BETHESDA, Md. (May 19, 2014) – Today, Senator Ben Cardin was joined by Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown, Congressman Chris Van Hollen, Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards, County Executive Ike Leggett, Deputy Transportation Secretary Wilson H. Parran, and other state, military and local officials to give the “green light” on a $13.8 million construction project to enhance traffic safety along MD 355 (Rockville Pike) at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center at Naval Support Activity Bethesda. Lt. Governor Brown outlined $68 million in State and Federal funds for several BRAC transportation solutions moving forward across the state in 2014.
The O’Malley-Brown Administration has already invested $900 million for BRAC transportation improvements across the state. Over the next six years, an additional $700 million for transportation investments has been programmed in the Maryland Department of Transportation’s capital budget to improve travel to and from Maryland military bases, which will bring the total investment by the Administration and Federal Government to $1.6 billion.
“It was a team effort to secure the BRAC-related funding that will buffer the effects of thousands of new people and their cars visiting the expanded Walter Reed. Traffic congestion and an overwhelmed Metro system threatened to jeopardize the effectiveness of the BRAC process that has brought tens of thousands of new military and civilian jobs to Maryland,” said Senator Cardin. “We have a responsibility to preserve the high quality of life in our Bethesda communities. And we have a responsibility to our soldiers and wounded warriors: they have been through so much fighting wars; they shouldn’t have to fight traffic too.”
“My promises made to BRAC-impacted communities are promises kept. Our troops who have fought to protect our nation’s freedom shouldn’t have to fight traffic to get the care they’ve earned,” said Senator Mikulski, Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “The Walter Reed National Military Center at Bethesda is on the frontline in delivering care to our wounded men and women in uniform. I am proud to fight with Team Maryland to make BRAC a success and secure the funds in the federal checkbook needed to meet the increased demands on our communities.”
“I am pleased that another phase of the BRAC-related road improvements we fought hard to fund is beginning at the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, a welcome development for our soldiers, veterans and their families who deserve easy access to this world-class facility,” said Congressman Van Hollen. “Commuters in the region will soon benefit from improved traffic flow and safety, one of the many reasons we worked to ensure robust federal investment in BRAC-related transportation projects.”
Today’s announcement highlights $68 million in BRAC transportation projects moving forward at various military installations across Maryland in 2014, including:
Walter Reed National Military medical Center at Naval Support Activity Bethesda
- MD 355 Intersection Improvements at Cedar Lane (Total: $15.8 million);
Fort George G. Meade
- $14.2 million MD 175 Intersection Improvements at Reece and Mapes Roads (Total: $27.9 million);
- $2 million MD 175 Widening from Reece Road to Disney Road – Design;
- $2 million MD 198 / MD 295 Interchange Upgrade – Design;
Joint Base Andrews
- $7.5 million MD 337 Access Improvements at I-495 and Suitland Road;
Aberdeen Proving Ground
- $7.4 million MD 22 Intersection Improvements at Old Post Road (Total: $8.9 million); and
- $2.5 million US 40 / MD 159 / MD 7 Intersection Improvements (Total: $3.8 million).
“I am proud to have played a part in delivering critical BRAC funding to better our bases, improve transportation networks, and benefit our military community,” said Congresswoman Edwards. “As the daughter of a service member and having lived on bases across the country, I know the critical role they play as anchors in local communities. Maryland has delivered the funds necessary to continue the strong relationship we have with Joint Base Andrews, Fort Meade, and the many other military installations across our state. I want to thank the O’Malley/Brown administration for their hard work, and the entire Maryland Delegation for their commitment to much needed transportation improvements.”
“Maryland’s Congressional delegation worked hard to secure thousands of new BRAC-related jobs and the funding necessary to prepare for them,” Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger said. “I am proud of the infrastructure improvements that will ease congestion around the bases, especially Fort Meade and Aberdeen Proving Ground in my district.”
“Thanks to our Maryland delegation and Lt. Governor Brown, the projects that are going forward with this funding will truly make a difference in alleviating traffic gridlock in Bethesda – ensuring that patients, doctors and families visiting our wounded warriors can receive the service they deserve,” said County Executive Ike Leggett.
“Thanks to the leadership of Governor O’Malley and Lt. Governor Brown in securing passage of the Transportation Infrastructure Investment Act of 2013, the Maryland Department of Transportation has a sustainable funding source that will allow us to continue to meet our commitment to statewide BRAC transportation projects,” said Deputy Transportation Secretary Wilson H. Parran. “We thank our Congressional Delegation for their support as well in securing critical funding for these BRAC transportation projects.”