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Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT)
Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC)

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MDOT-BRAC FACTS & FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is BRAC?

How will BRAC affect Maryland?

What are the main challenges of BRAC?

What is the State of Maryland doing to address these challenges?

What is Maryland’s Transportation Planning Process?

What is the CTP?

What is the CTP timeline?

What transportation lessons were learned from the previous BRAC realignment at the Patuxent River Naval Station(Pax River)  in the 1990s?

What is BRAC?

"BRAC" is an acronym that stands for Base Realignment and Closure. It is the congressionally authorized process the Department of Defense has previously used to reorganize its base structure to more efficiently and effectively support our forces, increase operational readiness, and facilitate new ways of doing business. In 2005, the U.S. Congress established the federal BRAC Commission, which submitted its Final Report to the President on September 8, 2005.  The Final Report contained recommendations that affected growth and closures of military bases nationwide, all of which are required to be in place by September 15, 2011.

How will BRAC affect Maryland?

Maryland is one of the few states benefiting by gaining additional military and civilian positions.  Five Maryland military installations are expected to have significant increases in personnel resulting from BRAC and non-BRAC related growth.  Refer to a map of the five affected Maryland BRAC military installations. 

Maryland stands to gain 26,000 direct military jobs with Aberdeen Proving Ground and Fort George G. Meade bearing the most growth.  Somewhat unique to Maryland is that nearly all of the 26,000 jobs are filled by civilians who are not authorized to live on the bases.  When indirect and tertiary positions are factored into the equation, Maryland stands to gain between 45,000 and 60,000 new jobs – the greatest economic growth the state will have experienced since World War II.  It is important to note that this represents both BRAC and other federal and Department of Defense (DoD)decisions.  The latest growth figures are as follows:

  • Fort George G. Meade in Anne Arundel County is expected to add 5,800 jobs due to BRAC, over 4,000 jobs due to ongoing NSA growth, and 1,000 jobs from other Army and DoD decisions, as well as over 10,000 jobs from Enhanced Use Lease (EUL) related growth through time (beyond the BRAC window of 2011);
  • Aberdeen Proving Ground in Harford County is expected to add approximately 8,000 jobs on base, as well as over 10,000 jobs from EUL related growth through time (beyond the BRAC window of 2011);
  • National Naval Medical Center at Bethesda in Montgomery County is expected to add approximately 2,400 new personnel in addition to a doubling of patient load;
  • Fort Detrick [b6] in Frederick County is expected to add approximately 2,000 jobs total, 220 of which will be due to BRAC; and
  • Andrews Air Force Base in Prince George’s County is expected to add approximately 3,000 jobs total, 800 of which will be due to BRAC. 

What are the main transportation-related challenges of BRAC?

1. Unanticipated Growth – Job and residential growth resulting from the BRAC 2005 consolidations may not have been reflected in local and State land use and infrastructure plans in impacted states.  Therefore, states have had to quickly adjust priorities and actions to meet the 2011 timeframe.

2. Timing – With BRAC jobs arriving in the next three years, there is little time to build large transportation projects.  From start to finish, with all funding in place, major transportation projects typically take 5 to 10 years from the planning and development phases through construction.  Project planning alone usually takes 3 to 4 years.  National and state environmental policies require methodical review of projects to minimize impacts on the natural and man-made environments.  Other factors impacting schedule include community consensus-building and funding.

3. Funding – BRAC creates new transportation needs but there are no separate BRAC funding sources from the Federal government.  These are new needs that compete with other substantial unfunded transportation issues that most states already face.  DoD Defense Access Road (DAR) criteria have not proven favorable to mitigating impacts.

4. Enhanced Use Lease (EUL) – While this is not directly a BRAC issue, Enhanced Use Lease projects are being implemented concurrently with BRAC, contributing to transportation challenges.  This DoD leasing program allows a multi-year lease of installation property for commercial use in exchange for cash or in-kind services to the installation.  Limited DoD maintenance funding and recent changes to the program have made it a popular tool for installations to address maintenance needs.  Large commercial projects will generate significant transportation impacts.  This program essentially allows installations to become developers; however, there is no requirement that these commercial projects follow local and state processes to mitigate for impacts.  The program also potentially captures contracting activities that would follow the BRAC consolidations.  In the past, these commercial projects would have located outside the gate in areas planned for growth that would be taxable and would have to follow state and local processes.

What is the State of Maryland doing to address these challenges?

1.  Unanticipated Growth – In response to the 2005 BRAC decisions, Governor Martin O’Malley proposed, and the General Assembly passed, legislation creating the Governor’s Subcabinet on Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC Subcabinet) whose mission is to “coordinate State activities and work with the federal and local governments to prepare for and accommodate incoming households and jobs while sustaining and enhancing the quality of life throughout the State.” The law creating the BRAC Subcabinet specifically names the Lt. Governor as Chairman with Cabinet level secretaries of the nine State agencies most immediately involved in BRAC-related issues as members on the BRAC.

As one of its mandates, the BRAC Subcabinet prepared and is implementing a State Action Plan, which MDOT played an integral part in the creation and dissemination of in order to ensure appropriate regional and statewide planning that will fulfill the obligations and reap the benefits of BRAC by 2011.  The Action Plan is intended to be a dynamic document that will continue to be developed and revised during the next four years, as new information regarding the needs and requirements associated with BRAC is identified, collected and analyzed. 

2.  Timing – Addressing BRAC will be a multi-year, multi-phase effort of transportation project programming.  MDOT is approaching transportation needs through a mix of Higher-Impact and Lower-Impact efforts that reflect the magnitude of the cost and timeframe for implementation.  To address the challenges of time and funding, MDOT relies on a “high/low” investment strategy.  The Low Strategy approach entails delivering the most cost-effective improvements that can be implemented quickly to meet short-term needs, so that we can maximize the number of improvements provided by the funds available.  Examples include intersection improvements and direct commuter bus service.  The High Strategy approach evaluates higher cost and higher capacity projects that will take significantly longer to plan, engineer and construct.  We will add funding in future years for these longer-term projects as they advance in the project development process, in consultation with local governments about priorities.  An example is the MARC Growth and Investment Plan.  This “High-Low” Strategy is reflected in the  MDOT’s annual programming document of detailed listings and descriptions of the capital projects that are proposed for construction, or for development and evaluation during the next six-year period.  The FY08-13 CTP identified 31 projects as “,” directly facilitating access to BRAC-impacted bases MDOT’s annual programming document of detailed listings and descriptions of the capital projects that are proposed for construction, or for development and evaluation during the next six-year period.  The FY08-13 CTP identified 31 projects as “,” directly facilitating access to BRAC-impacted bases MDOT’s annual programming document of detailed listings and descriptions of the capital projects that are proposed for construction, or for development and evaluation during the next six-year period.  The FY08-13 CTP identified 31 projects as “,” directly facilitating access to BRAC-impacted bases MDOT’s annual programming document of detailed listings and descriptions of the capital projects that are proposed for construction, or for development and evaluation during the next six-year period.  The FY08-13 CTP identified 31 projects as “,” directly facilitating access to BRAC-impacted bases FY 2008-2013 Consolidated Transportation Program (CTP), MDOT’s annual programming document of detailed listings and descriptions of the capital projects that are proposed for construction, or for development and evaluation during the next six-year period.  The FY08-13 CTP identified 31 projects as “BRAC related,” directly facilitating access to BRAC-impacted bases

Addressing BRAC as a multi-year, multi-phase effort will also require that MDOT repeat its success in addressing previous BRAC consolidations.  In the 1990s at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station (Pax River), MDOT focused on phasing of the MD 235 project because all of the funding was not in place initially.  The primary access point to Pax River, MD 235 required a substantial upgrade to accommodate the growth, including adding a through-lane and acceleration/deceleration lanes to serve the commercial development along the corridor.  MD 235 took 12 years from start to finish.  This large project could not be completed in time for the BRAC consolidation and was therefore split into three phases for construction, funding the highest priority segments first. 

3.  Funding – The FY2008-2013 CTP includes significant investments for BRAC, with $448.50 million programmed for BRAC projects in FY 09 and $1.73 billion programmed over the FY 2008-2013 capital program period.  This includes $356.08 million in additional investments resulting from new revenues recently approved by the General Assembly, at the request of the Governor.  Highlights of these investments include:

  • $201.3 million for the MARC Growth and Investment Plan, to expand capacity and improve service; and
  • $139.2 million for improvements at the most-heavily impacted intersections around Fort Meade, Aberdeen Proving Ground and Bethesda National Naval Medical Center.   This will go directly to high priority projects that we hope to build quickly, before BRAC is implemented.

In addition, the Governor and the State BRAC Subcabinet, in coordination with MDOT, the Department of Business and Economic Development and other State agencies, has introduced into the 2008 Session of the Maryland General Assembly a legislative proposal, Senate Bill 206/House Bill 366, “The BRAC Community Enhancement Act”.  The legislation has two prongs, one of which would create “BRAC Revitalization and Incentive Zones.”

Under SB 206/HB 366, local jurisdictions would be provided with incentives to build public infrastructure (e.g., streets, utilities and parks) in designated revitalization and redevelopment areas and provide incentives to locate BRAC employees to these targeted areas of the State.  By creating such “BRAC Zones”, the impact of the large number of people coming to the State by directing population growth to areas that are served by public transit but have underutilized capacity in terms of housing, public facilities, and infrastructure will be mitigated.  In keeping with the principles of Smart Growth, which are to accommodate and encourage growth without contributing to sprawl, the program could include certain incentives, such as income tax credits, or tax increment financing.

The State of Maryland has also utilized its integrated Transportation Trust Fund to meet the funding challenge of BRAC 2005 and put funding where it is most needed. 

4.  EULs In order to mitigate the impact of EULs, SB 206/HB 366, in addition to creating “BRAC Zones”, attempts to provide greater flexibility for the State and county governments to negotiate with private commercial developers that propose Enhanced Use Lease (EUL) developments on the military installations.  Under the proposed legislation, a Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) would provide flexibility to adjust tax payments to reflect that military installations provide some governmental services.  This would also allow for credits for payments to related transportation improvements, to mitigate for the EULs impacts on State infrastructure.

What is Maryland’s Transportation Planning Process?

Annually, MDOT releases the State Report on Transportation (SRT) – a vision of what the transportation system should be and a plan of how that vision will be achieved.  The first part of the report, the Maryland Transportation Plan (MTP), sets a vision with goals and policies to guide transportation decision making over the next 20 years.  The MTP is updated every five years to reflect changes in transportation policy priorities.  MDOT will be updating this plan over the next year, publishing it in January 2009. 

The Draft CTP is the second section of the SRT.  It describes how MDOT will achieve its goals, listing projects to be funded over a six-year period.  Every year, a draft CTP is presented to local elected officials and citizens throughout Maryland for comment.  Then it is revised and submitted as a Final CTP with the Governor’s budget to the General Assembly in January, for approval. 

As a companion piece to the SRT, MDOT publishes an Annual Attainment Report on Transportation System Performance.  This report documents how MDOT is achieving its goals and objectives based on a series of performance indicators.  The performance indicators presented in the report are also intended to help MDOT and the citizens of Maryland asses the improvements that are being made and the resulting performance benchmarks based on the amount of investment.

What is the CTP?

The Consolidated Transportation Program (CTP) is Maryland’s six-year capital budget for transportation projects. The Capital Program includes major and minor projects for the MDOT and the modal agencies and related authorities within the Department, including the Maryland Aviation Administration, the Motor Vehicle Administration, the Maryland Transit Administration, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, the State Highway Administration, the Maryland Port Administration, and the Maryland Transportation Authority. Working together with Maryland’s citizens, local jurisdictions and the local and State delegations, projects are added to the CTP, which preserve transportation system investments, enhance transportation services and expand transportation opportunities throughout the State. 

What is the CTP timeline?

Maryland has a unique process to gather public input from every jurisdiction, a process stipulated by State law, requiring the Secretary of Transportation to visit with, and present to each of the State’s county jurisdictions and the City of Baltimore, the Draft CTP, for comment.  This process is known as the Secretary’s Annual Capital Program Tour.  In addition to the State law, MDOT has reinstituted a long-standing process of collaboration that expands upon this communication process with the local jurisdictions. This process entails a series of Transportation Priority “Pre-Meetings” MDOT officials initiate throughout the fall, in anticipation of the Draft CTP.  These priority meetings between MDOT and local authorities and Baltimore City assist in maximizing the impact of available funds in every corner of the State.

As the impacts of BRAC related growth continue to be realized, MDOT will continue working with its State and local partners to identify changing priorities and also exploring creative new funding mechanisms that can bolster our traditional Transportation Trust Fund sources.  The Draft FY 08-13 CTP was released in the fall of 2007.  After receiving public and local input at Priority Meetings, MDOT revised the plan and submitted the Final FY 08-13 CTP to the Governor.  The CTP was presented to the legislature in January 2008. 

The timeline for the next CTP covering FY 2009 to 2014 is expected to proceed as follows (please note that the dates and actions below are subject to change):

1)       September to November 2008: (a) The Draft FY 2009-2014 CTP to be presented, and (b) MDOT to present the Draft CTP to all the local governments in Maryland, to solicit their feed-back during MDOT Annual Tour with elected officials from each County

2)       November and December 2008: Incorporate comments from Tour, gathered at Priority Meetings held throughout the State, into Draft CTP.

3)       December 2008: Review CTP with Governor

4)       January 2009: Final FY 2009-2014 CTP to be submitted to the General Assembly for Budget approval during 2009 session

5)       May 2009: “County Priority” letters outlining each local jurisdiction’s top transportation priorities for State funding to be submitted to the Secretary for consideration in Draft FY 2010-2015 CTP.

What transportation lessons were learned from the previous BRAC realignment at the Patuxent River Naval Station(Pax River)  in the 1990s?

BRAC is about far more than transportation.  A comprehensive integrated response is needed, including key input from planning, housing, and education. The BRAC SubCabinet and DBED’s Office of Military and Federal Affairs will play a key role in helping to coordinate these areas of interest. 

SMART GROWTH principles need to be followed.  Local land use practices diminished the effectiveness of the MD 235 improvement.  Acreage re-zoned as commercial increased right-of-way costs for the project.  Additional capacity intended for the Pax River traffic got used up by local commercial traffic.

STAY FLEXIBLE.  Expect the unexpected.  At Pax River, commute patterns turned out different than projected.  Travel was expected from Northern Virginia and D.C. into Southern Maryland, but the opposite occurred.  People moved to Southern Maryland and the need arose to provide commuter service for spouses commuting from Southern Maryland into Washington, D.C.  MTA Commuter Bus became a great success story.  Ridership on 8 lines between Southern Maryland and Washington, D.C. increased 20% from January 2003 to November 2006. 

PHASE PROJECTS.  MDOT focused on phasing of the MD 235 project because all of the funding was not in place initially.  This large project took 12 years from start to finish, and thus could not be completed in time for the BRAC consolidation.  It was split into three phases for construction, funding the highest priority segments first.  In addition, shoulders were determined to be sufficient to support through traffic with minor improvements.  This was done while the roadway reconstruction project continued, adding capacity in the near-term.



          

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