A new task force will manage traffic impacts and incidents, notify commuters of upcoming construction projects and coordinate transit options at the Mark Center site in Alexandria, Virginia Gov. Bob. McDonnell (R) announced Monday.
The governor made the announcement as the first wave of Defense Department employees began moving into the site at Seminary Road and Interstate 395 as part of the Base Closure and Realignment Commission (BRAC) changes. A total of 6,400 employees will relocate to the Mark Center within a year.
“Traffic conditions at the Mark Center and Seminary Road/I-395 interchange will disrupt daily commutes and the movement of goods and freight,” McDonnell said in a statement. “The opening of this new facility will have wide-reaching impacts that will be felt across the Northern Virginia region and throughout the Commonwealth, so we must do everything possible to mitigate the effects on traffic and the quality of life of residents and those who travel I-395.”
Some 200,000 commuters use I-395 each weekday, officials said.
The regional task force will monitor traffic flow and adjust traffic signals to handle congestion and develop a plan to use technology to improve the flow of traffic in the I-95/I-395 corridor.
The task force also will coordinate roadway construction to ease commuter impacts and provide the public with notifications about roadwork.
The Pentagon is spending $20 million on short- and mid-term transportation improvements, and the state plans to build an $80 million ramp from the High Occupancy Vehicle lanes on I-395 to Seminary Road. All of those road improvements are expected to be completed by 2016.
Alexandria began providing an express DASH bus service from the King Street Metro station to the Mark Center Monday. The Pentagon is paying for the service and the new buses. DASH employees are stationed at the Metro station and at the Mark Center to assist new Defense Department employees with the express service.