Monday, October 8, 2012

Montgomery County Receives Grant for BRAC-Related Transportation Improvements

Due to changes at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) in Bethesda resulting from the Base Realignment and Closure Act (BRAC), personnel at the facility is expected to increase by almost one-third -- to10,200 -- and the visitor load to double to one million a year.  To improve transportation access, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta recently announced that Montgomery County has received a $40 million grant from the Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment. The grant will fund improvements to facilitate a safer and easier commute for patients, service members and civilian employees of WRNMMC, as well as the Naval Support Activity (NSA) Bethesda campus.
The funding will be used to:
  • Design and construct a pedestrian and bicycle passageway under Maryland Route 355 (Rockville Pike), connecting the WRNMMC and NSA on one side of the road to the Medical Center Metrorail Station and transit center on the other side. 
  • Fully fund three, high-speed elevators to connect the WRNMMC and NSA at street level to the Metrorail mezzanine level located 120 feet below ground.
  • Make improvements at the main entrance to the NSA campus to facilitate traffic flow.
The grant will supplement over $28 million in previously received Defense Department funding to relieve traffic congestion.  Montgomery County will complete the project in coordination with the Maryland State Highway Administration, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, the National Institutes of Health, the Federal Highway Administration’s DelMar Division and the Command at NSA Bethesda.
More information about BRAC is available on the County’s website at