ANNAPOLIS, Md. (November 1, 2011) – Today, Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown, Chair of the Governor’s Subcabinet on Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC), praised Maryland officials for their efforts in securing $88.9 million in federal funds to support intersection projects at National Naval Medical Center (NNMC) in Bethesda.
“BRAC in Maryland means more jobs, a stronger economy, and our state’s contribution to national security, but maximizing BRAC requires strong partnerships between every level of government,” said Lt. Governor Brown. “These federal funds will allow the State and local governments to complete critical road, transit and pedestrian projects that will help our troops access care at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, create jobs, and alleviate congestion in the Bethesda community. I would like to thank Senator Mikulski, Senator Cardin, Congressman Van Hollen, and the entire Maryland Congressional Delegation, as well as Montgomery County and State transportation officials, for their tireless efforts in helping secure these long-awaited funds.”
Earlier this year, Congress made funding available specifically for transportation projects at BRAC-impacted military medical facilities. Last month, the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) and Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) submitted grant proposals to fund $90 million of critical improvements identified by stakeholders as integral to mitigating BRAC impacts at WRNMMC. These requests were based on the comprehensive BRAC planning undertaken by the State and local governments.
“Working with Montgomery County, we received approvals for almost all of funding requests for the Department of Defense,” added Brown. “This is a testament to the partnership approach we have taken with the county, Navy and community to come up with a comprehensive transportation plan that addresses improvements to key road intersections, transit access, and bicycle and pedestrian connections.”
Lt. Governor Brown and the BRAC Subcabinet have worked to prepare the physical and human infrastructure in Maryland to support the BRAC moves, including developing a unique, intergovernmental approach to planning processes. Earlier this year, the Association of Defense Communities (ADC) named Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown the 2011 Policymaker/Elected Official of the Year for his work in leading Maryland's BRAC transition efforts.
Brown and the BRAC Subcabinet channeled state resources to prepare the state’s workforce to take advantage of the thousands of jobs coming to Maryland, improve local roads to handle increased traffic and make the purchase of a home easier in counties affected by BRAC. The BRAC Subcabinet’s innovative efforts include establishing BRAC Zones to provide financial incentives to areas that are expecting growth due to BRAC, easing the school transfer process for military children, and funding $3.7 million for MHEC BRAC Higher Education Grants.
With today’s announcement, the Department of Defense (DoD) has selected five Bethesda projects totaling $88.9 million to receive funding for implementation. Projects to be funded include:
· MD 355 Multimodal Crossing ($40 million)
· MD 185 & Jones Bridge Road/Kensington Parkway ($18.3 million)
· MD 355 & West Cedar Lane/Cedar Lane ($19 million)
· MD 355 & Jones Bridge Road/Center Drive ($4.3 million)
· MD 187 & West Cedar/Oakmont Avenue ($7.3 million)
SHA and MCDOT will now submit formal grant applications to DoD, including necessary plans and environmental documentation for each of the selected projects. Upon completion of the formal grant applications, the DoD’s Office of Economic Adjustment (OEAO) will distribute awarded funds, and SHA and MCDOT will finalize implementation schedules for the selected projects. The funds will be combined with $50.6 million already appropriated on the state, local and federal level to support BRAC in Bethesda. Work is already underway for utility relocations, right-of-way acquisitions and final design on intersection projects. Construction schedules will be updated to begin work as the OEA funds become available.