Pentagon IG: Army used flawed info. on BRAC move to Mark Center

Traffic often backs up along Seminary Road in Alexandria. (WTOP Photo/Hank Silverberg)
'This shouldn't be a war'

wtopstaff | November 14, 2014 2:01 am

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Michelle Basch,
Colleen Kelleher,

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The Base Realignment and Closure plan to move 6,400 workers to an already congested part of Alexandria has worried many from the start. Now, a damning new report about the plan is coming from inside the Pentagon.

The report by the Pentagon’s inspector general, due out this week, says the Army used bad traffic information to justify moving defense-related employees to the Mark Center off Interstate 395.

Most of the relocating employees are expected to drive to work, adding to already bad backups in Alexandria’s West End. There is no Metro station close to the complex.

Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., tells WTOP it was “obvious” the inspector general would reach the conclusion that the BRAC decision was flawed. He says 200,000 drivers use I-395 every morning and evening.

“To add several thousand more is just wrong,” he says of the relocations, half of which have already occurred.

“This shouldn’t be a war. We should be on the same side. I wish the Army would work with us instead of against us,” Moran says.

The report is the sixth to come out about the BRAC relocations in the D.C. metro area.

“This is the most damning. It’s the most precise because they’ve had the most time to study it. It’s consistent with every other report,” Moran says.

The report says the Army did not meet state and federal standards with its plans to reduce traffic tie-ups the relocation will cause.

Moran says the report is based on traffic that has already been generated. Moran predicts the I-395 corridor will be at gridlock in January, when the relocation is finished.

The Army says it is meeting those standards, and is contributing $20 million toward highway improvements.

The Washington Post reports the Army disagrees with every part of the inspector general’s report.

The Pentagon’s inspector general has criticized the Army’s plans before, back in April.

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