experts in the world....And what if VDOT wanted to expand from 3 lanes to 4 lanes???

Posted by: Rockvillers | November 18, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

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