The continuing controversy over the proposed move of some 6,400 military personnel to Mark Center on Seminary Road as part of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process has taken a new turn.
US Congressman Jim Moran, a senior member of the Defense Appropriations Committee, and Northern Virginia stalwart, announced that the Inspector General’s office of the DoD has launched an investigation into the move.
According to an announcement released by the Congressman’s office, “The development comes in response to the Congressman’s continued pressure on the Defense Department to suspend or delay the move into the Mark Center site until the necessary transportation improvements to prevent a traffic nightmare on I-395 are implemented. Earlier this year, in addition to including a cap on the amount of parking at the site at 1,000 spaces, Moran authored language in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2011 that mandates the Inspector General to review the analysis that enabled DoD to bypass a full environmental impact study.”
“In July 2008, an Environmental Assessment by the Army Corps of Engineers’ concluded that relocating the 6,400 employees to the Mark Center would have no significant impact from a transportation perspective. Multiple studies have since called that assessment into question, including ones prepared by the Virginia Department of Transportation and even the Army’s own report.”
It makes you wonder if anyone in the Army Corp of Engineers has ever driven in rush hour traffic on this stretch of I-395 or even on major surface streets in the Seminary Road area?
Another huge area of concern over the BRAC move is a proposed access road through the adjacent Winkler Botanical Preserve.