U.S. Rep. Jim Moran (D-8) announced today that the Pentagon will provide $180 million for traffic improvements to Route 1 in the Fort Belvoir area to accommodate thousands of new employees related to the Base Realignment and Closure process (BRAC).
The funding will allow for Route 1 at Belvoir to be widened from four to six lanes, and according to a release from Moran's office, Fairfax County is already conducting an environmental study in anticipation of the funding. The money is part of a $300 million appropriation secured last year by Moran and Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) for BRAC-related transportation improvements.
“This is a big win for Northern Virginia as a region, the commuters along Rt. 1 and DoD employees at Ft. Belvoir,” Moran said. “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."
According to the Washington Post, Virginia officials believe the project could begin in 2013 and would take approximately three years to complete.
“Widening Route 1 is critical to ensuring a viable transportation network in the Fort Belvoir area,” said Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. “Our nation’s wounded warriors, veterans and their families deserve to have reliable and safe access to Fort Belvoir’s new Community Hospital. Moreover, every day, commuters are stuck in long traffic queues on Route 1 that has only worsened with the additional traffic generated by BRAC changes bringing more defense personnel to Fort Belvoir. This widening will improve the quality of life for thousands of commuters and visitors.”
Moran also thanked the Department of Defense's Office of Economic Adjustment for "understanding the dire transportation needs of [the] community."
Delegate Scott Surovell (D-44) applauded efforts of the legislators who worked to secure the grant. “This is exactly the type of cooperation necessary to bring real congestion relief and improvements to Route 1 such as new lanes,” he said in a release. “This is another step toward a revitalized Route 1."