County Executive Ike Leggett has hailed the appropriation of $300 million by the United States Congress for projects to relieve traffic congestion caused by BRAC (Defense Base Realignment and Closure) in area communities. The Fiscal Year 2011 appropriations bill approved by Congress includes funding to pay for transportation projects in communities, such as Bethesda, with BRAC-impacted military hospitals.
“We owe a great debt to Congressman Chris Van Hollen and Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin for taking the lead and working hand-in-hand to move this funding through both houses of Congress,” Leggett said.
He also credited the hard work of the County’s BRAC Implementation Committee, which represents Bethesda community stakeholders – neighbors, businesses owners, major employers, the National Institutes of Health, the Navy, and local, state and federal government agencies – which have collaborated on understanding the impacts of BRAC and assisted in the design of needed transportation improvements.
Leggett urged residents, commuters and visitors to Bethesda to be patient because it will be some time before all the transportation projects are completed.
Under BRAC, on September 15, the Walter Reed Army Medical Center will close its Northwest Washington campus and consolidate in Bethesda, with the National Naval Medical Center becoming the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Personnel working at the Bethesda campus will increase from 8,000 to 10,500, while visits to the hospital campus will double from 500,000 to one million per year.
In the meantime, anyone traveling through Bethesda is urged to use transit, carpool, vanpool, bike or walk rather than drive alone. For more information on transportation alternatives, go to http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/commute. The County’s BRAC web site will carry construction updates at http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/BRAC. Meanwhile, read more.
POSTED AT: Friday, April 29, 2011 | 4:00:00 AM