In February of 2009, City Council passed a resolution establishing the BRAC-133 Advisory Group Roster to serve as a forum for developing ideas and recommendations related to transportation improvements and other issues associated with the BRAC relocation at the Mark Center. This group has provided the groundwork for helping to address the transportation questions related to this project. The Advisory Group meets on the third Wednesday of each month.
The next meeting of the BRAC-133 Advisory Group will be held on February 15, 2012 from 7:00 to 9:00 PM. The venue will again be the Alexandria-South Pentagon Courtyard Marriott Hotel located at 4641 Kenmore Avenue. This will be the last meeting of this group. February 15, 2012 Advisory Group Agenda
At their January 18, 2012 meeting, the members of the Advisory Group voted to recommend to City Council that the group be not be continued after the February meeting. Members noted they have completed their assigned mission of informing and advising City Council on BRAC-related matters. With the building completed and 75% occupied, there are few matters remaining for the Advisory Group to consider. VDOT and FHWA are managing the completion of the Short and Mid-Term Improvements and the HOV/Transit Ramp. Any potential modifications to the Army's Transportation Management Plan (TMP) arising from the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012, enacted on December 23, 2011, that imposes a cap of 2,000 parking spaces and requires a new traffic study will be reviewed by a reconsituted Ad Hoc Committee.
HOV/Transit Ramp Environmental Assessment (EA) Public Hearing - The public hearing was held on January 25, 2012 at the Francis C. Hammond Middle School Cafeteria. The Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and 30% design drawings for this project can be viewed at the VaMegaProjects link: http://www.vamegaprojects.com/about-megaprojects/mark-center-taskforce/i-395-hov-ramp-environmental-assessment/. Comments can be submitted directly to VDOT at meeting_comments@VDOT.Virginia.gov
The City received a copy of the Department of Defense Inspector General's Independent Engineering Assessment of the Army's Transportation Plan for BRAC-133 at the Mark Center. Staff will be analyzing in the days ahead the Inspector General’s findings and recommendations, as well as the Army’s response. While the IG’s report will help all understand what went wrong and what could have been done better in the transportation planning processes for the BRAC Mark Center project, what is important is to look forward and to continue to diligently pursue the implementation of the funded short-term, mid-term and long-term transportation improvement projects, as well as the implementation of the City’s planned Bus Rapid Transit in the Beauregard Corridor. All of these improvements are aimed at facilitating better traffic flows in the Mark Center area and beyond. The IG report does include some new recommendations concerning enhancing the existing transportation Management Plan which the City will review. The City will continue to work with FHWA and VDOT in implementing these projects. In addition, the Department of Defense needs to continue to implement and its transit oriented Transportation Management Plan (TMP) so that the planned 43% transit mode is successfully achieved. At this point the City will continue to follow through on the TMP, the GRIP program, the enhanced parking districts and continue to monitor the traffic situation so we can response to analyze the data and respond appropriately. The November 30, 2011 IG Report may be viewed at this link, and will be discussed at the December 14, 2011 BRAC-133 Advisory Group meeting.
Commonwealth Transportation Board receives City input into the Six Year Road Improvement Program. The City letter to Commonwealth Transportation Board on Six Year Program can be viewed at this link.Special Meeting Held regarding the Environmental Assessment Process for a potential HOV/Transit Ramp at I-395 and Seminary Road
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is developing plans to construct a High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) /Transit Ramp at the I-395/Seminary Road Interchange for the purpose of providing adequate transit and HOV access to the Mark Center and nearby employment centers, and to relieve forecasted peak traffic congestion at specific interchange ramps. The proposed ramp would be reversible and commence near Sanger, run near the center of I-395 and provide direct access to the third level of the Seminary Road interchange for HOV and transit vehicles such as buses. At the intersection of the ramp and Seminary Road, two options are being considered: (1) a signalized intersection allowing both right and left turns onto Seminary in the morning and allowing both eastbound and westbound HOV/Transit to enter the I-395 HOV lanes, and (2) a signalized intersection allowing only a westbound movement onto Seminary from the HOV lanes in the mornings, with no eastbound movement. A conceptual graphic is available for viewing. The project also will include the widening of the Seminary Road Bridge and approaches on the third level bridge along Seminary Road as well as the introduction of a traffic signal at the intersection where the ramp ties to the widened bridge. In conjunction with the referenced project, a study will evaluate the turning movements from the HOV ramp onto Seminary Road. A memorandum from Rich Baier, Director or TES, was sent out in July to members of the Advisory Group outlining the history and progression leading to the consideration of the proposed HOV/Transit Ramp as viable mitigation for the lack of HOV access at the I-395/Seminary Road Interchange.
The VDOT and the Federal High Way Administration (FHWA) prepared a Draft Purpose and Needs Statement, and sent out Scoping Letter(s) to approximately 40 public agencies. The BRAC-133 Advisory Group hosted a special meeting at Landmark Mall on September 7, 2011 with the purpose of this meeting being to provide information and discuss the Environmental Assessment (EA) process currently underway for the proposed HOV/Transit Ramp at I-395 and Seminary Road. The City of Alexandria submitted comments on the EA scoping request from VDOT on September 15, and attached a compilation of resident comments to that submission.
The Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and 30% design drawings can be viewed at the VaMegaProjects link: http://www.vamegaprojects.com/about-megaprojects/mark-center-taskforce/I-395-hov-ramp-environmental-assessment/. The public hearing for the EA and Design is scheduled for January 25, 2012 to be held at the Francis C. Hammond Middle School Cafeteria from 7:00 to 9:00 PM.
Election of New Officers.
- At the September 21, 2011 meeting of the BRAC-133 Advisory Group, Geoff Goodale was elected as the new Chairperson for the BRAC-133 Advisory Group. Mark Benedict was elected to serve as Vice-Chair. Congratulations to you both!
Effective August 1, 2011, David Dexter, Chairman for the BRAC-133 Advisory Group since its creation in 2009, has stepped down from the Chairmanship. Mr. Dexter has been a primary factor in the several accomplishments of this group including:
- Allocation of $20 million by the Defense Department to fund short and mid-term road improvements.
- Allocation of $80 million by VDOT to fund a long-term road improvement project.
- A partial open space mitigation payment of $1.5 million from the Army to the City. The money will be used to purchase alternate open space in the West End.
- Allocation of $1 million by the City for a Gridlock Reduction Intervention Program that will place additional traffic control officers at key intersections in the Mark Center area.
- A $400,000 Riparian Protected Area mitigation payment from the Army to the City, with the funds being used to restore and stabilize sections of Holmes Run in the West End.
- Establishment of express bus service between Mark Center and Metro stations.
- Creation of a Daytime Parking District in the West End to restrict BRAC employees from parking on residential streets.
- Protection of the Winkler Botanical Preserve.
Mr. Dexter served as Chairman since the inception of this advisory body in February 2009. The residents of the City of Alexandria owes much gratitude to Dave for his services.
BRAC-133 Related Upcoming Public Meetings
BRAC-133 Advisory Group Meeting Materials
- February 15, 2012 BRAC-133 Advisory Group Meeting (Final meeting)
- January 18, 2012 BRAC-133 Advisory Group Meeting
- December 14, 2011 BRAC-133 Advisory Group Meeting
- November 16, 2011 BRAC-133 Advisory Group Meeting was cancelled.
- October 19, 2011 BRAC-133 Advisory Group Meeting
- September 21, 2011 BRAC-133 Advisory Group Meeting
- September 7, 2011 BRAC-133 Advisory Group Meeting
- THERE WILL BE NO AUGUST MEETING
- July 20, 2011 BRAC-133 Advisory Group Meeting
- June 15, 2011 BRAC-133 Advisory Group Meeting
- May 18, 2011 BRAC-133 Advisory Group Meeting
- April 27, 2011 BRAC-133 Advisory Group Meeting
- April 13, 2011 BRAC-133 Ad Hoc committee Meeting
- March 16, 2011 BRAC-133 Ad Hoc Meeting
- March 16, 2011 BRAC-133 Advisory Group Meeting
- February 16, 2011 BRAC-133 Advisory Group Meeting
- January 19, 2011 BRAC-133 Advisory Group Meeting
- No meeting was held in December
- November 17, 2010 BRAC-133 Advisory Group Meeting
- October 20, 2010 BRAC-133 Advisory Group Meeting
- September 15, 2010 BRAC-133 Advisory Group Meeting