Click for next page ( 12


The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 11
2 Case studies t his chapter presents case studies involving six bases where BRAC 2005 decisions and other military actions are affecting or will significantly affect traffic congestion in the surrounding communities. The commit- tee selected these cases because of their diverse circumstances, projected impacts on civil transportation networks, and gaps in funding to address the problems created. Four of them are in metropolitan areas, one is in a medium-sized city, and one is in a more rural setting. The committee did not examine traffic impacts and funding gaps for installations other than these six case studies. As discussed in the first section of this chapter, personnel increases at three bases in the Washington, D.C., greater metropolitan area will cause substantial traffic congestion for the region’s transportation system. The second section describes how personnel growth at Joint Base Lewis– McChord in Washington State is already having considerable impacts on I-5 in the Olympia–Seattle corridor. As detailed in the third section, Eglin Air Force Base in Florida is causing major problems for surround- ing development because of military personnel growth and the state’s concurrency law, which limits development when infrastructure service levels decline below an acceptable level. In the final section, at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas, the state and local communities developed a unique approach to addressing traffic congestion in anticipation of personnel growth at the base. NatioNal Capital RegioN Military mission growth at Fort Belvoir (Virginia), National Naval Medi- cal Center (Maryland), and Fort Meade (Maryland) will have significant negative impacts on transportation across the National Capital Region (NCR). The regional transportation system is already strained under existing traffic volumes, with severe congestion and travel delays being experienced during peak hours. NCR is rated as the second worst metro- politan area for travel time delay nationwide (Schrank and Lomax 2009). Adding tens of thousands of commuters to already congested conditions implies that conditions can only worsen. 11

OCR for page 11
FedeRal FuNdiNg oF tRaNspoRtatioN impRovemeNts iN BRaC Cases Fort Belvoir, virginia Fort Belvoir is a single base that includes three noncontiguous geographic areas located in Northern Virginia (Figure 2). It is the single largest employer in Fairfax County, and after BRAC consolidations are completed will house more workers than the Pentagon. The Main Post is located in southern Fairfax County close to the Prince William County line a few miles south of where I-95 connects with the Washington, D.C., beltway (I-495). The former Engineer Proving Grounds, renamed Fort Belvoir North, is located about 2 mi northwest of the Main Post, separated from the Main Post by the I-95 corridor. The Mark Center is located about 8 mi due north of the Main Post in Alexandria on I-395 inside the beltway.1 Although a single base, the components of Fort Belvoir have different transportation issues, which are treated separately below. Published estimates of the num- ber of personnel being added to Fort Belvoir vary; the deputy base com- mander reported to the committee that BRAC and other military initiatives will increase personnel from about 24,000 to about 43,500 (Moffatt 2010). These actions will add about 19,500 workers and travelers to Northern Virginia’s crowded transportation facilities. The new hospital on Fort Belvoir’s Main Post will add even more workers, visitors, and traffic. Main Post and Fort Belvoir North Description The Main Post and Fort Belvoir North are currently home to multiple military units employing about 24,000 military, civilian, and contract workers within an approximately 13.5-mi2 area that includes 160 mi of roads and about 1,350 buildings (Fort Belvoir 2009). Access to the Main Post and Fort Belvoir North is mainly by I-95 and the Fairfax County Parkway for Fort Belvoir North and, for the Main Post, U.S. Route 1 (Richmond Highway). Route 1 is a divided, four-lane highway with frequent traffic signals and considerable development along parallel access roads. The Main Post is interlaced with arterial roads, such as Telegraph Road and Beulah Street–Woodlawn Road, that provide access to the Post’s seven gates. In contrast, Fort Belvoir North will depend on the Fairfax County Parkway for access once the site is completed. Transit service in the area is limited. The closest Metro station is roughly 7.2 mi from the center of the Main Post (Moffatt 2010). Com- muter rail stations (for service originating south of Fort Belvoir) range between 7.2 and 4.1 mi from the Main Post. (The Metro and commuter rail station are considerably closer to Fort Belvoir North.) A driving distance, including on roads accessing I-95 and I-395, of 13.4 mi. 1 12

OCR for page 11
FiguRe 2 Fort Belvoir, virginia.

OCR for page 11
FedeRal FuNdiNg oF tRaNspoRtatioN impRovemeNts iN BRaC Cases Projected impact of BraC Additions to the Main Post include more than $2 billion in new facilities that exceed 3 million square feet, one- third of which is for the Dewitt Army Community Hospital on the Main Post that will be about the same size as Walter Reed Army Hospital.2 Fort Belvoir North is adding a $1.8 billion office complex of 2.4 million square feet to house the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency. As a result of the BRAC 2005 recommendation, along with other growth at the installation, employment at Fort Belvoir’s Main Post and Fort Belvoir North will grow to 36,000 by 2011, adding roughly 13,000 travelers to Northern Virginia’s already congested transportation network. Daily visi- tors to the Community Hospital on the Main Post will also add to traffic, although not all these trips will occur in the peak period. Many contrac- tors serving Fort Belvoir are expected to locate near the base and contrib- ute to this concentration of activities. Problems identified to Date Growth at the Main Post and Fort Belvoir North poses a challenge for Fairfax County because the base is located in an area of concentrated development in southern Fairfax County (DoD 2009). Fairfax County, a fast-growing region, has added more than 13,000 business establishments and 227,000 jobs since 1990, and its 1,000,000 residents make it the most populous NCR jurisdiction. It is home to half of the metropolitan area’s Fortune 500 companies. Fairfax County, along with other Northern Virginia jurisdictions, relies on the Commonwealth to fund capital improvements on state routes, but over the last 2 decades it has been unable to keep up with the growth in travel demand.3 The National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGIA) will become the sole occupant of Fort Belvoir North, and, in doing so, will consoli- date about 8,500 personnel currently working in Bethesda, Maryland (a distance of about 29 mi that would require about 1 h and 20 min in traffic); Reston, Virginia (a distance of about 29 mi that would require BRAC 2005 closes the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Many patients who would have been 2 treated at Walter Reed will be treated at the new Community Hospital at Fort Belvoir. Like some states, the Commonwealth of Virginia is responsible for most roads (other than residential 3 streets) within its borders. Northern Virginia has long struggled with the Commonwealth to receive funding for the area commensurate with its contributions in motor fuel and other transportation taxes. It previously won approval from the state legislature to tax itself for transportation improvements, but the law was later struck down as in violation of the state constitution. On December 14, 2010, Governor McDonnell announced a wide-ranging and complex set of statewide transportation initia- tives, including greater reliance on bond financing and tolling of Interstates, but provided few details about specific projects. Projects serving NCR bases were not among the top priorities identified, but high-occupancy toll (HOT) lane projects were supported on I-95, I-395, and the Virginia portion of I-495. (Such projects could improve access to Fort Belvoir, but earlier litigation initiated by Arlington County has complicated the Virginia HOT-lane initiative.) Northern Virginia would also receive a greater share of sales tax revenues dedicated to transportation. 14

OCR for page 11
Case studies about 1 h in traffic); and the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. (a distance of about 21 mi that would require 44 min in traffic). Workers residing in Maryland and now working at the Bethesda or Reston site will face significantly longer commutes, with limited transit options. Shuttles will be provided on a frequent cycle between the new NGIA location and the nearest Metro station and adjacent commuter rail station. Road and transit access to the Main Post and Fort Belvoir North is poor in peak periods. The main routes serving the base—I-95, I-395, and I-495—are among the busiest and most congested in the country (DoD 2009). According to the Fairfax community profile prepared for the Office of Economic Adjustment (OEA), The Fort Belvoir BRAC action will have significant adverse impacts on the region’s transportation system, but especially Fairfax County’s primary and secondary road network. . . . These adverse impacts are especially significant along Richmond Highway (U.S. Route 1), as it bisects the Main Post. . . . Additionally, Fairfax County’s second- ary roads surrounding [the Main Post and Fort Belvoir North] will experience severe congestion, particularly during peak periods. This includes increases to delay times, queuing lengths, volume/capacity ratios (V/C) and overall degradation of the level of service (LOS) at numerous intersections. (DoD 2009, p. 50) Deputy Garrison Commander Mark Moffatt reported to the committee that it can take 45 min to travel 1 mi in and around the Main Post during peak periods. Shuttles to the transit station 7.2 mi from the Main Post require 18 to 20 min in the peak and considerably longer in the off peak. actions taken to Date to address identified Problems The environ- mental impact statement (EIS) for Fort Belvoir focused on facilities on the base and on improving access to the base (Army Corp of Engineers 2007). It recommended construction of an access control point with a vehicle inspection station, vehicle turnarounds, security lighting, a backup genera- tor, a two-lane access road with sidewalks and bike paths, street lighting, drainage, a traffic signal, and Richmond Highway (U.S. Route 1) left and right turns. (As of this writing, the project is on hold, awaiting funding.) If this project is not carried out, the level of service on Route 1 will be such that there will be a breakdown in traffic flow, resulting in extreme conges- tion during peak periods (Moffatt 2010). Fairfax County has obtained some financial assistance for BRAC: more than $4 million for BRAC-related spot transportation improvements; U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) grants to support BRAC-related studies 15

OCR for page 11
FedeRal FuNdiNg oF tRaNspoRtatioN impRovemeNts iN BRaC Cases and several planning positions; and $60 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 funds provided for the Fairfax County Parkway, which will give direct access to Fort Belvoir North from I-95.4 The Com- monwealth has provided approximately $280 million in transportation- related funding (DoD 2009). Several road improvement projects in and around the Main Post and Fort Belvoir North will ease congestion on arterial and secondary roads. For security reasons, a road that formerly bisected Fort Belvoir North was closed and alternate routes were improved for traffic rerouted around the facility.5 In recognition that capital improvements to roads and transit ser- vices off the base would not be commensurate with projected needs, the Main Post and Fort Belvoir North are instituting aggressive transporta- tion demand management programs. Although the Main Post has ample parking, Fort Belvoir North will provide parking for only 60% of the new employees. The base has proposed running shuttles from the gates to commuter rail and Metro stations and operating an internal shuttle within the base perimeter. Carpools and vanpools will be organized, up to 35% of workers will work on alternate schedules, and the Main Post will exercise some form of parking management (Moffatt 2010). remaining Problems Efforts to alleviate the negative impacts of BRAC on transportation facilities are being planned for implementation at the Main Post and Fort Belvoir North. However, the individual efforts vary widely with regard to the level of success (or anticipated success) of their implementation. Traffic As noted, Fort Belvoir has developed a traffic management plan to reduce single-occupancy vehicle (SOV) trips to the Main Post and Fort Belvoir North. Whereas such plans can make valuable contributions in a congested setting, this plan appears to be unrealistic, with the implica- tion that more driving will occur than was projected. Even if SOV goals are achieved, significant additional trips are projected to occur. The goal of reducing SOV trips to a 60% mode share at Fort Belvoir North is ambitious. For metropolitan areas, in general, SOVs account for 75% of work trips, a figure that declines to 67.5% only in central cities with good transit access (Pisarski 2006). Suburbs within metro areas have an 80% SOV share of work trips, and 90% or more would be more typi- The $190 million project combines funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, 4 Fairfax County, and the Commonwealth of Virginia. Funding was provided through the Defense Access Roads program. 5 16

OCR for page 11
Case studies cal of the outlying area where the Main Post and Fort Belvoir North are located. Transit A major complication in making public transit work for military bases is the requirement that patrons undergo a security check at the base entrance. For practical reasons, this requirement means that tran- sit patrons would be dropped at one of the base gates and would need to take a military shuttle bus to reach their destination within the base perimeter. Requiring transfers of this nature diminishes the prospects for transit’s gaining mode share, particularly given congested conditions that autos and bus transit share in and around the Main Post. If both auto- mobile and transit users suffer the same delays, the relative advantages of using transit are reduced, particularly when a transit rider must wait for a shuttle after passing through the gate. The base is proposing running frequent shuttles both to the Main Post gates and within the base, but funding for this service has not been secured. Costs At least 30 major highway or transit projects have been identified as necessary to serve Fort Belvoir (including the Mark Center discussed next), only 10 of which have some funding and only four of which are fully funded (DoD 2009, p. 53). The estimated capital costs of unfunded BRAC-related transportation projects for the three Fort Belvoir facilities range from $626 million estimated by the Army to $1.9 billion estimated by Fairfax County and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) (DoD 2009). The latter estimate includes approximately $600 million to extend Metro to Fort Belvoir as well as road improvements not included in the Army’s estimate. The implication of these remaining unresolved problems is that an already heavily congested area will become even more so when 13,000 additional employees, as well as hospital patients and contractors, are added to the traffic mix. The Mark Center Description An office complex is being developed at the Mark Cen- ter for 6,400 DoD personnel (Figure 3) (VDOT 2010). The complex consists of two multistory office towers—a 15-story building and a 17-story building—two parking garages, a public transportation center, and ancillary support facilities. It is being constructed as a result of the Fort Belvoir EIS, which found that planned personnel were too numer- ous for Fort Belvoir North to accommodate (Army Corps of Engineers 2007). The Army purchased the 15.9-acre site in early December 2008. 17

OCR for page 11
FedeRal FuNdiNg oF tRaNspoRtatioN impRovemeNts iN BRaC Cases FiguRe 3 mark Center, alexandria, virginia. Two other locations included in the review had Metro access, whereas the Mark Center has none (NCPC 2009); the committee was informed that the Army chose the Mark Center, despite the dismay expressed by local and Virginia officials, because it could complete the transaction and move personnel within the BRAC 2005 deadline of September 2011. The Mark Center abuts I-395 at Seminary Road in Alexandria, which connects with I-395. North Beauregard Street also provides access to the site via Mark Center Drive. In the vicinity of the Mark Center, Seminary Road is mostly a six-lane divided arterial with a posted speed limit of 35 mph (Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. 2009). The King Street Metro station, located about 4 mi west of the Mark Center on Seminary Road, has infrequent existing bus service to the Mark Center. Shuttles are proposed to and from the Pentagon and the King Street Metro station operating two to four times per hour (Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. 2009). Projected impact of BraC The Mark Center development will add 6,400 travelers to the most congested corridor in the NCR. DoD person- nel will be relocated to the Mark Center from leased space in Northern 18

OCR for page 11
Case studies Virginia, where employees have access to Metro service within easy walk- ing distance of the site. Increased auto trips are forecast to significantly degrade service on Seminary Road and I-395, despite traffic mitigation and intersection improvement measures required of the developer as part of the site plan approval process. Problems identified to Date A number of traffic studies have been prepared to evaluate the traffic impacts of the Mark Center. A review by PB for VDOT of previous studies prepared for the City of Alexandria and the project developer reports that conditions will be worse than was projected in these earlier studies. PB finds that five of the seven existing signalized intersections on Seminary Road operate currently at level-of-service (LOS) D or better and two operate at LOS E (PB 2009).6 PB projects that for the p.m. peak hour in 2011 when the center opens, four intersections will operate at LOS D or better, two will operate at LOS F and one will oper- , ate at LOS E. PB’s 2011 traffic simulations estimate that queues for north- bound and southbound morning traffic exiting I-395 at Seminary Road will back up onto I-395, which already operates in stop-and-go conditions during the peak period (VDOT 2010). During the p.m. peak, traffic exit- ing the Mark Center and headed for I-395 will cause significant delays on Seminary Road. A subsequent traffic simulation for the year 2013 prepared for Alexandria of a larger number of intersections serving the Mark Center projects a similar decline in LOS on Seminary Road and North Beauregard Street (Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. 2009). actions taken to Date to address identified Problems After the U.S. Army decided to purchase the Mark Center site, the master plan for the center was revised to reduce traffic impacts. Allowed parking spaces were reduced by 30% below what the City had approved. The Army also proposes traffic management measures that reduce trips by 12% more than required. DoD is planning programs to promote the use of public transpor- tation and ridesharing and carpooling. In addition, telecommuting is expected to continue to grow in popularity and usage, which will fur- ther reduce vehicle trips. Frequent shuttle services will be provided at the Mark Center that will connect to the nearest Metro station and the Pentagon. Studies for Fort Belvoir of existing traffic patterns indicate that LOS definitions of the flow rate of traffic vary across jurisdictions. Many definitions are based on the 6 Highway Capacity Manual (TRB 2000) or the Geometric Design of Highways and Streets (AASHTO), which list the following levels of service: A = free flow, B = reasonably free flow, C = stable flow, D = approaching unstable flow, E = unstable flow, and F = forced or breakdown flow. 19

OCR for page 11
FedeRal FuNdiNg oF tRaNspoRtatioN impRovemeNts iN BRaC Cases these services could achieve vehicle trip reductions of nearly 30%.7 The Mark Center project has the goal of reducing SOV trip counts by 40%. To accomplish this reduction, mode splits are projected of 60% SOV; 12% carpooling and ridesharing; 5% transit; 20% shuttle bus; and 3% walk, bike, and other. PB’s analysis of the Transportation Improvement and Management Program concludes that it is “very aggressive” for its suburban location (PB 2009). remaining Problems In recognition of potentially significant con- sequences at Seminary Road and I-395, an off-ramp from I-395 to the Mark Center was considered, but environmental concerns scuttled initial proposals (Spivack 2010). Congestion on Seminary Road will apparently worsen, significantly so at the ramps connecting to I-395, and the com- mittee is unaware of planned improvements. Although the Mark Center is adding fewer travelers than the Main Post of Fort Belvoir North, they are being added into an Interstate cor- ridor that is already saturated with traffic during the peak period. Queues of traffic from the Seminary Road ramps will back up onto I-395 and compound delays for military workers as well as other travelers. The traffic management plan for the Mark Center assumes non-auto trips beyond what would be normal for its location. The Army will restrict parking to 60% of employees and proposes extensive shuttle service to the nearest Metro station and to the Pentagon. Even if this aggressive strategy is successful, however, as many as 3,800 drivers will be added to a heavily congested corridor with the potential to create severe congestion on I-395 and Seminary Road. Conclusions While the committee has done no independent analysis of the complex transportation issues being created at and around Fort Belvoir, it has examined several studies of these issues performed by competent engi- neering organizations for the several concerned public authorities. It is clear that many thousands of employees, both military and civilian, are being moved from employment centers located nearer the center of the region, with well developed highway and transit networks, to more remote locations further from the center where road and transit service is comparatively poor, where long experience has shown that competi- tive transit service is virtually impossible to achieve, and most people do and will travel in individual cars. Existing transportation facilities serving http://www.belvoirnewvision.com/files/FINAL_BRAC133_Website_Collateral[1].pdf. 7 20

OCR for page 11
Case studies the Fort Belvoir area are already overloaded and suffer severe congestion even before the new employees arrive. As discussed in Chapter 4, these changes are occurring when funds available for transportation improve- ments are inadequate and large backlogs of unfunded projects lie dor- mant on extended waiting lists. Even if funding were available, the time required to achieve planning and environmental clearances and public participation associated with new transportation facilities is outside the 2011 deadline locked into the BRAC legislation. Both military and local authorities charged with planning for these changes have been working diligently to solve these problems and have put in place some road expansions, planned new transit and shuttle ser- vices, and prepared aggressive traffic management plans. While they have found some new funds and reprioritized others, it is also clear that they have added to the long lists of unfunded transportation projects in the region. They have sounded warnings about possible dire conditions that may be on the horizon. It is not possible to accurately predict how the situation will play out during 2011 as the additional employees arrive. But it seems likely that conditions may be severe enough, especially around the Mark Center, that not only will commuters be subject to substantial new delays but also that mission accomplishment of some military units may be compromised and economic competitiveness of local businesses negatively affected. national naval MeDiCal Center, BethesDa, MarylanD Description BRAC 2005 recommended the consolidation of Walter Reed Army Medi- cal Center and National Naval Medical Center (NNMC) by 2011 into the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center at Bethesda (Figure 4).8 Patients requiring complex care who would have been treated at Walter Reed, which is being closed, will be treated at new facilities in Bethesda. Other patients will be treated at the new hospital at Fort Belvoir. Medi- cal and other specialists from the Navy, Army, and Air Force will provide medical care and technical and administrative support to military medical activities worldwide.9 NNMC, located on about 245 acres, will grow from about 8,000 employees and personnel to about 10,200, and the http://www.bethesda.med.navy.mil/professional/public_affairs/brac/Overview_Stats.aspx. Aug. 15, 8 2010. http://www.bethesda.med.navy.mil/Professional/Public_Affairs/BRAC/Master_Plan/01_Executive%20 9 Summary.pdf. 2008. 21

OCR for page 11
FedeRal FuNdiNg oF tRaNspoRtatioN impRovemeNts iN BRaC Cases ConClusion JBLM differs from other cases discussed in this report in that BRAC impacts are modest compared with the other causes of pronounced growth in military personnel at the base. The military presence has been growing since the 1990s, as have the surrounding economy and population. The highway network serving the base, heavily dependent on I-5, operates at capacity; alternatives for expanding I-5 in the base corridor—in the range of $1 billion—are not funded. The economic costs to the state and region of congestion on I-5 result from growth in military and civilian demand, albeit these two trends are surely driven by the large and rapid expansion of JBLM. Demand management measures are already in use for the civilian workforce at JBLM, for which carpooling is common. Demand manage- ment measures implemented by the military may help, although the com- mittee has not investigated the feasibility of such measures for an operating base of the size and complexity of JBLM. In any event, I-5, a critical link in the transportation network upon which JBLM is almost totally dependent appears to be at the brink of expanded hours of stop-and-go operations that will compound delays and safety problems because of backups and loss of lane capacity on the Interstate. egliN aiR FoRCe Base, FloRida DesCriPtion Eglin Air Force Base (AFB) is the largest AFB in the world (Figure 7). It encompasses three military installations, collectively known as the Eglin Complex: Eglin AFB, the host unit for the 96th Air Base Wing; Hurlburt Field, headquarters to Air Force Special Operations Command; and Duke Field, which houses the 919th Special Operations Wing, the only special operations unit in the Air Force Reserve.22 Eglin AFB, Hurlburt Field, and Duke Field are located in Okaloosa County. The total land area reserved for the Eglin complex represents nearly half of Okaloosa County and takes up significant parts of the adja- cent Santa Rosa and Walton Counties. Eglin AFB and Hurlburt Field are staffed by about 16,500 military personnel. Eglin also has 4,500 civilian workers. The three surrounding counties of the Eglin complex have a com- bined population of about 353,000 (DoD 2009). The Eglin complex accounts for more than 34% of the economy in northwest Florida and http://www.florida-edc.org/defense.htm. 22 36

OCR for page 11
FiguRe 7 eglin air Force Base, okaloosa County, Florida.

OCR for page 11
FedeRal FuNdiNg oF tRaNspoRtatioN impRovemeNts iN BRaC Cases more than 70% of the economy in Okaloosa County.23 Eglin AFB and Duke Field are accessed primarily by SR-85, a four-lane road that is Okaloosa County’s only north–south corridor (Figure 7). SR-85 connects to the north of the base with I-10, which traverses the northern border of the land area reserved for the base. Eglin AFB can also be accessed from the east via SR-397–SR-20. Hurlburt Field is accessed by US-98, which traverses the southern end of Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, and Walton Counties. ProjeCteD iMPaCt oF BraC BRAC recommended relocating the Army 7th Special Forces Group (air- borne) and the joint strike fighter (JSF) initial training center to Okaloosa County. As a result, Eglin will grow by an estimated 6,100 relocating people associated with the 7th Special Forces Group (2,200 military, 1,500 spouses, and 2,400 children) and an estimated 4,900 relocating people associated with the JSF (2,300 JSF personnel and contractors, 1,200 spouses, and 1,400 children). Most of these personnel will be stationed at facilities accessed by SR-85. ProBleMs iDentiFieD to Date Eglin AFB will take on additional missions and personnel because of BRAC decisions. As a result, traffic on the primary artery serving the base, SR-85, will become significantly more congested. Additional per- sonnel associated with BRAC will cause a fall from LOS C to LOS F The . lead consultant team assisting the region’s growth management process concluded that SR-85 would require another lane to serve the new demand.24 Growth in demand on US-98 is also a concern. US-98 is the primary artery for access to Hurlburt Field from Santa Rosa. Usage levels are such that “any traffic incident on US-98 has the ability to tie up traffic for miles, taking hours to clear” (DoD 2009, p. 40). Florida law requires every comprehensive growth management plan to contain a capital improvement element addressing the need for and location of public facilities, principles for their construction, any needed extension or increase in their capacity, and standards to ensure their availability and acceptable LOS.25 The concurrency provisions of Florida’s Growth Management Act require adequate public facilities before new http://www.florida-edc.org/defense.htm. 23 www.co.okaloosa.fl.us. 2010. 24 www.law.ufl.edu. 2010. 25 38

OCR for page 11
Case studies development can occur. All comprehensive plans across the state must include concurrency for roads, sewer and solid waste service, drainage, potable water, parks and recreation, and mass transit, where applicable. The basis for adequate public facilities, the concurrency requirement, is LOS standards. As long as SR-85 is inadequate, because corrections are not made as a result of the base expansion, additional development affecting SR-85 in Okaloosa County to serve Eglin AFB is prohibited. aCtions taken to Date to aDDress iDentiFieD ProBleMs To address the anticipated problems with SR-85, a Transportation Invest- ment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant application (funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) was submitted for funding for road, interchange, and park-and-ride improve- ments (Okaloosa County 2009). The total cost of these improvements would be $420 million, with the TIGER grant covering $298 million and the County and Mid-Bay Bridge Authority covering the balance. reMaining ProBleMs At the time of this writing, a TIGER grant had not been awarded to Oka- loosa County, implying that significant congestion will occur on SR-85 as new personnel arrive, which will put a damper on future economic development in the corridor associated with the base. ConClusion The expansion of Eglin AFB will significantly congest the only north– south state road in Okaloosa County and may further disrupt travel on an east–west U.S. route that is important to the tricounty area’s tourist econ- omy. The base is certainly important to the region and the expansion will make it even more important, although the state’s concurrency law will impede further economic development until the highway is improved. This effect could well be harmful to the military’s mission because addi- tional off-base housing and new business development to support base expansion cannot be approved until SR-85 is expanded. Expansion of Eglin AFB is the immediate cause of the congestion problem on SR-85. Unlike the NCR capacity problems, expansion of SR-85 is possible. Okaloosa County is relatively sparsely populated compared with denser development in metropolitan areas, the needed right-of-way presumably 39

OCR for page 11
FedeRal FuNdiNg oF tRaNspoRtatioN impRovemeNts iN BRaC Cases could be acquired from the military, and capacity expansion would not face significant public opposition. Funding appears to be the main problem. FoRt Bliss, texas DesCriPtion Fort Bliss in northeast El Paso is the fastest-growing U.S. Army installation in the United States (Figure 8). It is home to diverse organizations, such as the 1st Armored Division, the 32nd Army Air and Missile Defense Com- mand, the Future Force Integration Directorate, the William Beaumont Army Medical Center, the U.S. Army Sergeants Major Academy, and the German Air Force Command Air Defense Center. The base has grown by 2,000 to 3,000 soldiers annually since 2006, for a 2009 total of roughly 19,000 soldiers, 29,000 dependents, 3,000 civilian workers, and 2,000 private contractors. The Fort Bliss cantonment area is in west Texas in the city limits of El Paso. The remainder of its contiguous acreage sprawls across portions of Texas and New Mexico. Fort Bliss’s 1.12 million acres is larger than the state of Rhode Island. The base is a primary economic engine for greater El Paso and its 730,000 residents. Located in the western tip of Texas near the Mexico border, Fort Bliss is served east–west by I-10, US-180, and US-62; north–south by US-54 and Purple Heart Boulevard–SR-375; and by several city and base roads that intersect with these major routes. Before base expansion, greater El Paso experienced net outmigra- tion of adult population due to the decline in the garment industry in the 1990s, losing as many as 8,900 people in some years (DoD 2009, p. 69). ProjeCteD iMPaCt oF BraC BRAC 2005 adds about 11,000 troops to Fort Bliss. Because of BRAC and other Army initiatives under way (Grow the Army, Army Campaign Plan, and Army Modularity Force) Fort Bliss will continue to grow through 2012. By then, about 33,500 soldiers and 48,000 family members will reside at Fort Bliss, and 6,000 civilian staff and 3,000 contractors will work there (DoD 2009, p. 69). The military population will have tripled between 2005 and 2012. ProBleMs iDentiFieD to Date In anticipation of BRAC 2005, then post commander Major General Stan Green worked with a variety of elected officials, local governments, and 40

OCR for page 11
FiguRe 8 Fort Bliss, texas.

OCR for page 11
FedeRal FuNdiNg oF tRaNspoRtatioN impRovemeNts iN BRaC Cases other groups to complete a capacity study that would allow the post to determine possible areas of concern if new troops were stationed in El Paso.26 Although multifamily housing was identified as the primary concern, transportation also was identified as an issue (DoD 2009). About $667 million in local interchange and highway improvements were identified as needed to serve the projected influx of soldiers, depen- dents, and civilian workers. With regard to passenger delay caused by traffic congestion, El Paso is ranked 62nd of 90 urban areas in the Texas Transportation Institute’s urban mobility rating, which implies a serious problem but not the kind of peak-period traffic congestion observed in larger metropolitan areas.27 aCtions taken to Date to aDDress iDentiFieD ProBleMs In March 2007, the El Paso City Council created the Camino Real Regional Mobility Authority (CRRMA). Through CRRMA, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), the El Paso Metropolitan Plan- ning Organization, and the city of El Paso identified transportation proj- ects to be pursued in the coming years. In addition to the typical bond financing initiatives, the city and elected officials worked with TxDOT on a unique funding approach in constructing Spur 601 (known as the Inner Loop), a $367 million high- way project that will ease access to the post and relieve congestion in east and northeast El Paso (Figure 8). The 7.4-mi project will connect west- ward to US-54 (Patriot Freeway) at Fred Wilson Avenue and eastward to the Purple Heart Memorial Highway. TxDOT entered into an agreement with a private firm to develop the state’s first private-sector “pass-through” financing agreement. The firm will finance, design, and build Spur 601 at a cost of $367 million. In pass-through tolling, motorists pay nothing. Vehicles are counted and the state reimburses the private firm over several years according to that number.28 Construction of the interchange between Fort Bliss and Biggs Army Airfield at Fred Wilson Avenue and Airport Road will help relieve congestion that has plagued the area for years; $10 million in local funds is being used to improve connections between local roads and improved base gates (DoD 2009, p. 75). www.bliss.army.mil. 26 http://mobility.tamu.edu/ums/congestion_data/national_congestion_tables.stm. Accessed Dec. 14, 27 2010. http://www.jdabrams.com/. Aug. 17, 2010. 28 42

OCR for page 11
Case studies reMaining ProBleMs Although many of El Paso’s most serious transportation issues are addressed with the Spur 601 project, the city also lists roughly $300 million in addi- tional needed highway improvements to serve the base, for which it is seek- ing alternative sources of funding (DoD 2009, p. 75). ConClusion Although needed transportation improvements remain in and around El Paso, Fort Bliss provides a counterexample to other cases examined in this chapter. A significant new segment of highway needed to support base expansion was identified early in the BRAC 2005 round, and the state and community found a way to fund the project, complete environmental reviews, and begin construction before all new soldiers and dependents arrive in 2012. The project is slated to be completed in winter 2011. The committee does not have complete information about how this new project came about, but clearly El Paso recognized the importance of the base to its economy. The proactive efforts of a former base com- mander helped bring the community together to focus on winning mili- tary growth in the BRAC 2005 round. The fact that El Paso is a relatively small city developed with a relatively low population density and an economy dependent on the base certainly made it easier to add highway capacity than it is for densely developed metropolitan areas, where plans for new roads are often contentious. Moreover, in this case some of the land needed is actually base property, further facilitating the highway project’s success given the base’s support for it. The state also commit- ted major resources for a new project without asking for new sources of federal aid. Through the financing mechanism chosen by the state, how- ever, future-year revenue streams provided through traditional federal transportation funding mechanisms have been committed to this project, which will diminish the state’s ability to address future capital needs in other areas of the state. Most states rely exclusively on “pay-as-you go” funding instead of bonding because it usually has a lower cost to tax- payers. Even so, the case shows what can happen to accommodate base expansion when a community and state are committed to support it. CoNClusioNs While the committee examined only six base expansions, it is clear that a combination of BRAC consolidations, other sources of military growth at these bases, and personnel returning from two wars is causing severe transportation problems at these locations. In large metropolitan regions, 43

OCR for page 11
FedeRal FuNdiNg oF tRaNspoRtatioN impRovemeNts iN BRaC Cases the military’s objective of improving security by moving personnel to remote locations directly conflicts with regional objectives of reducing congestion and improving air quality by increasing densities in central areas where transit service can be competitive. The September 2011 deadline for completing all BRAC moves required in the BRAC 2005 leg- islation is difficult to reconcile with the much longer time period needed to plan for and implement large transportation improvements in major regions (discussed in Chapter 3). As described in Chapter 4, the gap between transportation needs and funding has been growing for decades and most large areas have long lists of unfunded projects. This problem has been exacerbated dur- ing the current economic slowdown as tax revenues plummeted and few funds are available for unanticipated needs. DoD’s legislation, funding sources, and practice tend to focus primarily on problems within bases and less on surrounding areas. As described in Chapter 4, Defense Access Roads program funds available for off-base transportation cannot be used for transit services or demand management activities, which can help mitigate short-term problems. The combination of these factors has led to a near perfect storm of problems that will play out in a number of areas over the next few years, as illustrated in the cases reviewed here. Although the committee cannot predict the consequences, congestion could be sufficiently severe to negatively affect military efficiency and business competitiveness as personnel cannot get to work within acceptable commute times. In contrast, one case review showed that in smaller jurisdictions where transportation improvement plans are less controversial and where individuals on the military and civilian sides have effectively worked together to anticipate and address capacity problems, it is possible to find ways to accommodate anticipated growth. ReFeReNCes Batcheldor, M. 2010a. State Will Help Ease Traffic Near Base. The Olympian. Sept. 25. Batcheldor, M. 2010b, Base Plans New Entrance, The Olympian. Sept. 29. Defense Communities 360. 2010. Legislative Fix Allowing MD., VA. to Keep BRC Funds Unravels. Association of Defense Communities, Washington, D.C. Oct. 10. Flanagan, J. 2010. Gridlock: 5,000 New Workers to Commute to Fort Meade by 2011. Corridor, Inc., Baltimore, Md. Sept. 21. Fort Belvoir. 2009. Information Fact Sheet: Fort Belvoir BRAC 2005 Overview. http://www.stayarlington.com/docs/brac/jan10/BRACOverview.pdf. Accessed Dec. 1, 2010. Gantz, S. 2010. State Gives Timeline for Work on BRAC Intersection Projects. The Gazette. December 29, 2010, p. 1. 44

OCR for page 11
Case studies Moffatt, M. 2010. Traffic Control Management Plan (TCMP) for Fort Belvoir, VA. Pre- sentation to Mount Vernon Transportation Council, Mount Vernon, Va. July 6. Montgomery County, Maryland. 2009. Urban Mobility Report 2009. Montgomery County, Md. National Capital Planning Commission. 2009. Fort Belvoir BRAC 133 Project, Mark Center Development (Washington Headquarters Services) Mark Center Drive at Seminary Road Alexandria, Virginia. Submitted by Department of the Army, Approval of Concept, Location, and Final Foundation Plans. Feb. 5. National Capital Planning Commission. 2010. National Naval Medical Center Replacement of Gates 1 and 2. Staff Recommendation. File No. 7018. Aug. 26. National Naval Medical Center. 2008. Transportation Management Plan. NNMC, Bethesda, Md. November. Okaloosa County. 2009. Application for Multimodal Capacity Improvements Along Florida State Road 85 Corridor at Eglin Air Force Base. Okaloosa County, Fla. Sept. 15. PB. 2009. Mark Center (BRAC) Transportation Study. Task Order 7. Virginia Department of Transportation Statewide Traffic Engineering Limited Services Contract—Year 3. Technical Memorandum. April. Penrose, D. 2010. Joint Base Lewis–McChord–Growth Coordination. Federal Fund- ing of Transportation Improvements Related to BRAC Case Study. Presentation to TRB BRAC Committee, Woods Hole, Mass. July 26. Perrenot, S. T. 2010. Joint Base Lewis–McChord. Presentation to TRB, Director of Public Works, Joint Base Lewis–McChord, Woods Hole, Mass. July 26. Pierce County. 2010. County Collaborates with State, JBLM to Ease I-5 Congestion. Pierce County Press Release. Pierce County, Fla. Oct. 1. Pisarski, A. 2006. Commuting in America III: The Third National Report on Com- muting Patterns and Trends. Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, Washington, D.C., Table 3-22. Rice, B. 2010. Fort George G. Meade. Presentation to TRB, BRAC Committee, BRAC Project Officer. Washington, D.C. April 8. Schrank, D., and T. Lomax. 2009. 2009 Urban Mobility Report. Texas Transporta- tion Institute, Texas A&M University System, College Station. July. Sernovitz, D. J. 2010. Tech Firms Flock to Fort Meade for Cyber Warfare Work. Baltimore Business Journal. July 9. Spivack, M. 2010. Proposal to Delay Defense Workers’ Move to Mark Center up for Vote in Congress. The Washington Post. May 26. The News Tribune. 2010. JBLM Traffic Puts a Costly Strain on the South Sound— Joint Base Lewis–McChord Troops Back from Iraq or Afghanistan Might Think They’ve Left a War Zone Only to Face an Army of Road Warriors on Interstate 5. Oct. 1. The Olympian. 2010. All Parties Must Work Together to Resolve I-5 Congestion. Editorials. Olympia, Wash. Oct. 4. Tiron, R. 2010. Virginia, Maryland Lawmakers Want Stopgap to Fund Traffic Measures. The Hill. http://thehill.com/homenews/house/121443-virginia- maryland-lawmakers-want-stopgap-to-fund-traffic-measures. Accessed Dec. 31, 2010. 45

OCR for page 11
FedeRal FuNdiNg oF tRaNspoRtatioN impRovemeNts iN BRaC Cases U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District Final. 2007. Environmental Impact Statement for Implementation of 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Recommendations and Related Army Actions at Fort Belvoir. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fairfax, Va. June. U.S. Department of Defense, Office of Economic Adjustment. 2009. Defense Community Profiles: Partnering for Success, Installation Mission Growth, Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC). DoD, Washington, D.C. U.S. Department of the Navy. 2008. Final Environmental Impact Statement—for Activities to Implement 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Actions at National Naval Medical Center. Volume I: Main Report. Department of the Navy, Bethesda, Md. March. Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. 2009. Mark Center Transportation Study. VHB, Vienna, Va. Nov. 2. Virginia Department of Transportation. 2010. Mark Center (BRAC 133) Access Study, Operational Analysis Report. Volume 1 of 2. Feb. 8. Washington State Department of Transportation. 2010. I-5—Joint Base Lewis– McChord Transportation Analysis. WSDOT, Olympia. Summer. ResouRCes Fairfax County. 2007. Fact Sheet—Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) Projects 2007 Bond Referendum. Fairfax County, Va. Fairfax County Economic Development Authority. 2009. Fairfax County Virginia USA—Profile. Fairfax, Va. http://www.bethesda.med.navy.mil/professional/public_affairs/brac/Overview_ Stats.asp. Aug. 18, 2010. https://www.bliss.army.mil/garrison/sites/local/. Sept. 15, 2010. http://www.ci.el-paso.tx.us/econdev/fortbliss.asp. Aug. 17, 2010. http://www.co.okaloosa.fl.us/dept_pw.html/tiger/tiger_memo.pdf. Sept. 3, 2010. http://eul.army.mil/ftmeade/intro.htm. Sept. 14, 2010. http://www.florida-edc.org/defense.htm#installations. Sept. 3, 2010. http://info.lewis-mcchord.army.mil/about.htm. Aug. 20, 2010. http://www.law.ufl.edu/conservation/waterways/waterfronts/pdf/concurrency.pdf. Sept. 4, 2010. http://www.mdot.maryland.gov/Planning/BRAC/FAQs.html. Aug. 18, 2010. National Capital Planning Commission. 2010b. Mark Center Transportation Man- agement Plan. File No. 6903. Commission Actions. Sept. 2. Naval Facilities Engineering Command Washington. 2008. National Naval Medical Center Master Plan Update 2008, Attachment 1—Transportation Plan. Naval Facili- ties Engineering Command Washington, Bethesda, Md. Nov. 7. State of Maryland, Office of Lieutenant Governor. 2007. Maryland BRAC Action Plan. State of Maryland, Office of Lieutenant Governor, Annapolis. Dec. 17. Sterling, C. A. 2010. Defense Access Road Program—Time for a Change. Presenta- tion to TRB BRAC Committee, Commonwealth Transportation Board, VDOT, Richmond. April 8. 46