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

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BRAC Preparedness

MDOT has taken a proactive approach to meet the projected increased demand on the transportation system as a result of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission’s decision to relocate several thousand jobs to five military installations in Maryland.  The Department has been closely and regularly coordinating with representatives of the military installations, the communities and the counties that are affected as well as those that are not immediately affected. 

This past year, MDOT senior management has met with all 24 jurisdictions in the State to identify priority projects at both the State and local level.  MDOT is moving ahead in building consensus among all partners, including the State’s federal delegation in Washington to pursue strategies pertaining to the prioritization and funding of transportation projects. With that consensus, MDOT will identify both long-term projects that will accommodate and encourage future growth, as well as short-term pressing projects. These lower priced projects are quicker to implement and can help bridge immediate local and neighborhood needs during the BRAC transition.  MDOT continues to draw on its previous experience from the Patuxent River Naval Air Station growth during the previous BRAC. A comprehensive, integrated response that connects land use and transportation will remain critical in ensuring orderly growth.

BRAC changes at the impacted military installations are anticipated in the 2009-2011 timeframe and all of the planned transportation infrastructure needs discussed for BRAC will not be in place within this timeframe.  Specific actions are underway, however, and include:

  • Identification, clarification and study of stakeholder priorities (i.e. from local governments and military installations) through outreach activities;
  • Review and coordination on BRAC Installations transportation studies and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) documents;
  • Study and coordination of major joint development projects at BRAC Installations (EUL’s and other secondary growth);
  • Technical review and analysis of Regional travel demand model assumption inputs and outputs to ensure agreement and rationale for use in project development;
  • Internal and external coordination on projects for inclusion in the CTP;
  • Documentation and reporting upon CTP projects, study activities and schedules.

Several study initiatives are also underway as the next steps in the MDOT’s BRAC planning process:

  • SHA is conducting area traffic studies at Aberdeen Proving Ground (APG) and Fort Meade, as well as at Andrews Air Force Base,Bethesda National Naval Medical Center and at Fort Detrick.
  • MTA is working with local jurisdictions in evaluating local bus routes and is participating with Howard and Anne Arundel Counties to develop the Central Maryland Bus Maintenance Facility.
  • MTA is studying the feasibility of a new East Baltimore MARC Station (as part of the Red Line Study).
  • MTA is funding Ride-Share Coordinators who can help form cost effective carpools and vanpools to BRAC facilities.
  • MDOT completed a “white paper” on lessons learned from the previous BRAC at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station.
  • MDOT and MTA have studies underway to assess MARC service along the Northeast Amtrak corridor.
  • SHA and MTA have identified potential study starts responding to grant proposal requests from DoD’s Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA).

Lessons Learned at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station

Although the current BRAC impact on Maryland is expected to be larger in size than the relocation of personnel from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Virginia to the Patuxent River Naval Air Station in the mid 1990s, the Patuxent experience provides a valuable case study. It provides an opportunity to review the real world impact relocating military and civilian personnel had on transportation infrastructure, commuting patterns, and associated support facilities (i.e., housing, office space, schools, shopping, etc.).  We will use existing data from MDOT, SHA, MTA, Tri-County Council, Washington Council of Governments, US Navy, and any other readily available resource, including interviews with major principals involved in the expansion at Patuxent, to assist and refine the efforts of the BRAC Transportation Planning Teams.

          

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