Be patient about changes, Fort Belvoir commander says

Friday, November 5, 2010; B05

Military leaders gathered at Fort Belvoir on Thursday for the base's annual community breakfast, a post-election tradition that in recent years has turned into a pulpit for officials to tout, and defend, the Defense Department's costly and complicated plans for next year's base closures and changes.

At Fort Belvoir, off Route 1 in southern Fairfax County, about $4 billion worth of construction projects are in the works, with a congressionally mandated deadline of Sept. 15, 2011.

Once finished, Fort Belvoir will rival the Pentagon in size and scale. But the project, which is required by Congress as part of a 2005 law to update the country's military setup, has been hampered by concerns over projected traffic gridlock.

"BRAC is not just construction. It's improvement of the infrastructure here," said Col. John J. Strycula, Fort Belvoir's commander. "Yes, every major road is being worked on. People are worried about transportation. What I tell everyone is, 'Patience.' "

- Derek Kravitz

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