Washington Community Applies for BRAC Transportation Funds at Lewis-McChord
The Maryland and Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., and San Antonio may have to split up $300 million in federal funding for transportation improvements at medical facilities growing as a result of BRAC 2005 with a fourth candidate — the Tacoma, Wash., region.
The city of Lakewood, Wash., is applying for $5.7 million to upgrade an interchange that connects I-5 to Madigan Army Medical Center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, reports the News Tribune.
When Congress included the money for transportation infrastructure projects in last April’s agreement that funded the federal government through fiscal 2011, it was believed it would only help Maryland and Virginia cope with the realignment of Walter Reed Army Medical Center, and San Antonio address growth at Fort Sam Houston, where Brooke Army Medical Center has been transformed into the San Antonio Military Medical Center.
Lakewood clearly could use the funds as well, however, as a dramatic doubling in the Army population at Lewis-McChord has generated significant traffic growth outside the base. Over the past 10 years, the Army population has climbed from 16,000 to 32,000 soldiers. When you add in Air Force personnel, the installation is home to 40,000 active duty and reserve personnel.
And Madigan’s role has expanded, due to the joint basing initiative included in the last BRAC round. Madigan now is responsible for providing health care across the joint base; in fact, the Army medical center has been converted into the Madigan Healthcare System.
The funding provision assigned the task of distributing the $300 million to DOD’s Office of Economic Adjustment.