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BRAC Process Will Complicate Commute For Walter Reed Employees

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By David Schultz

One year from now, Walter Reed Hospital will be moving from D.C. to Bethesda, Maryland as a part of the Army's Base Realignment and Closure--or, BRAC--process.

Many staff and even some patients at Walter Reed will likely use the Medical Center Metro station to get to their new location.

But they'll have to cross the six-lane Rockville Pike to get there.

There won't be any pedestrian bridge here by next year, even though Montgomery County has known about the BRAC moves since 2005.

"Six years is very little time to drop something like this in our laps," Phil Alperson, the county's BRAC coordinator, says. "In Montgomery County's case, six years is not realistic. You can't fix a pothole in six years because there's a lot of community input that needs to be done."

Alperson says a pedestrian overpass--or underpass--at the Medical Center Metro is partially funded, but the county is looking for more federal funds to complete the project.

He also says the county is looking to increase bus service along Rockville Pike.

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