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By KELLY HANNON
A group of Stafford and Prince William supervisors want the Marine Corps to extend a public comment period on a BRAC report so the counties have additional time to respond.
"We just can't be expected to have one short meeting and turn around our comments to you," said Mark Dudenhefer, a Stafford supervisor who co-chairs the Quantico Growth Management Committee.
The committee asked for a 60-day extension from the Sept. 4 deadline.
The request was made after Marine Corps representatives presented the findings of a 308-page Environmental Impact Statement at the Stafford County Government Center last night.
The statement delved into how roads, the environment and the community could be impacted by 3,000 jobs moving to the base by 2011. The move was ordered in 2005 by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC). The shift will centralize the military's investigative agencies.
Last night's presentation emphasized transportation.
Interstate 95 and U.S. 1 bisect the base, and the BRAC jobs are expected to be located west of I-95.
Conditions at base gates at rush hour are already considered "unacceptable," according to the statement.
Prince William Supervisor Maureen Caddigan said there is "tremendous frustration" among residents who live near the base about U.S. 1 traffic from vehicles attempting to pass through the gates at rush hour.
"Seeing it every day, it's a nightmare right now," Caddigan said.
John Rosewarne, BRAC coordinator for Quantico Marine Corps Base, summarized suggested improvements. Widening Russell Road will be necessary from U.S. 1 west to the potential job sites, he said. Also, traffic signals are recommended for intersections along Russell Road, particularly at interstate and U.S. 1 entrances and exits.
The Marine Corps predicts more new workers will live north of the base than south of the base. It is working with the Virginia Department of Transportation to widen the I-95 southbound exit ramp at Exit 148, and the I-95 northbound on-ramp at the same exit.
Since these projects will improve base roads, the military will pay for the work.
The military is not planning to pay for improvements to Stafford County roads. Additional turn lanes and some signal changes are needed at Onville and Garrisonville roads, and Telegraph Road and U.S. 1, according to the statement.
Cord Sterling, a Commonwealth Transportation Board member from Stafford, estimated those improvements could cost $20 million.
The military will pay for civilian road improvements if the military's actions cause a 100 percent increase in traffic--a doubling--within two years.
Quantico's statement shows Onville and Telegraph roads do not meet these standards.
But Stafford Supervisor Paul Milde contested the military's calculations.
Rosewarne said the traffic model deducts growth that would've occurred by 2011 without the BRAC jobs.
Milde asked for the calculations to be done without that deduction, to look at total increases.
Sterling expressed hope for cooperation. He said there may be flexibility regarding the 100 percent standard. The requirement for traffic to double in two years before funding becomes available is a guideline, not a law, Sterling said.
"I think we can work together," he said.Kelly Hannon: 540/374-5436
The Base Realignment and Closure Commission recommended moving nearly 3,000 jobs to Quantico by 2011. The base, in a draft impact study, has learned a few things about the move:
The jobs will be located in buildings to be constructed west of Interstate 95.
Base access points operate at "unacceptable" levels at rush hour.
Russell Road should be widened to four lanes between U.S. 1 and the job sites west of I-95.
New turn lanes and signal changes are needed at two intersections in Stafford, off base, at Onville Road and Garrisonville Road, and U.S. 1 and Telegraph Road.
Incoming workers could add 4,300 to 7,000 adults to the area and 850 to 1,400 children, if family sizes follow the national average. The higher numbers are possible if Quantico adds 2,000 jobs