In response to a Fairfax County grant proposal, the U.S. Office of Economic Adjustment within the Department of Defense has selected a project to widen Route 1 from Telegraph Road to Mount Vernon Memorial Highway to receive $180 million. The construction will improve access to military medical facilities affected by Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) movements.
In addition to widening Route 1, the project will also provide pedestrian and bicycle improvements and accommodations for future transit. Fairfax County initiated preliminary engineering and environmental documentation in 2010 to advance the project. Construction is anticipated to start in 2013 with possible completion in 2015.
“The widening of Route 1 has been a long time coming,â€ said Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Chairman Sharon Bulova. â€œThanks to the efforts of Fairfax County, Rep. Jim Moran and our congressional delegation, residents and commuters along Route 1 will receive much needed relief from the challenges of BRAC. The Board of Supervisors will continue to work with our state and federal partners to find solutions to the congestion in the Route 1 corridor.”
The $180 million will go towards widening Route 1 near Ft. Belvoirâ€™s Main Post from Telegraph Road to Mulligan Road, in order to accommodate the more than 11,000 new DoD employees and 574,000 hospital patients that will visit Fort Belvoirâ€™s new, state of the art hospital. The project will be administered by the Federal Highway Administration. Also receiving funding are BRAC relocation sites in Maryland, Texas and Washington.
â€œThe project announced today is a tribute to Congressman Moranâ€™s persistence. He has been the driving force in getting action from all levels of government on BRAC-related transportation issues,â€ said Sen. Jim Webb. â€œThis investment is critical to mitigating traffic congestion as a result of the BRAC consolidation and is an important step towards improving Northern Virginiaâ€™s strained transportation infrastructure.â€
â€œWe have got to move forward on improvements to the I95/Route 1 corridor to support the Fort Belvoir expansion,â€ Sen. Mark R. Warner said. â€œCongestion mitigation is critically important to commuters, businesses and homeowners near Belvoir, and I am very pleased the delegation was able to successfully work together on both sides of the Capitol to get this done.â€
â€œI am pleased the Pentagon recognized the importance of this project to assist the thousands who commute daily to and through Fort Belvoir along the Richmond Highway corridor,â€ Rep. Gerry Connolly said. â€œThe Northern Virginia delegation has been working with local leaders and the Pentagon to make the federal government more of a partner in the effort to ensure the massive BRAC relocation in southern Fairfax County is a success. While additional transportation improvements must be made, this project will be critical to controlling traffic in our community.â€
This is a big win for Northern Virginia as a region, the commuters along Rt. 1 and DoD employees at Ft. Belvoir,â€ said Rep. Jim Moran. â€œFt. Belvoir is home to a state of the art hospital and with full funding, patients and their families will be able to travel more safely and quickly to receive medical attention and visit loved ones. Iâ€™d like to specially thank the DODâ€™s Office of Economic Adjustment for understanding the dire transportation needs of our community, Dr. Dorothy Robyn, Under Secretary of Defense for Installations and Environment, for helping spearhead the effort at DoD, Senators Webb and Warner for pushing the measure through the Senate, and our local officials in Fairfax County, Chairwoman Sharon Bulova and Supervisors Jeff McKay and Gerry Hyland, for hitting the ground running on a project that means so much for the corridor.â€
Fort Belvoir Community Hospital was recently opened on the Main Post of Fort Belvoir. Congress included $300 million in the Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act of 2011 for such projects.