Congressman Chris Van Hollen, along with U.S Senators Barbara A. Mikulski and Ben Cardin (all D-Md.), today announced the Defense Department will release $12.6 million to the Maryland Department of Transportation, State Highway Administration (SHA) to improve access to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda.
"We fought hard for the funds to ensure veterans and their families would be able to access the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and to reduce BRAC-related congestion in the surrounding community - and I'm pleased that nearly all of the grant funding has now been approved," said Congressman Van Hollen. "Our community is proud to be the home of the new Walter Reed and will work to make sure it is a world-class center of excellence for our wounded warriors."
"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, Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee which funds the Department of Defense. "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 community."
"This additional funding will make a difference 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 road upgrades to improve safety and reduce BRAC-related congestion."
Maryland SHA will manage a $33.9 million project, consisting of $8.2 million grant funds and other funding of $25.6 million, to construct the Maryland Route 355 (Rockville Pike) and West Cedar Lane/Cedar Lane intersection improvement project and pedestrian bridge improvements over Sligo Creek. SHA will also manage a $4.3 million project, consisting of $4.3 million grant funds to construct the Maryland 355 and Jones Bridge Road/Center Drive intersection improvement project. The projects improve transportation access to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Maryland. Today's grant announcements are the final of five awarded to the state of Maryland for traffic-mitigation issues surrounding the new Walter Reed.