Fort Belvoir is located in southern Fairfax County, just north of Prince William County, and is Virginia's largest single employer. With the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) action, along with other growth at the installation, 39,228 personnel are stationed at Fort Belvoir, representing more than 140 Department of Defense agencies. This growth, occurring at Main Post, North Area, and the Mark Center, creates distinct challenges for Fairfax County and its neighboring jurisdictions due to the regional nature of the impacts. The BRAC action added administrative, medical, and intelligence missions to Fort Belvoir, necessitating the construction and renovation of facilities to accommodate a net gain of approximately 19,300 military and civilian personnel (3,400 on Main Post; 8,500 on Fort Belvoir North Area; 6,400 at the Mark Center; and 1,000 at Rivanna Station in Charlottesville, VA). The expansion of Fort Belvoir’s workforce is creating the need for both on-post and off-post infrastructure improvements to the transportation network, utilities, communications, and base support facilities.
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, with a core group of county staff, has served as the community based organization working to develop an adjustment program in response to the Fort Belvoir BRAC action. Citizen task forces also were formed to review and provide recommendations on proposed land use and transportation changes in the county as a result of BRAC. The county has utilized the existing land use development processes already in place to interface with the Army staff in support of BRAC planning and implementation. With the 2008 Army decision to locate 6,400 Washington Headquarters Services employees to the Mark Center site in Alexandria, Fairfax County also began coordinating with the City of Alexandria and Arlington County to address impacts that will be shared among the jurisdictions.
Fairfax County continues to make significant strides in planning and responding to the BRAC growth at Fort Belvoir. While a number of issues have been raised, the County and Commonwealth of Virginia face significant shortfalls in funding to address the BRAC impacts, particularly transportation. The Fort Belvoir BRAC action will have significant impacts on the region's transportation system, which is already strained under existing traffic volume. Further exacerbating this congestion is continued growth in the outer jurisdictions of Prince William, Stafford and Spotsylvania Counties to the south, as well as inner jurisdictions of Arlington County and Washington D.C., resulting in one of the busiest and most congested interstate transportation corridors in the country (I-95, I-395, and I-495). The transportation impacts are especially significant along U.S. Route 1 as it bisects the Main Post of Fort Belvoir.
In response to BRAC, Fairfax County and Virginia Department of Transportation have ongoing transportation analyses and traffic operations studies to support the planning and design of new transportation infrastructure. The county and the Army are partnering in the development of a comprehensive Transportation Demand Management Program to reduce traffic congestion, decrease single occupancy vehicles (SOVs), improve air quality, and minimize commute times. Between the Army, Fairfax County and the Virginia Department of Transportation, at least 30 major transportation improvement projects have been identified as necessary to support the installation’s growth.
To view the community's 2009 Mission Growth Profile, click here.