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Defense Authorization Bill Could Affect BRAC Plans In Northern Virginia

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By Rebecca Blatt

The U.S. House is preparing to take up next year's Defense Authorization Bill, and it could affect the Pentagon's Base Realignment and Closure plan for Northern Virginia.

Congressman Jim Moran, of Virginia, pushed for language in the bill placing a limitation on a new defense facility, under constructed at the Mark Center in Alexandria. The BRAC plan requires 6,400 defense personnel currently working elsewhere in Northern Virginia to move there by September 2011.

That will mean more cars on local roadways and Interstate 395, as the center is not Metro accessible. Moran says the Pentagon has not made adequate plans to deal with traffic, so he pushed for a requirement to limit parking at the facility.

"They will be limited to using no more than 1,000 spaces until they have an acceptable transportation management plan and until they've performed the construction that is necessary to transport that number of people," says Moran.

Moran says the limitation will force the Defense Department to keep workers in current locations, pushing back the 2011 BRAC deadline. But the Pentagon has not commented on the proposal.

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