Operations at Walter Reed will move to the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda. Former President George W. Bush (center, right) attended the groundbreaking for the new facility in July 2008.
By mid-September approximately 2,500 workers will relocate from Walter Reed Army Medical Center in the District to the National Navel Medical Center in Bethesda. Senator Cardin says this move under the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) program is good for the state.
"BRAC for most communities is a loss of jobs," Cardin says. "For Maryland it was a plus for jobs but it also had an impact on the community and that's why were proud we were able to get $111 million."
Those funds are part of a $300 million federal package for BRAC-related improvements to the area around the medical Center. That's funding Cardin believes will remain intact no matter what happens with the federal government for the next few weeks. Lawmakers are facing an Aug. 2 deadline for a decision on whether to increase the federal debt limit.
"We expect that those funds will be moving forward to meet the challenges of the Metro system here, and dealing with the horrendous traffic issues that will only be made worse by the BRAC process," Cardin says.
While Cardin admits traffic problems will plague the area around the naval medical facility initially, he says he's hopeful the congestion will abate soon after the relocation is complete.