After 2 years of study the Army today announced that they would not be moving all 22,000 jobs originally slated for Fort Belvoir from Crystal City and Pentagon as part of the BRAC proposal announced in 2005. The impact on the local traffic and roads close to the base in Lorton would have meant many years of additional construction and upwards of $500 million in road improvements.
The goal now is to use an abandoned warehouse area close to the Springfield Metro and VRE station as the new location for most of these jobs. The hope is the site within walking distance of the station will allow more of the employees to use public transportation instead of driving and lessen the feared gridlock on the Ft Belvoir area. The lack of public transportation was one of the last hang ups in the plan to move the personnel to Ft Belvoir. While this may be a victory for Fairfax County politicans who have been working hard to hold on to the influx of jobs, there will still be a huge impact on the surrounding roads and neighborhoods. Anyone who thinks otherwise doesn't know the driving mentality of area commuters.
With the Springfield Interchange finally completed residents of Springfield who thought they finally had a respite from all night road construction will find it starting all over again. The new BRAC plan will mean that the final section of the Fairfax County Parkway which has been waiting for funding will finally get underway. The parkway extension will mean a few homes close to the proposed new I-95 access ramps will be razed, the remaining two lane section of Rolling Road will be widened and houses along the path of the expansion will now be on the edge of a four lane highway.
Mix this together with the planned Springfield revitalization project, the proposed plans to turn the current Springfield Mall into a mix used development site and I have to ask who thinks the move will mean less impact on traffic congestion in the area?
The chances that a majority of the relocated employees will choose to use the Metro or VRE is unknown. How many of the employees currently working in Crystal City or the Pentagon use public transportation now? Will contractors who currently live south of Springfield and already drive suddenly decide to jump on the VRE instead? How will the older neighborhoods along Backlick and Losidale Roads be impacted by additional cars looking for places to park? How many days,nights and weekends will traffic be re-routed while construction is underway?
Only time and additional planning will answer many of the questions that I think are left hanging. In the meantime I'll continue to go to the BRAC meetings and public hearings so that I can keep my clients up to date on the next steps.
Real People*Real Lives*Real Estate
Military Relocation Specialist serving military families relocating to and from the Pentagon, Fort Belvoir, Quantico MCB and all of the Military District of Washington installations.
Licensed in the Commonwealth of Virginia