U.S Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara A. Mikulski and U.S. Congressman Chris Van Hollen and Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (all D-MD) today announced that the U.S. Defense Department will release a $40 million grant for a new pedestrian underpass at the Medical Center Metro station. This underpass will allow people to safely cross Rockville Pike between the Medical Center/NIH Metro station and Walter Reed National Military Medical Center every day.
This is the first of five grants, totaling $88.9 million, to implement State and County transportation projects that will address traffic congestion arising from the relocation of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center to Bethesda, MD.
"This funding is welcome news for the thousands of wounded warriors and their families who will use the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, as well as Montgomery County's beleaguered commuters," said Senator Cardin.
"As a delegation, we have been united in our efforts to ensure federal support for the expanded medical facility and the tens of thousands of new military and civilian jobs being brought to our state through the BRAC process. I am pleased that we will be able to provide much-needed Metro station upgrades to meet improve safety and traffic flow across Rockville Pike."
"I fought in the Senate to BRAC-proof Maryland's bases, now I am working to BRAC-ready our transportation systems. Our troops fight overseas to protect our freedom, they shouldn't have to fight traffic to get the care they've earned when they get back," said Senator Mikulski, a member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense, who fought to put the funds in the federal checkbook. "The Walter Reed National Military Center at Bethesda will be the frontline in delivering care to our wounded warriors. I am proud to partner with my Team Maryland colleagues to make BRAC a success and secure the federal funding needed to meet the increased demands on our communities."
"Bethesda is proud to be the home of the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, and this funding will help ensure that it is a truly world-class center of excellence for our brave servicemen and women and veterans," said Congressman Van Hollen. "This money will help ensure wounded warriors and their families are able to access the new facility, reduce congestion and increase safety around the base, and lessen the impact on the surrounding community."
Montgomery Country Executive Isiah Leggett added, "I am pleased that the County has been awarded this $40 million for the project to relieve congestion and improve access for military personnel and families at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center from the Medical Center Metro station in Bethesda. These funds will allow us to build new elevators to the Metrorail platform and a pedestrian underpass to get thousands of daily rail, bus and carpool commuters, pedestrians and cyclists safely across Rockville Pike. I am indebted to our Congressional delegation -- Congressman Chris Van Hollen and Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin -- for their leadership in securing these funds to help relieve congestion in the area."