What is BRAC?
BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure) is the congressionally authorized process by which the Department of Defense (DoD) periodically reorganizes its military base structure to more efficiently and effectively support the armed forces, increase operational readiness, and facilitate new ways of doing business. In 2005, the BRAC process mandated the move of many DoD offices from leased office space to secure sites that could meet DoD's high anti-terrorism security standards.
BRAC-133 is the numerical designation given to Alexandria's Mark Center, the location for several DoD agencies. The facility, now owned and currently under construction by the federal government, while technically part of Fort Belvoir, is on Mark Center property located at the intersection of Seminary Road and Beauregard Street at the I-395 interchange.
How does BRAC-133 affect the City of Alexandria?
As a military installation, BRAC-133 is not subject to the local land use regulation. The City does not have any authority over plans for the site, but DoD worked with the City and to provide substantial improvements in building architecture and managing transportation demand. City leaders, staff, and the BRAC-133 Advisory Group developed a transportation management plan (TMP) with a stated goal of at least 40% of commuters arriving to the Mark Center by any way other than driving alone.
Analysis and updates on Mark Center TMP performance
- 2011 Cost-Benefit Analysis prepared before the facility opened
- 2012 Staff Update to City Council presented at their January 24, 2012 meeting
- 2016 Mark Center Commuting Report
- 2017 Memorandum on Mode Split
How are the City and DoD minimizing traffic around the site?
The most recent DoD report found that only 55% of employees who were present drove to work on any given day in October 2017—well below the 60% target established by the TMP. An updated report from DoD will be provided to the City by the end of 2019.
While the Mark Center is not located near a Metrorail station, Metrobus acts as a shuttle between the Pentagon, which has a Metrorail station, and the Mark Center itself, arriving as frequently as once every ten minutes. DoD also pays the City’s bus provider, DASH, for a special express route, AT2X, between King St-Old Town Station and the Mark Center, allowing connections for commuters elsewhere in Northern Virginia via the Virginia Railway Express (VRE).
Washington Headquarter Services (WHS), which manages the Mark Center for DoD, administers transportation programming, including transit benefits, shuttle services, bicycling amenities, and ridematching for carpools and vanpools. WHS also supports City and regional transportation initiatives designed to further relieve congestion around the Mark Center, including the West End Transitway and the I-395 high occupancy toll (HOT) lanes.
GO Alex, the City’s mobility options provider, works closely with DoD on marketing and vanpool coordination.
The West End Transitway will provide additional bus capacity between the Mark Center, the Pentagon, and Van Dorn St Station. This will be similar to Metroway on Richmond Highway that travels from Braddock Rd Metrorail Station to Crystal City and Pentagon City Metrorail stations. DoD supports these initiatives, providing a 2018 letter of support for state and federal funding for the West End Transitway.