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Virginia Leaders Struggle With Transportation Challenges Posed By BRAC Project

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In Virginia, the chairwoman of Fairfax County's board of supervisors says one of the biggest challenges this year will be helping commuters deal with the new traffic with the influx of thousands of new Department of Defense workers.

The new Mark Center Department of Defense building on I-395 -- part of the federal Base Realignment and Closure, or BRAC program -- will bring 6,200 new commuters to the area this fall.

Fairfax Board of Supervisors Chair Sharon Bulova, a Democrat, says she's working with leaders in Alexandria and Arlington on extra shuttle bus services and other minor road improvements around the new center.

"But it really is not sufficient in order to address the impact of those jobs coming to the BRAC center," Bulova says.

And dealing with the government's base realignment shifts is not the only transportation challenge the county faces.

Republican supervisor John Cook says Fairfax and other Northern Virginia jurisdictions need to stop waiting for lawmakers in Richmond to fix local problems.

"We have to be looking at more self-funding mechanisms, and regional funding mechanisms -- those are available, but we're not talking enough about them," Cook says.

Cook says that starts with more seriously exploring county control of neighborhood roads; right now Virginia's department of transportation has that responsibility.

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