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Lawsuit over BRAC move to Mark Center unlikely

Wednesday - 4/27/2011, 1:25am  ET

traffic Alexandria Seminary (WTOP Photo/Hank Silverberg)
There is road work underway on Seminary Road, not far from the Mark Center. (WTOP Photo/Hank Silverberg)

Hank Silverberg, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - A legal challenge to the move of federal workers to the Mark Center along Interstate 395 appears to be dwindling, making it likely massive traffic jams predicted for the fall will occur.

Fairfax County's Board of Supervisors decided not to sue. After a meeting with the county attorney, Supervisor Jeff McKay indicated the county doesn't have the option under federal law to file a lawsuit at this stage of the process.

A Department of Defense Inspector General's report revealed last week the traffic studies done around the facility off Seminary Road in Alexandria were flawed.

Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., then called on the jurisdictions involved to file a suit to stop the move of more than 6,400 defense-related workers to the Mark Center. The move is part of the military's Base Realignment and Closure Act.

Gov. Bob McDonnell, still concerned about the massive traffic impact, says he would prefer negotiations instead of a lawsuit.

"We just want to try and work something out with the Defense Department," says McDonnell.

He would prefer a delayed move until some of the roads can be improved.

The facility is located inside the city limits of Alexandria. The city hired an outside attorney to look at possible legal action, but a spokesman says no final decision will be made until the city council meets next month.

The relocation of the workers is expected to take place in September, long before any road improvements can be made.

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(Copyright 2011 by WTOP. All rights reserved.)