Fairfax County Supervisor Jeff McKay released the following statement on a recent report on BRAC (large PDF) from the Defense Department’s inspector general’s office. The report finds fault with a 2008 Pentagon study that minimized the traffic impact of military personnel moves to the Mark Center in Alexandria. Thousands of employees are scheduled to relocate to a new office complex there by Sept. 15.
Here is McKay’s statement:
“It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that relocating thousands of defense workers to the Mark Centermckay was a terrible decision.
Now we have an official government opinion—with the Defense Department’s inspector general’s report, released yesterday—that faults the 2008 Pentagon study that minimized the impact the relocation would have on the environment and traffic on I-395. The 200-page report finds that the Pentagon used poor data to defend its plan to transfer thousands of defense workers to the Mark Center—moving them from locations served by transit to an already highly congested corridor with NO transit. Worst of all, this could have been prevented. I led a bipartisan local effort to locate these jobs right next to the Franconia-Springfield Metro to replace under- used and aging government warehouse space. Local government offered a good solution—and unfortunately the BRAC location committee ignored it.
Those of us who live or work in the South County are at ground zero for BRAC and for months we have been braced for the coming transportation disaster in September when thousands of BRAC workers, military, and hospital patients relocate to the Mark Center and Fort Belvoir.
We are grateful for the $150 million recently announced by Congressman Moran and allocated to widening Route One adjacent to Fort Belvoir. That’s an important first step in addressing the added traffic congestion that BRAC will bring. It will be welcomed by residents, businesses, and commuters, along with the military and civilian workers who will travel to the Fort and local area every day. It’s a drop in the bucket, though, when compared to need.
Unless the Mark Center debacle is addressed immediately BRAC will fail and those who live and work here will be held hostage to a shocking disregard for common sense.”
From the Post’s archives: