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Alexandria Residents Say Investigation Into Mark Center BRAC Is Too Late

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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.

In Virginia, Congressman Jim Moran says the Department of Defense's Inspector General has launched an investigation into the placement of the massive new Mark Center office complex along Interstate 395 in Alexandria.

Thousands of employees are set to be transferred there in September as part of the Pentagon's Base Realignment and Closure plan.

Moran says the investigation is important because it will be objective, and he says there's only one objective conclusion about the gargantuan Mark Center building.

"You cannot locate this building here, with this many employees, until you have adequate transportation infrastructure in place," he says.

Moran says he hopes the report delays the arrival of employees until transportation fixes are made -- even if that mean the building sits empty for a few years.

Many residents near the Center share his concerns, but some, such as Sandy Riley and Pat Forshay, worry its too late for Moran to win this fight.

"I don't think there's much hope of reversing it, at this date," Riley says.

"I think it would be ridiculous to have the building sit empty, to be honest with you," Forshay says.

The Inspector General's office doesn't comment on ongoing investigations -- and wouldn't confirm that an investigation into the project is under way.

Moran says he's been told it will be completed approximately three months from now.

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