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Va. Congressman: DOD To Investigate Mark Center Project

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Residents and local leaders say the 6,400 Department of Defense employees commuting to the new Mark Center building could add hours to the commute on I-395.
Jonathan Wilson
Residents and local leaders say the 6,400 Department of Defense employees commuting to the new Mark Center building could add hours to the commute on I-395.

According to Virginia Congressman Jim Moran (D), the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General has launched an investigation into placement of the new Mark Center defense building along Interstate 395. Moran has long said the new building and its employees will cause catastrophic traffic problems for the area.

Moran, who represents Alexandria and Arlington, says plans for moving 6400 Department of Defense employees to the new Mark Center complex overlook the need for major transportation improvements along 395 and Seminary Road.

The plan is part of the massive Base Realignment and Closure -- or BRAC -- program implemented under former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

"This is the best news we've had for quite a while because the Inspector General is going to do an objective analysis, and that's all we're looking for," Moran says.

Moran has long argued that the new building should have been constructed in the Springfield/Franconia area, so the thousands of new workers would have access to Metro station.

Gerald Wanzer lives within a mile of the new building. He says he doubts any report can halt or slow the progress of the BRAC project.

"They have not stopped construction -- trucks are going there every day, putting in the parking garage. They're not making any improvements on the expressway. It's gonna be horrendous," he says.

Moran says he's been told the report will be complete in February, just seven months before workers are schedule to move into the building.

The Inspector General's office says it does not comment on ongoing investigations and would not confirm that one has been launched into the Alexandria project.

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