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BRAC increasing traffic jams near Fort Belvoir

Sunday - 10/2/2011, 5:07pm  ET

Hank Silverberg,

FORT BELVOIR, Va. - It was predicted and talked about for months, and now there is direct evidence of how BRAC is impacting local traffic.

The thousands of workers who used to work in Crystal City or elsewhere are now increasing traffic backups on Interstate 95 south and the Fairfax County Parkway near Fort Belvoir.

"We're seeing some pretty long backups onto 95, particularly going southbound," says Virginia Transportation Secretary Sean Connaughton.

"People are trying to get off on the Fairfax County Parkway heading toward the old main base."

In particular, Connaughton says there's a safety issue at many of the stop lights going into the industrial parks along the parkway because of the increased traffic.

Under the recent base re-alignment, more than 20,000 defense related workers have moved both to the main base and several satellite facilities, including the Mark Center on Interstate 395.

Among the solutions still being discussed for the Fort Belvoir area are new bus routes along Route 1 from Alexandria to Stafford. The routes could include bus rapid transit or regular bus routes.

Connaughton says so far there has been very little impact near the Mark Center, but that's because only about 2,200 workers have moved in so far. There will be more than 5,000 by the end of this year.

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