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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Defense Department to investigate Mark Center decision

The Defense Department Inspector General’s office has launched an investigation into plans for moving approximately 6,400 Defense personnel into the Mark Center in Alexandria as part of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process, Rep. James Moran announced Nov. 17. Moran, a Democrat, is a senior member of the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee.

Residents who live near the Mark Center project have raised concerns about its impact on traffic congestion on I-395, Beauregard Street, Seminary Road, and side streets.

Moran and local residents questioned a 2008 environmental study by the Army Corps of Engineers that found relocating 6,400 employees to the Mark Center would have no significant impact from a transportation perspective. Later studies questioned that conclusion.

The Defense Department’s decision to go ahead with the project “was based on flawed analysis, and it’s my hope the IG will get to the bottom of this mess,” Moran said. The report is expected to be released in February; the new building is slated for occupancy in November 2011.

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