BRAC's First Phase Brings New Workers And Fears | News
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WUSA) -- Thursday begins the first phase of a possible traffic nightmare in Alexandria. 23-hundred employees have officially relocated to the Mark Center.
It's all part of the Department of Defense BRAC base relocation plan.
Judy Kirk is one of the thousands who have moved in. "It's been an experience trying different routes. It's not bad yet."
Danielle Miller says, "It is a little more difficult, thus far, not too bad"
Miller use to have an easy commute from West Falls Church to the Roslyn Metro Station.
But now Metro is not an option for her.
Miller says, "Everyone is keeping their eyes open as more people come here to see if it gets better or worse."
Most of the federal employees had a Metro station in Roslyn and Crystal City but now they have to add on to their morning and afternoon commutes on top of taking shuttle buses.
Roger Thorstenson says, "I wasn't looking forward to increasing my commute, that's for sure."
It's what Congressman Jim Moran has been telling the federal government.
Congressman Jim Moran, (D) VA says, "There was no good reason to move them out of those commercial buildings and stick them here that doesn't have access to Metro. We are stuck to accommodate with what will always be shown to be a wrong decision. I hope I'm wrong."
The congressman also has raised concerns about security at the new facility.
There is only a bus depot where Metro and Dash shuttles are making stops.
It's already gridlock on 395 and the Seminary Road interchange. Adding-on only creates more traffic. By the end of January there will be 6400 additional federal workers.
Gene Breen says, "It's going to be crazy. I'll tack on another one hour or two. I'll come early probably."
Miller says, "In 6 months, driving is going to be bad."
Vdot is build a special ramp from the HOV lanes on to Seminary Road.
But that's not expected to be completed until 2016. Other road improvements will take another couple of years.
Alexandria isn't the only place in our region picking up thousands of new jobs.
Fort Belvoir in Virginia will see a big influx of workers.
It's the same thing in Maryland at Fort Meade, the Bethesda Naval Medical Center, and the Aberdeen Proving Ground north of Baltimore.