In an article written by: Dak Hardwick and Don Buch for the Cameron Station Compass
“BRAC-133”, scheduled to be fully open and operational by September 15, 2011, will bring approximately 6,400 DOD personnel to the West End of Alexandria. As this building is owned by the federal government, it is not subject to local zoning rules and regulations. However, over the past two years, various citizens’ groups and the City of Alexandria have been working to help mitigate the impact of BRAC-133 as a consequence of its being located in a semi-residential area with a limited transportation infrastructure.
Short/Mid-Term Road Improvements — If you’ve been in the Seminary Road/Beauregard Street area recently, you’ve probably seen some ongoing road construction. The City of Alexandria is undertaking some minor road improvements, including a “triple left” from westbound Seminary onto southbound Beauregard in an effort to alleviate some of the BRAC-bound traffic. Construction of several additional improvements will begin in late winter 2011/early spring 2012 and are expected to take two to three years to complete.
BRAC Transportation Management Plan — DOD and the City of Alexandria have been working on an extensive Transportation Management Plan (TMP) that offers a variety of traffic mitigation efforts. There will be frequent peak period shuttles from five different Metro stations. That includes service between the King Street station and Mark Center every ten minutes on a service open to public ridership.
Long Term Transportation Improvements — In early February, the Virginia Secretary of Transportation announced plans to pursue a new HOV ramp from the northbound HOV lanes of I-395 to westbound Seminary Road (reversing at evening rush hours). The estimated cost of this project is approximately $80 million. Although some questions remain about the exact scope and scale of the project, the Alexandria City Council has endorsed the proposed ramp and is currently working with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to move it forward as expeditiously as reasonably possible.
As many would expect, this project may also significantly affect Real Estate Values and requirements in the Alexandria Area, most pronouncedly on the West End of the city. The demand both for homes to purchase and to rent near the new center will undoubtedly increase as this project moves forward.