By Rebecca Blatt
A Defense Appropriations Bill pending Senate approval would allocate $300 million for roadway improvements around new military medical centers in Bethesda, Maryland and Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
The funding is intended to help relieve the two communities as they prepare for changes related to the military Base Realignment and Closure consolidation. That transition is set to be completed by September 2011. It will mean thousands of additional people in each location and, of course, more traffic.
Congressman Jim Moran -- of Virginia -- says roadway changes around the medical centers is critical not only for people who live in the region but also for people trying to access the facilities.
"They're going to be the largest and finest in the world, but people will not have access to them unless we can improve the road situation," says Moran.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the bill this week. A vote in the Senate is expected in the coming days.
Moran says if the bill is signed by President Obama, the Pentagon will have to decide how to spend the money.