April 18, 2011

CARDIN, MIKULSKI JOIN LOCAL OFFICIALS TO ANNOUNCE $300 MILLION FOR IMPROVEMENTS TO BRAC-RELATED TRAFFIC HOT SPOTS

Funding will make improvements near National Naval Medical Center and Fort Belvoir

WASHINGTON, D.C.U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski (both D-Md.) today gathered at the edge of MD-355 and steps away from the Medical Center Metro Station with Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett and Patrick O’Neil, Chairman of the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce, to announce $300 million in funding for BRAC-related transportation projects. This unprecedented federal investment will provide for improvements to the surrounding roads, including MD-355, and upgrades to the Metro station

The fiscal year 2011 Continuing Resolution, signed into law last week, included $300 million for BRAC-related transportation mitigation efforts for the future Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda (currently the Bethesda National Naval Medical Center) and the Fort Belvoir Community Hospital in Virginia. Both installations and their surrounding communities stand to be heavily impacted by the 2005 BRAC-mandated consolidation, which is set to conclude in September 2011.

“This announcement is welcome news for the thousands of wounded warriors and their families who will use the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, as well as Montgomery County’s beleaguered commuters,” Senator Cardin said. “As a delegation, we have been united in our efforts to ensure federal support for the expanded medical facility and the tens of thousands of new military and civilian jobs being brought to our state through the BRAC process.  I am pleased that we will be able to provide much-needed transportation upgrades to meet the needs of those traveling to or near the new military medical facility. ” 

“I fought in the Senate to BRAC-proof Maryland’s bases, now I am working to BRAC-ready our transportation systems. Our troops fight overseas to protect our freedom, they shouldn’t have to fight traffic to get the care they’ve earned when they get back,” said Senator Mikulski, a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, who fought for this funding in the Continuing Resolution. “The Walter Reed National Military Center at Bethesda will be the frontline in delivering care to our wounded warriors. I am proud to partner with my Team