The 1.4-million-square-foot Defense Department administration complex is scheduled to open in September 2011. (File photo / Army Corps of Engineers)
The Defense authorization bill that passed Congress this week drops a key provision that would have limited parking at a new Defense Department administration complex in Alexandria, Va.
Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., had inserted the language limiting parking because of concerns that the 6,400 employees commuting to the 1.4 million-square-foot Mark Center facility would increase traffic congestion in the neighborhood to intolerable levels. Moran had sought to limit parking to 1,000 spaces until a viable transportation plan is developed; the facility will have close to 3,500 spaces when complete in September.
The bill, now awaiting the president's signature, instead requires the Army to provide a plan to mitigate traffic at six key intersections around the site and to identify funding for road improvements.
"While not what we wanted, it does have the benefit of bringing the Army legally and directly into the decision-making process to mitigate the traffic situation," said Moran's chief of state, Austin Durrer, in a letter to the community.
Durrer said that Moran is looking to insert the parking cap language in 2011 legislation.
The building site, along Interstate 395 south of the Pentagon, was chosen as part of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure process.